Commencement Information

celebrating your wonderful academic accomplishments

Commencement Information

Celebrating your wonderful academic accomplishments

Union Institute & University hosts commencement ceremonies throughout the year, including regional ceremonies in California, Florida, and Ohio, to celebrate your accomplishments. Explore below to learn more about commencement at your location and to order announcements, regalia, and class rings.

Union Institute & University hosts commencement ceremonies throughout the year, including regional ceremonies in California, Florida, and Ohio, to celebrate your accomplishments. Explore below to learn more about commencement at your location and to order announcements, regalia, and class rings.

A variety of class rings are available for men and women through Herff Jones.

California Commencement: Each graduate is allowed 5 guests who can attend the ceremony free of charge.

Florida Commencement: Each graduate is allowed 7 guests who can attend the ceremony free of charge.

National Commencement: Each graduate is allowed 6 guests who can attend the ceremony and reception free of charge.
Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza

Reservations: 513-421-9100 | 800-774-1500

A special rate of $140 per single or double-bedded rooms are available for graduates and their families by using the special code UNI. Custom reservation link:  https://resweb.passkey.com/go/UNIOct17. This rate is in effect until October 4, 2017. Guest rooms requested on dates other than will be provided on a space and rate-available basis. When making your reservation, please identify yourself as a Union Institute & University commencement attendee. Rates cannot be changed at check-in or check-out for guests who fail to identify their affiliation at the time of the reservation. Preferred rates can be confirmed by calling 1-800-HILTONS or 1-800-445-8667.

You are eligible to participate in Union’s Commencement Ceremony if you have already officially graduated and received your diploma, but have not participated in a past commencement or you are officially registered in the final term/session to complete your academic degree requirements by the end of the summer term/session I or II. Please note that commencement is a ceremony that celebrates your academic achievements, not certification of graduation. You must satisfy all of your degree requirements before you officially graduate and receive your diploma and transcript. Your financial obligation can only be processed through the Business Office located at our Headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. Contact Miles Scott, Student Accounts Financial Advisor, at 800-861-6400 x1291 or miles.scott@myunion.edu.

A professional photographer will be present at the ceremony to take photos of you and your family prior to and after the ceremony. The photographer will also take a photo of you with the president as you cross the stage and receive your certificate. Proofs will be sent to you at no charge and under no obligation. If you choose to purchase photos, you will work directly with the photographer.

Undergraduate Regalia for Purchase

The bachelor gown traditionally has pointed sleeves that highlight this style. While keeping its notable appearance, the bachelor gown features full front pleats, balanced fluting and an easily accessible center-mounted zipper closure. This keeper gown comes with the customary mortarboard cap with black rayon tassel and year signet.

Add that special touch with a stole of gratitude — UI&U’s forest green with gold seal. The stole is ordered separately for an additional cost of $25. You will receive information on how to purchase your regalia once you have been approved to participate in commencement.

To purchase custom regalia, email eventcoordinator@myunion.edu.

Custom Master’s Regalia for Purchase

This design, by tradition, is identified by unique and oblong-shaped sleeves with wrist openings. The gown, VISA® gabardine, requires little or no ironing and releases stains easily. The yoke is outlined in bright gold braid, completed at the center back with a braided black cord and button. The balanced fluting provides ample body fullness over the shoulders and across the back. The hood is black, also VISA® gabardine, with a green satin border edge. Union’s school colors (dark green and gold) are represented in satin and degree color is velvet-trimmed in bright gold braid.

There are two choices of cap: the standard black mortarboard cap with standard black tassel, or the black velvet tam (four sided) with button and a standard black tassel. To purchase custom regalia, email eventcoordinator@myunion.edu.

Doctoral Regalia for Rent

The rental doctoral gown is black with black velvet down the front panels and on the sleeve bars (chevrons). The rental doctoral hood has blue velvet for the Ph.D. degree, along with Union’s colors of green and gold. This model does not have a hood attached – the hood drapes down the graduate’s back. The hat is a mortarboard with a gold tassel. Remember, you can rent the gown and purchase a custom Union Institute & University hood and/or velvet tam.

Custom Doctoral Regalia for Purchase

nion’s doctoral gown is a ‘Marshal’ style gown in black gabardine with bell-type outer sleeves. The shoulder area in the back of the gown features a “V” at the center and includes a deluxe cord and button. The gown offers wide velvet panels, featuring the official Union Institute & University seal embroidered in gold on the front royal blue Ph.D. panels. Three chevrons on each sleeve are blue, piped in gold.

