When we think of convocations, what comes to the mind of most is food, and festivities. We think of proud parents, family and friends surrounding students who have completed a milestone in their academic careers. Students who have given something more ethereal than blood, sweat and tears in the pursuit of their degrees. The University of Lagos is honouring its 2019 set of graduands this week. But before the gala begins, let’s look at what convocation ceremonies are really about.


A convocation is a university celebratory event where degrees are conferred upon a graduating class. Graduates are marched in front of the university president/chancellor/vice-chancellor, members of faculty, family, friends and well-wishers and are presented their degrees. It is a special occasion for all members involved.


Welcome Address

A welcome address is usually given by the Chancellor/Vice-Chancellor or president of the academic board. This address is to usher in the ceremony with a few words of advice and praise for the graduating students.

Presentation of Awards, Diplomas and Degrees

Degrees are presented to students in alphabetical order according to their departments. The students are called up to the stage to receive their diploma, shake the Chancellor’s hand and pose for a picture.

Then they walk off the stage and flip their tassels to the other side signifying their transition as graduates.

Speeches by Keynote Speakers

An accomplished guest speaker is usually invited to speak to the graduating class. The speech is meant to inspire the class and, in some way, prepare them for the hurdles of life after graduation.

Valedictory Speech

A student representative, the valedictorian, also takes the stage to address the class and everyone present. Their speech is typically filled with personal anecdotes about their time spent in the university. It expresses the ups and downs of academic life and a willingness to march forward to greater accomplishments and heights.


A commencement ceremony has some peculiar customs and traditions that are observed.

  • Convocation Regalia

The robes and hats worn by graduating students are a staple of the convocation ceremony. Universities use different hood lining and hood colours to signify the degree being earned. The culture of the convocation regalia can be traced back to the 9th century when the first universities were founded.

  • Flipping Tassels

Typically, the tassels on the graduand’s caps are worn on the right before the ceremony. At some point during the ceremony, all students will be instructed to rise and switch their tassels from right to left. This signifies that they have earned a degree. The tradition of wearing hats stems from headwear that was common in the middle ages.

Students graduating


The University of Lagos had its first set of 46 admitted students in 1962. She celebrates her 51st convocation ceremony for her 2019 set from June 30th to July 8th. The ceremonies will culminate in the graduation of 15,753 students. The event will be outlined as follows;

  • Wednesday, June 30th

Pre- convocation Press conference at the Senate Building

  • Friday, July 2nd

Special Jumat Service at the Unilag Mosque

  • Sunday, July 4th

Thanksgiving Service at the Chapel of Christ Our Light, Unilag

  • Monday, July 5th

Opening of Exhibition

Convocation Lecture by Mr. Godwin Emefiele at J.F. Ade Ajayi Auditorium

  • Tuesday, July 6th

Convocation Day 1 for

Education and Social Sciences,

Art, Environmental Sciences and Science departments at J.F. Ade Ajayi Auditorium

  • Wednesday, July 7th

Convocation Day 2 for

Engineering, Management Sciences and Law,

Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences, Dental Sciences, Pharmacy, Distance Learning Institute, Postgraduate Diploma and,

Masters Degrees

  • Thursday, July 8th

Convocation Day 3

Congregation for awarding of Ph.D. Degrees

Best Ph.D. award of  the school of postgraduate studies,

Conferment of Honorary Doctorate Degrees,

Emeritus Professorship and,

Distinguished Professorship.


Convocation ceremonies in Nigeria are always accompanied by much fanfare and celebration. Parents are proud to acknowledge the accomplishments of their children and this year promises to be no exception.

So, through all the wining and dining, try to remember the reason for the festivities-the recognition of hard work that the students have put in from their first year till now.

Catalyst is dedicated to taking students from the starting line all the way to their very own convocation. We provide services to ease your journey into, through and out of the University of Lagos.

From Post UTME tutorials to providing quality accommodation, Catalyst has everything you need to go from undergraduate to having your very own tent at the convocation grounds.

To learn more about services Catalyst offers, click here

Catalyst Business Consult offers

Post UTME, JUPEB tutorials

Housing and hostel accommodation in the Unilag Area

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