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Graduation Information

Dear MCHS Seniors and Families:


Congratulations! All the work you have put in for the past 13 years has culminated in this celebratory occasion. We are so happy that you have reached this important milestone! In preparation for your commencement ceremony, we wish to share some pertinent information that will ensure your day will run smoothly.


Graduation Rehearsal

There will be two rehearsals in preparation for graduation. The first, held on Durham Tech’s campus will allow us to ensure the rehearsal at NCCU will run quickly and efficiently. Attendance at both graduation rehearsals is mandatory. Please be on-time. Failure to attend graduation rehearsal will result in your inability to walk in the ceremony.


Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 9:00am

ERC Auditorium (Building 5)


Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 2:30pm

NCCU McDougald-McLendon Arena


Senior Cookout and Celebration

The senior celebration will be an opportunity to connect with friends, sign yearbooks and enjoy some great food!


Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 11:00am-2:00pm

Durham Tech Cafeteria


Graduation Tickets

Graduation tickets will be distributed at rehearsal on May, 22, 2019. Each senior will receive 15 tickets. If you want additional tickets, you should talk with friends and classmates to secure them early. No one will be allowed in without a ticket.


Children age two and under who will remain seated on the lap of an adult for the duration of the graduation ceremony will not require a ticket. Children over age two and those under age two who will require their own seat need to have their own ticket.



General Admission guests will enter McDougald Gymnasium from the upper level. Guests who have requested handicapped-accessible seating will enter through the lower level. Doors open one hour before the event start time.  



Tickets are general admission and are not assigned to specific sections, rows, or seats. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.


ADA Seating

If anyone attending your graduation requires special ADA seating accommodations (wheelchair, etc), please complete the form found here. Only 1 person can accompany individuals in ADA seating areas. Those needing ADA seating will enter through an accessible area where their ticket will be exchanged and they will be escorted to their seating area.


Graduates and families should park in the Parking Deck across Lawson Street from McDougald Gymnasium.  

Entrance to the deck is from E. Lawson Street.  



All graduates should wear full regalia for their school including but not limited to, gown, cap and tassel. Please contact your school if you have any questions regarding regalia and regalia orders for your school.


Neatly pressed (use a cool iron or hang up in a bathroom to allow steam from shower to help the wrinkles fall out).


Worn straight on the head, top of cap should be flat, parallel to the ground. Please note that decorated caps will not be permitted.


Worn over the right temple before a student graduates.

Graduate Dress Code

The faculty and staff of Durham Public Schools want to make your graduation a most memorable experience.  We ask for your full cooperation with the dress code for graduation. If you have any questions as to the appropriate dress for the occasion, please check with your principal.  

Any students, due to extenuating circumstances or extreme hardship, who cannot acquire an item necessary to meet the dress code requirements should discuss the situation with your school’s graduation coordinator and/or principals prior to graduation rehearsal.


  • dark shoes (no topsiders, boots, or athletic shoes),
  • dark dress socks,
  • dress pants (not jeans),
  • dress tie or bow tie, and
  • a white or light blue dress shirt.  


  • dark shoes (no colorful hose).  Be careful not to have too high of a heel since you will be walking up and down steps.
  • skirt and blouse, a dress, or dress slacks
  • necklaces and dangling earrings should not be worn.  

Caps with decorated tops, purses and/or book bags will not be allowed in the procession.



Graduation will be held on Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 6:00pm. All graduates should arrive by 5:00pm. The ceremony will last approximately 1 hour.

Graduation Day Etiquette

  • Seniors should remain quiet at all times and should not get out of line at any time.
  • Balloons, noise makers, and signs are prohibited.
  • No gum is allowed.
  • Seniors will graduate in alphabetical order by last name.  
  • Marshals will direct seniors when to stand and when to walk to the stage.
  • Seniors should stand and sit together as a row.
  • When crossing the stage, seniors will receive the diploma cover with their left hand and shake hands with the right hand.
  • After receiving your diploma cover, continue to walk across the stage and shake the hand of any dignitaries who may be on stage with you. Go down the steps and return to your seat.
  • Remain standing until everyone from your row has returned to your seat.
  • After everyone has received their diploma cover, the Superintendent will declare you graduates of Durham Public Schools.  At that time, all seniors will turn the tassel on their cap from the right to the left.