The hood is black gabardine with a green satin border edge. Union’s school colors (dark green and gold) are represented in satin and the Ph.D. is represented by blue velvet. The hood has a green satin border. The accompanying tam is either a 6-sided or 8-sided black velvet tam with a gold silk tassel. The main difference between the purchased and rental regalia is the color of the velvet chevrons on the sleeves, the velvet panels down the front, and the tam, which are distinct from the rented mortarboard.

The approximate cost of the Doctoral Regalia is $1000. This does not include taxes, shipping, or additional purchases such as garment bags, special hangers, etc. Please note: Dean’s approval for graduation is needed before rental or custom regalia may be arranged. To purchase custom regalia, please email eventcoordinator@myunion.edu.

Requests for special accommodations for individuals with disabilities (ADA) must be submitted no less than 30 days prior to the event. However, if the necessary accommodation is a reader or signer, a 60-day minimum notice is required. The request will be reviewed, verified with the requester regarding the accommodation, and then final arrangements will be made. Accommodations cannot be guaranteed if the request is made in less than the stated minimum timeframe. To arrange for accommodations, contact the Union Institute & University ADA Coordinator at adacoordinator@myunion.edu.

Commencement Locations & Details

Where
When
  • Saturday, October 28, 2017.
  • Time:11am
National Ceremony Schedule
  • 8:30 AM: Robing areas open
  • 9:00 AM-10:30 AM: Photography available for pre-ceremony
  • 10:30 AM: Processional lineup
  • 11:00 AM: Commencement ceremony begins

The Most Honorable Portia Simpson Miller

Quote: When you have the power that comes with knowledge, you can use it for the advancement of people’s lives.

The Most Honorable Portia Lucretia Simpson Miller O.N., B.A. 1997, Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters 2001, made history on March 30, 2006 when she became Jamaica’s seventh and first female prime minister, and only the third female head of state in the Caribbean.

Throughout her four decades of public service, Ms. Simpson Miller has been hailed as “a metaphor of hope in the face of adversity” and as a champion of the poor, oppressed, and marginalized in our society. Ms. Simpson Miller’s ascension to Jamaica’s highest political office came after having served for 17 years as a Cabinet Minister with portfolio responsibility for Labor, Social Security and Sport; Tourism, Entertainment and Sport; and Local Government, Community Development and Sport; in addition to Women’s Affairs.

She served as Jamaica’s prime minister from March 2006 to September 2007, and again from January 2012 to March 2016. She retired in 2017, after serving as the leader of Jamaica’s opposition party (People’s National Party).

Mrs. Simpson Miller has a distinguished record of service at the regional and international levels. She is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, which is an international network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilize on women’s issues. During her career she served as vice president of the Organization of American States’ High-level Inter-American Network on Decentralization, Local Government and Citizen Participation; Chairperson of the Caribbean Forum of Ministers responsible for decentralization, local government, community development and citizen participation, and board member of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum.

She has also been a member of the Board of Trustees of CIFAL, an international training center for governmental authorities in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2011, she was appointed by the UN Secretary General to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). She also chaired the CARICOM Committee on External Trade.

Mrs. Simpson Miller was the leading architect of Jamaica’s Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development and has been tireless in promoting and strengthening urban renewal and community development, leading to fundamental reforms in local government.

As Minister of Labor, Welfare, and Sport, she presided over the significant expansion of Jamaica’s Overseas Work Program. Under her watch, she transformed the National Insurance Scheme into a major component of the government’s social protection system. She was also instrumental in establishing a Labor Chair in the University of the West Indies, Department of Government.

Mrs. Simpson Miller has received several local and international awards and accolades, including:

  • In March 2007, she was awarded the International Olympic Committee’s World Women and Sport Trophy for outstanding dedication to women in Jamaican Sports – both athletes and administrators.
  • In 2009, she received the Distinguished Award for her dedication and commitment to urban renewal and community development from the Mayor of the City of Miami.
  • She received the Bureau of Women’s Affairs Award for outstanding contribution to the advancement of women’s affairs in Jamaica.
  • She was inducted into the International Women’s Forum (IWF) Hall of Fame in recognition of the ‘incredible impact that women of courage, creativity, and passion have made towards improving society, inspiring others, and building better leadership in the world.”
  • In 2012, Time Magazine named her among its “100 Most Influential Persons in the World.”

