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 most of the 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.

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

The 234th Encaenia will take place on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

Before you graduate

If you do NOT plan to attend the graduation ceremony, you must notify the Registrar’s Office by emailing registrar@ukings.ca. They will also require an up-to-date mailing address so that your parchment may 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 registrar@ukings.ca. NOTE: Email communications are sent to your institutional email address so be sure to check this email account.

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. Instead, you will instead receive an empty folder on stage, and once you settle your outstanding debt you will receive your parchment. Please consult the Payments Guide or visit the Student Accounts Office at accounts@ukings.ca if you have questions. Please note that online payments can take up to 2 to 3 business days to appear on your account.

If you have a preferred name that is different from your legal name, that hasn’t been reflected on your Academic Record, please contact Academic Services at registrar@ukings.ca as soon as possible. This will ensure that your preferred name will be reflected on your name card to be read at the ceremony and in the Encaenia program. Degree parchments are required to have legal names.

If you have recently completed a legal name change, please send documentation providing proof of name change to Academic Services as soon as possible, and no later than May 10, 2024.

All graduating Indigenous students at King’s are entitled to receive a traditional medicine pouch as a gift from the university during the ceremony. This gift will be provided to students while they walk across the stage. Please contact the Registrar’s Office via email at registrar@ukings.ca by May 10, 2024 and let us know if you would like to receive this gift during Encaenia.

We want to ensure that Encaenia is accessible for all who wish to attend. If you and/or your guest(s) require special seating or other arrangements, please contact Pamela Hazel at pamela.hazel@ukings.ca.


Events during Encaenia week

Please check your email, this webpage, as well as King’s social media, for updates regarding Encaenia.

Tuesday, May 21

12 p.m. – Grad BBQ on the Quad, hosted by the 2024 Grad Committee – bring your own blanket and lawn games. The rain date will be Wednesday, May 22 at 12 p.m. on the Quad.

Wednesday, May 22

5:45 p.m. – President’s Dinner Reception in the Wardroom
6:45 p.m. – President’s Dinner in Prince Hall – Please note: tickets for this event are only available until Friday, May 17!

Thursday, May 23

10:30 a.m. – Baccalaureate Service in the Chapel – featuring guest speaker Elisabeth Stones, FYP Administrative Assistant
12:45 – Photo of the Journalism, Writing & Publishing class of 2024 on the steps of the Library
1 p.m. – Photo of the Entire Class of 2024 on the steps of the Library
1:15 – Departure of Class of 2024 procession with the piper from the Quad to the Dalhousie Arts Centre
2:30 – Encaenia ceremony at the Dalhousie Arts Centre (TICKETS REQUIRED)
4:45 – Post-ceremony reception in  Prince Hall
8 p.m. – final night in the Wardroom, hosted by the 2024 Grad Committee. All grads are invited. Each graduate can sign in one guest. We ask that everyone bring two pieces of ID (one government-issued photo ID and a secondary ID, both not expired).

Friday, May 24

10:30 a.m. – Coffee with the President in the Lodge (TICKETS REQUIRED)


Other important information for Encaenia

Gowns and hoods

Graduands must wear a gown and hood to Encaenia. Gowns and hoods may be obtained from the G. Peter Wilson Room, 2nd floor of the New Academic Building (NAB) during two times: Wednesday May 22 from 12-2:30 p.m. and Thursday, May 23 from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. A deposit of $50 (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 G. Peter Wilson Room until 6 p.m. on Encaenia day. Late returns may be made to the A&A Reception Desk on Friday, May 24.

Mortarboards (for Master’s graduands) will be available at the same times as above. All graduating Black students of African descent are entitled to borrow a Kente stole for the Encaenia ceremony, which may be borrowed during gown pick up. All graduating Indigenous students at King’s are entitled to borrow a stole, with a design customized by King’s Indigenous Support and Outreach Coordinator, Emily Pictou-Roberts, for the ceremony. Students may pick up the stole during gown pick up.


All tickets will be available beginning Thursday, March 14, 2024

Tickets are required for the President’s Dinner, the Encaenia (Graduation) Ceremony and the Coffee with the President Event.

President’s Dinner, Wednesday, May 22

    • Tickets will be available in the Bursar’s Office.
    • Cash, cheque, debit or credit are accepted.
    • Graduates may receive a maximum of 5 tickets (one graduate ticket and four guest tickets)
    • There is no charge for the graduate’s ticket. The cost for guests is $30 per ticket.

Encaenia (Graduation) Ceremony, Thursday, May 23

    • Tickets will be available at the A&A Reception Desk.
    • There is no charge for these tickets.
    • Each graduate is entitled to receive 4 guest tickets to the ceremony. The graduate does not need a ticket for themselves.
    • If you require additional tickets, please ask the staff at the A&A desk to add your name to a waitlist. If additional tickets become available for the ceremony, they will notify you in early-May.
    • Students who have indicated that they will not be attending Encaenia will not be entitled to receive tickets.

Coffee with the President, Friday, May 24

    • Tickets will be available in the Bursar’s Office.
    • There is no charge for these tickets.
    • There is no limit to the number of tickets each graduate may receive.

Please contact Tami Kendell (tami.kendell@ukings.ca) for questions regarding the tickets for the President’s Dinner and Coffee with the President. Please contact Emma Naguib (emma.naguib@ukings.ca) for questions regarding tickets to the ceremony. Students who are unable to physically pick up their tickets prior to Encaenia week, should email Emma Naguib to discuss alternative arrangements.

Special Ticket Instructions for MFA Graduands
To reserve tickets for the President’s Dinner or the Coffee with the President please contact Tami Kendell at tami.kendell@ukings.ca. Please indicate in your email how many tickets you would like for each event. She will assist you with making payment via credit card for the dinner tickets.
To reserve tickets for the Encaenia ceremony, please contact Emma Naguib (emma.naguib@ukings.ca). Please also indicate in your email how many tickets you would like for the ceremony.
All event tickets will be held for you at the A&A Reception Desk. The desk is staffed from 9 a.m.–5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Degree frames

The King’s Alumni Association provides the opportunity to pre-order a King’s degree frame to help mark this special occasion. The preordered frame will be available for pickup in the lobby of the Arts & Administration Building (A&A) immediately following the graduation ceremonies. Those who did not preorder a frame will also be able to purchase one at this time. 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.


The Commencement Group will be selling flowers at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium. Grads and families can pre-order bouquets here or buy them onsite before or after the ceremony.

Livestream and Photography During Encaenia

The full Encaenia will be livestreamed beginning at 2:30 p.m. The recording of the celebration will be posted to the King’s website after the ceremony.

There will be an official photographer at the event to record the ceremony. It is likely that you will be photographed by the official photographer at the moment you are conferred with your degree (capped). These photographs will be available on the Encaenia Archive Page in the two weeks following the ceremony.

We encourage your family and friends to take photographs at the ceremony, but we ask that they move to the front of the auditorium 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.

Joining our Alumni Association

Once you graduate, you will automatically be a member of the oldest alumni association in Canada. Congratulations!

Along with maintaining and creating connections with your fellow King’s peers, the University of King’s College Alumni Association can become a vital resource in helping you as you go forward into the next phase of your life. Please share your news with them by writing to our Alumni Relations Manager, Kimberly Gosse at kimberly.gosse@ukings.ca or update your contact information—especially your email address—so that they can stay in touch with you. The Alumni Association will keep you posted on King’s news and alumni through events on the King’s website, our alumni magazine (Tidings) as well as by their monthly alumni e-newsletters.