Northcentral University
Graduation 2016


Welcome, NCU graduates!

Registration for Graduation 2016 will be available in the coming months. For questions regarding eligibility please contact your Academic Advisor.

Graduation details can be found below. There will be more information posted to this site, as this important date draws closer. Please check back often for updates.


NCU Commencement 2016 events will be held on Saturday, July 9, 2016, at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort located in Phoenix, Arizona.

The tentative schedule for the day's events will run from 8:30am to 6:00pm. A formal agenda will be shared with you in the coming months.


Academic Recognition Reception

Prior to NCU Commencement 2016, the University will host an Academic Recognition Reception. The event will include award presentations, honor society induction recognition, and the Student Poster Session. The NCU Student & Alumni Store will also be onsite for alumni to purchase merchandise.


Commencement Ceremony

The 2016 Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 9, 2016.


Graduation Reception

Following the 2016 Commencement Ceremony, you are invited to attend a Graduation Dessert Reception also held at the JW Marriott Phoenix.


Regalia and Announcements

Graduation Regalia If you have not ordered your regalia, please contact Willsie University Cap & Gown online or at (800) 370-0931 to reserve or purchase your regalia. Please note: the deadline to PURCHASE your regalia is May 20, 2016 and the deadline to RENT regalia is June 29, 2016. Orders received after this date will not be processed.

If you run into any challenges while ordering your regalia, please contact Tony Harvey at Willsie University Cap & Gown directly at

 Announcements: You may purchase NCU graduation announcements and class rings from Jostens

Travel Information
Hotel Reservations

We have negotiated a group rate for you and your guests at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort, where Commencement 2016 will be held. We recommend you book your room early! 

Room reservations under the Student block can now be made via:

  • Marriott reservations at 480.293.5000 or
  • The "Student" Reservation Site

Guests can access the site to learn more about the event and to book, modify, or cancel a reservation from January 26, 2016 to July 9, 2016. The room block will be held until June 15th, 2016. Reservation requests received after this date will be accepted on a space availability basis only and may be at a higher nightly rate.

You can find additional information on Phoenix, including places to stay, where to eat and things to do online at Visit Phoenix.

Graduation FAQ

Q: How many guests can I bring?
A: You can reserve space for up to ten (10) guests. 

Q: Do I need tickets for each event?
A: Physical tickets are not required for this year’s Commencement events, just your RSVP response. More information regarding registration will be offered in the coming months.

Q: How do I order Commencement Regalia?
A: If you have not ordered your regalia, please contact Willsie University Cap & Gown online or at (800) 370-0931 to reserve or purchase your regalia. 

Q: What is the deadline for ordering Regalia?
A: The deadline to PURCHASE your regalia is May 20, 2016 and the deadline to RENT regalia is June 29, 2016. Orders received after this date will not be processed.

Q: If I can't make it to Graduation, may I purchase a graduation tassel?
A: Yes. You may send an email (preferred) to requesting your tassel. Willsie Cap & Gown will ship your tassel via US Post.

Q: Where can I purchase Graduation Announcements?

A: You may purchase NCU graduation announcements from Jostens.

Q: If I missed the cut-off date for Commencement last year, but want to attend this year and already have my degree, do I need to bring it with me? 
A: No, you do not need to bring your diploma with you. You will receive the same diploma holder as everyone else when you walk.

Q: What are NCU's hood colors?
A: NCU colors are royal blue and gold. NCU hoods are lined with gold (the part that is exposed). Trim colors for the hood are different according to the branch of learning/degree. The colors associated with NCU's degrees are drab (School of Business and Technology Management), light blue (Education) and golden yellow (Social and Behavioral Sciences). Keep this in mind when renting or ordering your regalia. Willsie Cap & Gown is extremely helpful and will be happy to answer any of your regalia questions. You can email Tony Harvey at Willsie Cap & Gown at:

Q: If I'm renting my regalia, do I have to pick up my cap and gown from Northcentral University or will there be a place to pick it up and drop it off at the ceremony?
A: Willsie Cap & Gown will be at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge the morning of the academic reception and commencement. You will be able to pick it up then and return it after the ceremony.