Mrs. Simpson Miller holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from Union Institute & University. She also completed the Executive Program for Leaders in Development at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. In 2001, Prime Minister Simpson Miller was awarded Union Institute & University’s highest honor, the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters: Honoris Causa, in recognition of her achievements and commitment to transform lives and communities. She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service from the Northern Caribbean University, and an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica.

Mrs. Simpson Miller says that she chose to study at Union Institute & University to broaden her knowledge base and solidify her academic credentials, which became necessary to advance in a political career that began while she was still in high school.

“It did not matter that I had served my apprenticeship in the intensive workshop of politics and government and had been schooled in the university of life,” she told graduates at UI&U’s 2001 Florida Commencement, where she received the university’s honorary doctorate for her exemplary efforts to improve the quality of life for all Jamaican citizens. “It did not matter that I was routinely called upon to represent my country at conferences all over the world. The absence of a college degree remained an issue in my life.”

From 1994 to 1997, Mrs. Simpson Miller attended seminars and periodically met with faculty at UI&U’s Florida Academic Center as she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree, while simultaneously attending to her parliamentary duties. When attending classes, Mrs. Simpson Miller was happy to be just another student, something that would have been impossible for her as a public figure in Jamaica.

Not only did she want to ensure that people would never be able to question her intellectual ability, Mrs. Simpson Miller was also motivated to complete her degree to prove something to her constituents, especially to the youth of Jamaica. “Anything you make up your mind to do, you can achieve,” she said. “When you have the power that comes with knowledge, you can use it for the advancement of people’s lives. I will never forget my experiences at Union Institute & University because they assist me in continuing to make a difference.” Despite her demanding schedule and extensive responsibilities throughout the years since her graduation, she has maintained her friendship with the faculty and staff at Union, and particularly with the Florida Academic Center.

We are deeply privileged to welcome Ms. Portia Simpson Miller to help celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates today. She is truly a global ambassador who exemplifies the university’s mission, vision, and values in her words and deeds. She, like so many Union alumni and students have pursued their education against all odds in order to engage, enlighten, and empower those she serves. “Anything I can do to make life better for the poor or the working poor, or wherever there is injustice, I will do,” she has said. “People. That is what influences me. It doesn’t matter what class, color, religion, or creed,” she continues. “I am the voice of the voiceless in the corridors of power.”

For questions regarding the National commencement, please call: 513-487-1217

Where
  • Crest Theater
  • 1013 K Street, Sacramento, CA
When
  • Sunday, August 13, 2017
  • 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
California Ceremony Schedule
  • 8:30 AM: Robing areas open
  • 9:00 AM-10:30 AM: Photography available for pre-ceremony
  • 10:30 AM: Processional lineup
  • 11:00 AM: Commencement ceremony begins

Roger H. Sublett, Ph.D.

Union Institute & University’s fifth president, Roger H. Sublett, Ph.D., is a respected leader and educator who has dedicated his career to helping learners, colleagues and coworkers, and institutions develop the confidence and skills necessary to become leaders in their fields.

Dr. Sublett was born and raised in Arkansas and attended the University of Arkansas, where he earned both a B.S.E. in history and social science, and an M.A. in history. Dr. Sublett then completed his graduate work at Tulane University, where he earned a Ph.D. with a focus in American history. He began his career in higher education when he moved to the Midwest to teach at the University of Evansville in Indiana, where he also served as a dean in the College of Alternative Programs, dean in the College of Graduate and Continuing Education, and associate vice president for Academic Affairs. During his last five years at the University of Evansville, he also served as executive vice president for the Association for Continuing Higher Education, where he provided leadership for an association that included nearly 250 colleges and universities across North America.

After immersing himself in academia as both an educator and administrator, Dr. Sublett utilized his innate leadership skills in a role that came naturally to him. In 1989, he joined the Kellogg National Fellowship/Leadership Program as associate director, and became director in 1991. The Kellogg Foundation is an alliance whose core values include “the belief that all people have the inherent capacity to effect change in their lives, in their organizations, and in their communities.” During his decade as director, Dr. Sublett strove to create a “common vision of a world in which each person has a sense of worth; accepts responsibility for self, family, community, and societal well-being; and has the capacity to be productive, and to help create nurturing families, responsive institutions, and healthy communities.”

