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).

Since 1989, the venue for Encaenia has been the Cathedral Church of All Saints, a building that provides a dignified setting as well as beautiful acoustics.

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, symbol of authority, the music and the majesty of the setting make King’s Encaenia a happy, splendid, and memorable event.

2017 Encaenia - Schedule of Events

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.  Rehearsal for Encaenia ceremony at the Cathedral Church of All Saints, 1330 Cathedral Lane, Halifax, NS, Canada.
5:45 p.m.  Pre-Dinner Reception in the Wardroom
7:00 p.m.  President’s Dinner in Prince Hall

Thursday, May 25, 2017

10:30 a.m. – Baccalaureate Service in the College Chapel
11:30 a.m. – Journalism graduate reception
12:45 p.m. – Journalism class photo on A&A steps
1:00 p.m. – Class Photo on the Library Steps
1:15 p.m. – Procession of Graduating Students from the Quad to the Cathedral Church
2:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Encaenia ceremony at the Cathedral Church of All Saints, 1330 Cathedral Lane, Halifax, NS, Canada.
5:00 p.m. – Encaenia Reception in Prince Hall

Friday, May 26, 2017

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Coffee with the President in the President’s Lodge, 6360 Coburg Road

Important Information

Tickets for each of the President’s Dinner, Coffee with the President, and Encaenia must be picked up by May 23.

Before You Graduate

Please notify the Registrar’s Office of your intention to graduate by December 1, 2016. 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 kate.bray@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.


The rehearsal for the ceremony will be held on Wednesday afternoon, May 24, at 2:30 pm in the Cathedral. It is very helpful for everyone concerned that all graduands attend this rehearsal. It usually lasts about an hour.

President's Dinner

As of March 20, 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 tickets are limited, even for graduates.

Graduation Ceremony (Encaenia)

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 20, 2017. 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

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 20, 2017.

Gown and Hoods

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

Gowns and hoods may be obtained from the Haliburton Room on the 1st floor of the King’s A & A Building on Wednesday, May 24 from 12:00 noon to 2:30 p.m. and Thursday, May 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 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 the Haliburton Room immediately after the Encaenia ceremonies.

Important: If the gown and hood are not returned on Thursday, May 25, 2017, by 6:00pm the deposit will be forfeited.

Degree Frames

The King’s Alumni Association provides you the opportunity to pre-order a King’s degree frame to help mark this special occasion. The pre-ordered frame will be available for pickup in the lobby of the A & A Building immediately following the graduation ceremonies.

The monies raised from the sale of these frames will be used to support the Alumni Association’s priority of providing financial assistance to students through scholarships and bursaries.

Baccalaureate Service

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.


The full ceremony will be livestreamed online, beginning at 2:00pm. A programme will be available online to follow along.

Photography/Video During Ceremony

We encourage your family and friends to take photographs at the ceremony. We ask that they move to the front of the Cathedral shortly before you will be conferred. Once they have taken their photographs, we ask that they return to their seat to make room for others.

It is likely that you will be photographed by the official photographer at the moment you are conferred with your degree (capped).

PLEASE NOTE: The photographer will be standing on your left. If your hair is long, and whether you stand or kneel to be capped, the action of bowing your head will swing your hair forward which will partly obscure your face. It would provide a better photograph if you could push your hair back behind your left ear. When you are handed your parchment by the president, it would be helpful if you could remember to turn slightly to your left—otherwise the photographer is faced with the back of your head. These photographs will be available on the Encaenia archive page the week following the ceremony.

There will be an official videographer at the event to record the ceremony. Please check back to this web page for further information on the video.


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.