Have additional questions? Contact your Academic Advisor! 

Are you wondering what you can expect when you attend graduation? Check out some of our videos from previous events!

2015 Graduation Video

We have captured the vibrant energy of our 2015 graduation celebration and made it available for download. Click here to be directed to the NCU Store. Once there, you can click on the banner to watch the video online or click the "Download" icon to keep a copy.

2015 Graduation Photos

If you wish to download images from our 2015 event, please visit the link below:
Photos - NCU Graduation 2015

2015 Dissertation of the Year Award Winner Dale Spurlin

Dale Spurlin Speech from Northcentral University on Vimeo.

Graduation 2015 Trailer

Graduate Student Poster Session
The 2016 Graduate Student Poster Session will be held prior to the Academic Recognition Reception on Saturday, July 9, 2016, at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge in Phoenix, AZ. The purpose of the Student Poster Session is to give students the opportunity to showcase their research; to communicate their results to other students, family, friends, faculty and staff; and to learn about other areas of research and creative activity. 

Graduates who have completed their dissertation defense by April 22, 2016 are eligible to present at the poster session. Example: Dissertation must have been completed and approved between April 1, 2014 and April 22, 2016 for a 2016 nomination.Graduate students who wish to have their work considered for presentation are encouraged to submit their dissertation abstract to by May 1, 2015. Submissions will be judged on factors such as writing quality, significance of research and findings, research method, and interpretation of results. Those selected to present will be contacted and provided with information regarding poster criteria.

Dissertation of the Year 2015

Congratulations to Dr. Dale Spurlin who was selected as the 2015 Dissertation of the Year winner! 

Dr. Dale Spurlin is Northcentral University's 2015 Dissertation of the Year award winner

Dr. Spurlin completed his PhD in Education with a specialization in Curriculum and Teaching and successfully defended his dissertation “When Learning Could Hurt: A Case Study of Student-Veterans and their Combat Experiences in the Classroom”. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the United States Army Command and General Staff College (USACGSC) and serves as Chair for the Combined Arms Center – Education Institutional Review Board. 

When asked why he chose this topic as the focus of his research, Dr. Spurlin explained that he was inspired by his own experience as an adult educator. Dr. Spurlin recalls: “After teaching student-veterans for several years, I came to the realization that our practice and theory for adult learning might not be facilitating learning in the classroom. I surmised that our methods were driving them away from learning instead of promoting it.  I wanted to know why and what to do about it.”


Dr. Spurlin will accept his 2015 Dissertation of the Year award and speak about his research at the Academic Recognition Reception. 

View videos of our past three Dissertation of the Year winners.

Rebecca Collins Watch Dr. Rebecca Collins give her Dissertation of the Year acceptance speech.

Milton Kabia Dr. Milton Kabia shares his NCU story at the 2012 Graduate Poster Session.

Thomas Thompson Dr. Thomas Thompson, an international student from Jamaica, was the 2011 Dissertation of the Year award winner.

At the Honor Society Reception on Friday, July 8, 2016 NCU will be inducting the newest members of our five honor societies. Invitations are made based on academic performance, but each honor society has different requirements. Visit our Honor Societies page to learn more. If you have any questions about the qualifications, please utilize the contact information below. 

Golden Key International Honor Society (all Schools)  For information about Golden Key International Honor Society, please contact Dr. Danielle Rowell at

Kappa Delta Pi (School of Education)  For information about Kappa Delta Pi, please contact Dara Levitch at, Melanie Shaw at

Delta Mu Delta (School of Business)  For information about Delta Mu Delta, please contact Kim Vince at

Alpha Phi Sigma (School of Business, Criminal Justice)  For information about Alpha Phi Sigma, please contact Kim Vince at

Delta Kappa (School of Marriage and Family Sciences)  For information about Delta Kappa, please contact Lisa Kelledy at


Commencement 2016 Speaker

 More information regarding our 2016 Commencement Speaker will be shared in the coming months.