In 2001, Dr. Sublett transitioned back into education, accepting a position as interim vice president for national undergraduate programs at UI&U. A year later, in 2002, he became chief operating officer for UI&U, and after a national search, the Board of Trustees appointed him as the university’s fifth president. As a leader with a passion for history, Dr. Sublett strives to uphold the university’s 53-year tradition as an innovator and change agent in adult higher education and foster shared values of “integrity, diversity, and flexibility.”

“Ultimately,” Dr. Sublett says, “I believe that UI&U will become the ‘university of choice’ for adults in changing times who want an education that makes a difference; for adults whose ambitious personal goals direct them to pursue bold dreams; for adults who seek transformational education; for adults with a passion for learning and the potential to make a difference.” Through the development of high-quality programs and the management of strong teams and efficient policies, Dr. Sublett inspires and empowers each member of the UI&U community to pursue such goals as improved academic quality and an enhanced mission of social responsibility.

Not content to just inspire leadership in the classroom or office, Dr. Sublett firmly embraces the concept of servant leadership and has devoted his time over the years to numerous committees and boards, including the American Association for Higher Education; the Association for Continuing Higher Education (ACHE) Ethics Committee; and the nationally renowned Association for Continuing Education (ACE) where he was recently named chair of the Commission on Lifelong Learning. He also serves on the President’s Forum, whose purpose is to encourage understanding across agencies and institutions on online learning initiatives. He is a founding member of Transparency by Design, a coalition of university presidents whose goal is to reflect new standards of accountability in higher education. He has also served on the Board of Trustees for Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra and the First Presbyterian Church of Battle Creek, Michigan.

Dr. Sublett’s honors include an Outstanding Service Award, given by the Association for Continuing Higher Education, as well as an honorary lifetime membership in that organization for “creative contributions and leadership.” He also received the Star Thrower Award from the Asian-American Pacific Islander Women’s Leadership Association. The Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance presented Dr. Sublett with a 2005 Spirit of Leadership Award, which is given every two years to a leader “who is compassionate, who is courageous, who is a risk-taker, and who has a talent for getting things done.”
Dr. Sublett has participated in numerous leadership and education conferences, speaking in cities from California to Canada. Dr. Sublett’s presentations frequently focus on building individual and institutional leaders, a theme that echoes throughout the four books he has written, co-authored, or edited, including Leading from the Heart (W. K. Kellogg Foundation, 2001), a collection of personal accounts from Kellogg Fellows who have succeeded as leaders among their peers. In the preface, Dr. Sublett writes, “Our work is not yet done, and we must find the courage in our personal and professional lives to always demonstrate the passion to make a difference.”

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation states, “If we are lucky, we have had the chance to cross paths with an exceptional leader in our lives: someone for whom helping others comes as naturally as breathing. Some among us may even be such a leader.” Dr. Roger Sublett lives that motto and shares it with every member of the Union community, proving repeatedly that behind every successful institution is a leader who lifts everyone to higher ground to work toward the common good.

President Sublett’s dedication to service and humanitarian causes has permeated his life and his work. As he spends this last year before his retirement in June of 2018, We welcome him as our commencement speaker as the leader of Union’s enduring mission to engage, enlighten, and empower adults as they pursue professional goals, and a lifetime of learning, service, and social responsibility.

For questions regarding the California commencement, please call: 916-692-7822

Where
  • Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina
  • 1881 SE 17th Street Causeway
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
When
  • Sunday, July 23, 2017
  • 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Florida Ceremony Schedule
  • 8:30 AM: Robing areas open
  • 9:00 AM-10:30 AM: Photography available for pre-ceremony
  • 10:30 AM: Processional lineup
  • 11:00 AM: Commencement ceremony begins

Terry Terhark

An accomplished entrepreneur, Terry Terhark continues to build on more than 30 years of experience in the recruiting industry with his latest endeavor, randrr – a career opportunities platform for the common good, based in Jacksonville, Florida and Findlay, Ohio. A recognized leader in the talent acquisition field, Mr. Terhark has founded and grown several highly successful enterprise technology brands. He leverages his industry expertise and strategic vision to build successful businesses to increase opportunity for all.

A lifelong learner, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management from the University of Findlay in 2005, after starting two companies. He came to college later in life, like so many Union students. He has said, “First, don’t give up, as learning and education will always benefit you. I completely understand how daunting work, raising a family and getting a degree simultaneously can be. I have started companies in my 20s, my 40s and now in my 50s, and I have seen peoples’ careers take off later in their career. Everything you do is incremental in the value that you provide to a company or to yourself when/if you start a business.”

