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 Ceremony Information



2017 Commencement Ceremony

Friday July 7, 2017


Arie Crown Theater​

​2301 S. Lakeshore Drive​
​Chicago, IL 60616​​

2017 Commencement Speakers

Honorary Degree

Michael E. Stevens, PhD., past APA Division of International Psychology PresidentMStevens.jpg

Having started out his career in counseling psychology, Dr. Michael Stevens is now firmly entrenched in the world of international psychology. He is the past president of the APA's Division of International Psychology, a fellow of the Division and has received its Outstanding International Psychologist award. A prolific writer, he is the author or editor of more than 150 publications, including, Handbook of International Psychology, and Toward a Global Psychology: Theory, Research, Intervention, and Pedagogy.

Named honorary professor at The Lucian Blaga University in Romania, where he completed Fulbright and IREX grants, Dr. Stevens also contributed to the re-establishment of academic psychology after it was abolished by the communist regime. He has received honorary doctorates from that university and Romania’s The Ovidius University, where he is now a visiting professor. He has consulted and given addresses around the world, including in Argentina, Finland, Republic of Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala and Uruguay.
The born and bred New Yorker received his Ph.D. in counseling psychology from the University of Missouri—Columbia, and began teaching in the psychology department at Illinois State University where he directed the master’s program in counseling psychology and was named Outstanding University Researcher. He is currently professor emeritus of psychology at ISU, a private practitioner in Bloomington, IL, a consultant conducting security-clearance and fitness-for-duty evaluations at nuclear power plants, and last but not least, a consultant in The Chicago School’s International Psychology Program.

Representative of the Graduating Class

Rubyrose Lirio, M.A. Industrial/Organizational Psychology, '17RLirio.jpg

Ruby is a graduate of the Chicago Campus’ Industrial/Organizational (IO) Psychology program. As a student at TCSPP, she became interested in mental health and restorative justice which prompted her to collaborate with other students to understand how these concepts can be applied in the workplace. She has been a fellow with The Chicago School’s Center for Multicultural and Diversity Studies since August 2016.

A native of the Philippines, prior to coming to The Chicago School, she received a B.A. in Psychology and Diploma in Industrial Relations from the University of the Philippines.

Distinguished Alumna

Dr. Laura E. Johnson, Psy.D. Clinical Psychology, '08LJohnson.jpg

A 2008 graduate of the Clinical Psy.D. program, Laura Johnson commissioned as a captain in the United States Air Force in 2014 and was promoted to major just this year. She is stationed at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California where she works as officer in charge of the mental health clinic, the second largest in the Air Force. During her tenure at Travis, she has served as the Center for Deployment Psychology’s Prolonged Exposure consultant, president of the LGBT Alliance and founded Operation Combat PTSD (now Operation Invisible Wounds).
Before joining the Air Force, Major Johnson worked in several roles at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts, including as clinical director of the PTSD clinic, military sexual trauma coordinator and director of Diversity Services. She pioneered services for LGBT veterans, wrote local policy and conducted trainings to protect their access to culturally competent healthcare, and researched and wrote professionally in the area of LGB and transgender care.
The next phase in Major Johnson’s service-oriented career includes a move to the Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, Japan with her spouse, son, and dog, where she will serve as the family advocacy officer overseeing family violence prevention and treatment.

 Participant Information

Participant Information


Event ScheduleChicago_School_20160707_200.jpg

11:00am - 12:30pm: Student Check-In & Seated Portraits, Level 1 Arie Crown Theater
11:00am - 12:45pm: Accommodated Seating, Inner Lobby Arie Crown Theater
12:00 - 12:45pm: General Seating​, Level 2 Arie Crown Theater
12:30 - 1:00pm: Student & Faculty Line-Up
1:00-3:30pm: Commencement Ceremony
3:30-4:30pm: Departmental Gatherings​​, Room E271

Required steps to participate

  • Intent to Participate Form ​(deadline to submit is Wednesday, May 17)
  • Petition for Degree Conferral (completed in​ your final semester)
  • Order regalia (please see below)​

Regalia Ordering

Regalia will be available for ordering via Herff Jones and will be available in early-to-mid-February.

The deadline to place regalia orders online is Tuesday, June 6th. Any orders placed after this date are subject to additional processing and shipping fees. 

All regalia will be billed and shipped directly to you from Herff Jones.  

Please note:  All regalia sales are final.  If you petitioned to walk short of degree requirements, we encourage you to wait for departmental approval prior to ordering.

