The conferring of academic and honorary degrees takes place during Encaenia, a ceremony rooted in the traditions of Oxford. Encaenia is a Greek word meaning “beginning, commencement,” and the term has been used since the founding of King’s in 1789. The King’s graduation ceremony has not changed greatly over the years apart from the conferring of honorary degrees (although the use of Latin has given way to English).

A memorable event rooted in tradition

Bachelors of Arts, Science and Music are conferred by the president of Dalhousie University, while Bachelors in Journalism and honorary degrees are conferred by the chancellor of the University of King’s College. Combined honours degrees in Contemporary studies, Early Modern studies, and History of Science and Technology are conferred together by the presidents of Dalhousie and King’s.

The president of Dalhousie and the chancellor of King’s confer the degrees of Master of Journalism and Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction. Graduands are presented alphabetically by degree and come forward individually to be conferred; kneeling to receive the degree is optional. A rehearsal is held the afternoon before the ceremony itself.

The academic gowns and hoods of faculty and graduands, the procession led by the apparator carrying the university mace, the music and celebratory setting make King’s Encaenia a happy, splendid, and memorable event.

Before You Graduate

Please notify the Registrar’s Office of your intention to graduate by December 1, 2017. There is a late fee of $50 for those who apply to graduate after this date.

If you do not plan to attend the graduation ceremony, you must notify the Registrar’s Office. They will also require a mailing address so that your parchment can be mailed to you.

If you are a potential graduate, information will be sent to you from the President’s Office via mail and e-mail regarding your graduation week. Make sure the Registrar’s Office has your valid local address and e-mail address on file so that you receive this important information. You may change your address through Dal Online or by emailing kirstin.mosher@ukings.ca.

As a reminder, you are encouraged to check your student account balance.  Students with an outstanding debt to the College (tuition, fees, library fines, etc.) will not receive their parchments at the Encaenia ceremony. You will instead receive an empty folder. Please consult the payments guide or visit the Student Accounts Office if you have questions. Please note that online payments can take up to 2 to 3 business days to appear on your account.

President's Dinner – Wednesday, May 30, 2018

5:45 p.m. – Reception in the Wardroom

6:45 p.m. – Dinner in Prince Hall

As of March 12, tickets for the President’s Dinner are available in the Bursar’s Office from Tami Kendell or Sharlene Salter. Cash, cheque, debit or credit are accepted. Graduates may receive a maximum of four tickets (one for the graduate and three for guests). There is no charge for the graduate’s ticket. The cost for guests is $30 per ticket. Please note this event has sold out in previous years so we encourage you to get your tickets as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

Baccalaureate Service – Thursday, May 31, 2018

10:30 a.m. King’s Chapel

Taking its name from the “laurel” wreaths worn by graduates in the middle ages, the King’s Baccalaureate service is an Anglican service of Choral Matins held in the Chapel at 10:30 a.m. on Encaenia day. The graduands who wish to attend assemble in their gowns and hoods at 10:15 a.m. in the Board Room and process into the chapel and sit together as a class. Attendance is optional, but graduands are strongly encouraged to participate in this traditional college service led by the Chaplain and Chapel Choir. The service lasts for one hour, and includes a brief address given by one of the honorary degree recipients. The service includes contributions from a number of faith traditions and is meant to be inclusive for all. Family and friends are welcome to attend. There are no tickets required for this service.

Graduating Class Reception – Thursday, May 31, 2018

A reception for graduands and guests will be held at 1:30 p.m. in Prince Hall. All are welcome – no tickets are required.

Graduating Class Photos – Thursday, May 31, 2018

2:30 p.m.  Journalism students will assemble on the A&A  steps for the School of Journalism photo.

2:45 p.m. – All graduands will assemble on the library steps for the class photo.

Graduation Ceremony (Encaenia) – Thursday – May 31, 2018

3:00 p.m.   Procession departs from King’s quad.

4:00 p.m. Ceremony at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium

Each graduate is entitled to receive three guest tickets to the ceremony. They may be picked up from Stephanie Boudreau, at the reception desk in the A & A Building, beginning March 12, 2018. There is no charge for these tickets.

If you require additional tickets please ask Stephanie (stephanie.boudreau@ukings.ca) to add your name to a waitlist. If there are additional tickets for the ceremony, they will be distributed in mid-May. Students who have indicated that they will not be attending Encaenia will not be entitled to receive tickets.

Coffee with the President – Friday, June 1, 2018

10:30 a.m. – President’s Lodge

Tickets for Coffee with the President are available in the Bursar’s Office from Tami Kendell or Sharlene Salter.  There is no charge for these tickets. They are available beginning March 12, 2018.

Gown and Hoods

If you are graduating you must wear a gown and hood.

Gowns and hoods may be obtained from Classroom 3 in the King’s A & A Building on Wednesday, May 30 from 12:00 noon to 2:30 p.m. and Thursday, May 31 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

A deposit of $250 (cash or cheque only) is required when the gown and hood are issued. The deposit will be refunded in full upon return of the gown and hood to Classroom 3 immediately after the Encaenia ceremonies.

Important: If the gown and hood are not returned on Thursday, May 31, 2018 by 8:00 p.m. the deposit will be forfeited.


The full ceremony will be livestreamed online, beginning at 4:00pm. A program will be available online to follow along.

Degree Frames

King’s offers degree frames in several styles for purchase. If you order your frame before Friday, May 18, 2018, your frame will be ready for pick up on Thursday, May 31, 2018:

  • 9:30 a.m. – 2:00  p.m. Pick up your frame in the lobby of King’s A & A Building prior to the graduation ceremony
  • 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Pick up your frame in the lobby of King’s A & A Building following the graduation ceremony. Your degree can be framed at this time.


Congratulations and welcome to the oldest Alumni Association in Canada!

As a new graduate, you are automatically a member of the University of King’s College Alumni Association. Along with maintaining and creating connections with your fellow King’s men and women, the Alumni Association can become a vital resource in helping you as you go forward into the next phase of your life.

Where are you going? What are you up to? Please share your news with us by writing to kathy.miller@ukings.ca or update your contact information, especially your email address, so we can stay in touch. We’ll keep you posted on King’s news and events on the King’s website, with our alumni magazine, Tidings, as well as with regular alumni e-newsletters.