CALS Convocation Information - Spring 2024

Who:  Undergraduate students approved for spring 2024 graduation

Time:  Friday, May 10, 2024, 9 a.m. (doors open at 8 a.m.)

Place:  Hilton Coliseum

Purpose: To recognize students graduating from the college.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Convocation is a separate event from the official Iowa State University commencement ceremony. Convocation includes only students with majors in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and allows students and their guests a more individualized celebration of their achievement. Diploma covers are not presented at this event, and caps and gowns are optional to wear. Tickets are not required for admission. Attendance is optional.

Please note: Hilton Coliseum will be performing a bag check for all individuals entering the facility for convocation ceremonies. Concessions will not be available.


In order for a student to sign up to attend the CALS Convocation, students should:

  • Login to AccessPlus.
  • Click on the “Student” tab in the top right-hand corner, select “Graduation” from the left-hand side, and then look to the top left-hand corner for the "Diploma/Ceremony" form.
  • Complete all of the required fields.
  • Click "Submit" at the bottom of the page.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Convocation RSVP deadline is April 26, 2024. Graduates who RSVP after April 26 should not expect to be listed in the event program or listed on any multimedia broadcasts the day of the event. However, they will be able to be recognized by the Dean at the event.

Dress for participating students

Students participating in the CALS Convocation may wear cap and gown or business professional attire. Stairs to and from the stage may be steep for some; comfortable shoes are strongly encouraged.

Arriving at Hilton Coliseum

Students will need to plan to arrive at Hilton Coliseum by 8:15 a.m. so that they can get their reader card (card to be read as graduate crosses the stage) and be seated in a timely manner. Please check in at the CALS table on the concourse level by the north entrance of Hilton by section 109. At the check-in table you will be instructed where to pick up your reader card and where to go to be seated for the event. If you are a double major/degree, you can choose with which major you would like to sit/cross the stage. Please leave coats, purses, and other valuables with family or friends.

Special Arrangements

Any guests or graduates attending the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Convocation that require special assistance should contact Angie Weeks at or 515-294-0705 prior to the day of the ceremony to make arrangements. 

Students and guests who are mobility impaired may enter through the lower west door of Hilton. It is located on the ground level under the elevated sidewalk and has elevator access to all levels of Hilton. Parking for persons with disabilities is also located on the west end of Hilton in lot B2.

Crossing the Stage

The most important part of Convocation is the individual recognition of graduates. Only those present will be recognized. Students with multiple degrees or majors will only be recognized once with the department with which they are seated. The graduates will present a card to the reader and proceed to cross the stage to be recognized by the Dean and appropriate department representative. Students will return to their seats after crossing the stage.


Invitations will be sent in April to students at their University address on file with the Office of the Registrar. Families will receive a personal invitation at the permanent addresses on file with the Registrar’s Office. Students who plan to attend the convocation are asked to RSVP on their ISU AccessPlus account by Friday, April 26, 2024.


Students who have applied to graduate by no later than April 26 will have their name in the CALS Convocation program. A printed program will be available at the ceremony.


Flash Photography, a private photography company, will take a photo of each graduate as she/he crosses the stage and is greeted by the Dean. An individual photo off-stage will also be taken. Within one week of the ceremony, graduates will receive electronic proofs. Graduating students are able to order photos using an online ordering system. However, you are under no obligation to order any photos.

Questions regarding photographs should be directed to:

Flash Photography

1 (888)-325-3930

University Commencement Information - Iowa State University graduation information

For more information about the University's graduation ceremonies, visit the Commencement website.


For information about lodging, contact the Ames Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1-800-288-7470. We recommend that you make hotel reservations well in advance, as hotels are usually booked on graduation weekend.

Dining Plans

Nearly all restaurants in the Ames area operate on a first-come, first-served basis during graduation weekend and are usually quite busy.