Vanessa Hicks for Website.jpg​Costs

Bachelor's degrees: $24.50 plus shipping

The bachelor's set includes the cap, gown, and tassel (white)

Master's degrees: $52.40 plus shipping

The master's set includes the cap, gown, tassel (black), and hood (white)

Education Specialist degrees: $57.20 plus shipping

The education specialist set includes the cap, gown, tassel (light blue), and hood (light blue)

Doctoral degrees: $75.65 plus shipping

The doctoral set includes the tam (cap), gown, tassel (gold), and hood (dark blue-PhD/PsyD, light blue-EdD)

Optional items, including class rings, graduation announcements, and diploma frames, are available for purchase through Herff Jones at an additional cost. 


Degree Completion and Conferral​

Visit the Degree Completion and Conferral page to petition for degree conferral. All candidates must petition for degree conferral in their final term or semester at TCSPP. ​

Please note that you will need to both petition to have your degree conferred and petition to participate in the commencement ceremony. ​

​​​Ques​tions? Contact


 Guest Information


Guest Tickets

Graduates attending the Chicago ceremony are able to request up to 7 tickets for friends and family through the Intent to Participate Form. Please note that any guest requiring a seat will need a ticket, but small children who won't need their own seat ("babes in arms") will not. 

Extra tickets are available for graduates who need them. Please contact to request extra tickets.


Participants should indicate their need for accessibility accommodations such as wheelchair seating or sign-language interpretation on the Intent to Participate form or via email at​

At the Ceremony

Guest seating will open at noon and seating is general admission. All guests are required to show the ushers their ticket as they enter the theater. Guests who do not have a ticket will not be able to enter until all ticketed guests are seated.

Graduates will process across the stage in the order listed in the program. Photographs are welcome, but please take care not to block the aisle or exits. A professional photographer from GradImages will be available to take seated graduate portraits before the ceremony, as well as a photo as the graduate exits the stage.

The venue will have vending machines available for some snacks and beverages, but please plan on eating before you arrive. The ceremony will last approximately 2.5 hours and graduates and families can gather with the graduate's academic department after the ceremony. This can make for a long day! Plan to be at the theater from 12:00-4:30 p.m.

Noisemakers, balloons, silly string, or similar items are prohibited as theymay block others' views, create a mess, or detract from others' enjoyment of the ceremony.​​

Getting to the Venue

​The Arie Crown Theater is located at McCormick Place ​in the South Loop of Chicago. Please note that parking at the Arie Crown is in a paid lot. McCormick Place is also accessible via public transit and taxi. Location and parking information is available on the Arie Crow​n website​.


Parking is $23. Park in Lot C​ (east of Lake Shore Drive) for direct access to the theater.​


​Hyatt Regency - McCormick Place 

2233 S Martin L King Drive 

Chicago, IL 60616​​

Rooms available from Wednesday, July 5th through Sunday, July 9th (Limited rooms on Wednesday & Saturday night):

  • ​Single Occupancy: $179.00/night
  • Double Occupancy: $179.00/night
  • Triple Occupancy: $199.00/night
  • Quadruple Occupancy: $219.00/night
Making Reser​​vations:

You can now make reservations for ​the Hyatt Regency using the following website:

Book by June 8, 2​017 for the discounted rate!

The Palmer House Hilton

17 E. Monroe

Chicago, IL 60603

Rooms available from Wednesday, July 5th through Sunday, July 9th (Limited rooms on Wednesday & Saturday night):

  • 1 King Bed (Single & Double Rate): $159.00/night
  • 2 Double Beds (Single & Double Rate): $179.00/night
    • ​​​Additional $25.00 per person per night for triple and quadruple occupancy

Making Reser​​vations:

You can now make reservations for ​T​he Palmer House using the following website:

​Book by June 6, 2017 for the discounted rate!

Best Western ​- Grant Park

1100 S. Michigan Ave.

Chicago, IL 60605

Rooms available from Wednesday, July 5th through Saturday, July 8th, check out by Sunday, July 9th (Limited rooms on Wednesday & Saturday night):

  • ​Single King Rooms: $155.00/night
  • Double Rooms: $155.00/night

To book: call the hotel directly at (800) 472-6875 or (312) 922-2900 and reference the group name "The Chicago School" or use the following website:

​​Book prior to July 5, 2017 for the discounted rate! has set up a page with specially negotiated group rates for The Chicago School. These rates can fluctuate and sell out at any time, please note it is better to book sooner rather than later.

Because Commencement falls at a high-demand time for hot​​els, a limited number of rooms are available. Graduates and guests are encouraged to explore other lodging options near downtown Chicago, River North, or the South Loop.

Ques​tions? Contact​​