An accomplished entrepreneur, Terry Terhark continues to build on more than 30 years of experience in the recruiting industry with his latest endeavor, randrr – a career opportunities platform for the common good, based in Jacksonville, Florida and Findlay, Ohio. A recognized leader in the talent acquisition field, Mr. Terhark has founded and grown several highly successful enterprise technology brands. He leverages his industry expertise and strategic vision to build successful businesses to increase opportunity for all.

A believer in the common good because what benefits the most people is best for everyone, Mr. Terhark’s new company, randrr, provides fully paid benefits and unlimited paid time off, along with a culture that will be among the most desirable in the industry. As Mr. Terhark has said, “I’ve helped shape the HR industry into what it is today and can tell you that it has been almost entirely one-sided to favor the company. What started as my vision to disrupt that trend and refocus on the people has quickly become our company-wide mission”

Before founding randrr, Mr. Terhark was president of ADP Talent Acquisition Solutions, Selective Staffing Inc, and The RightThing. He has worked with numerous clients including: Merck, GE, Waste Management, Qwest, Abbott Laboratories, GE, Alcoa, Whirlpool and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Mr. Terhark has authored many articles, including “Best Practices in Staffing and Recruiting, Staffing Process Re-Design” and “The Transformation of Staffing, and Trends in HR Outsourcing.” In 2010, he was honored by Ernst and Young as Entrepreneur of the Year and was named an “HRO Superstar” by HRO Today magazine for four consecutive years.

In honor of his commitment to lifelong learning and his commitment to work for the common good that mirrors our mission, Union Institute & University is pleased to welcome Mr. Terry Terhark to our ceremony today as the 2017 Florida Commencement speaker.

An accomplished entrepreneur, Terry Terhark continues to build on more than 30 years of experience in the recruiting industry with his latest endeavor, randrr – a career opportunities platform for the common good, based in Jacksonville, Florida and Findlay, Ohio. A recognized leader in the talent acquisition field, Mr. Terhark has founded and grown several highly successful enterprise technology brands. He leverages his industry expertise and strategic vision to build successful businesses to increase opportunity for all.

A lifelong learner, he earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management from the University of Findlay in 2005, after starting two companies. He came to college later in life, like so many Union students. He has said, “First, don’t give up, as learning and education will always benefit you. I completely understand how daunting work, raising a family and getting a degree simultaneously can be. I have started companies in my 20s, my 40s and now in my 50s, and I have seen peoples’ careers take off later in their career. Everything you do is incremental in the value that you provide to a company or to yourself when/if you start a business.”

An accomplished entrepreneur, Terry Terhark continues to build on more than 30 years of experience in the recruiting industry with his latest endeavor, randrr – a career opportunities platform for the common good, based in Jacksonville, Florida and Findlay, Ohio. A recognized leader in the talent acquisition field, Mr. Terhark has founded and grown several highly successful enterprise technology brands. He leverages his industry expertise and strategic vision to build successful businesses to increase opportunity for all.

A believer in the common good because what benefits the most people is best for everyone, Mr. Terhark’s new company, randrr, provides fully paid benefits and unlimited paid time off, along with a culture that will be among the most desirable in the industry. As Mr. Terhark has said, “I’ve helped shape the HR industry into what it is today and can tell you that it has been almost entirely one-sided to favor the company. What started as my vision to disrupt that trend and refocus on the people has quickly become our company-wide mission”

Before founding randrr, Mr. Terhark was president of ADP Talent Acquisition Solutions, Selective Staffing Inc, and The RightThing. He has worked with numerous clients including: Merck, GE, Waste Management, Qwest, Abbott Laboratories, GE, Alcoa, Whirlpool and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Mr. Terhark has authored many articles, including “Best Practices in Staffing and Recruiting, Staffing Process Re-Design” and “The Transformation of Staffing, and Trends in HR Outsourcing.” In 2010, he was honored by Ernst and Young as Entrepreneur of the Year and was named an “HRO Superstar” by HRO Today magazine for four consecutive years.

In honor of his commitment to lifelong learning and his commitment to work for the common good that mirrors our mission, Union Institute & University is pleased to welcome Mr. Terry Terhark to our ceremony today as the 2017 Florida Commencement speaker.