February 10-12, 2020 – Chicago, IL

2020 Annual Conference


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The mission of the North American Association of Commencement Officers (NAACO) is to establish, foster and promote the highest possible standards of excellence for the creation and execution of commencement, convocation and other academic ceremonies through the education and professional development of individuals charged with leadership, planning, oversight and implementation at post-secondary educational institutions.


  • April L. Harris

    NAACO is the go-to resource for expert advice on interpreting our cherished academic traditions and keeping them relevant for each new generation. The professional friendships and information sharing among those who inhabit the world of academic ceremonies is invaluable.

    April L. Harris Associate Vice President,The University of Alabama in Huntsville
  • Jeanie Gunn

    Throughout the years, one of the most valuable benefits I’ve discovered by being a member of NAACO is the ability to phone or email a “NAACO colleague,” asking for advice or to learn about a particular university or college’s practice with regards to convocation.  The networking opportunities I’ve gained through attending the conference have also been extremely beneficial.

    Jeanie Gunn Manager, Convocation and Events, University of Victoria
  • Monica Nelson

    NAACO has a great network of commencement officers who throughout my six years as a member have become my friends. I have relied on them to learn best practices, I know I can call them the weekend of my ceremony with an emergency question, and they have introduced me to new vendors and enhancements. Being a member of NAACO has allowed me to take my ceremonies to the next level.

    Monica Nelson Senior Manager, University Events , Walden University


Hot Topic Call: Posthumous Degrees

Moderator Kelly Carland leads a discussion on the process of awarding posthumous degrees at UCI. Kelly will share how the University of California, Irvine has gone through the process of awarding posthumous degrees in the past, some challenges with balancing a celebratory event while honoring these individuals, and share some previous experiences trying to assist the families at commencement. There will be lots of time for you to share your institution’s strategies and challenges as this will be an information gathering discussion.

Canada-West Regional Meeting at Capilano University

At the Canada West Regional Meeting we will be ‘Connecting through Experience’. Session topics will include – volunteer management, creating an impactful and meaningful ceremony, onboarding and recognition of presidents and chancellors, hot topics and roundtables and a tour of the main campus.

US-Northeast Regional Meeting at Columbia / NYU

The regional one-day event is available for both members and non-members and provides an opportunity for regional commencement professionals to gather and learn from one another.



Start your membership today.

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Thank You to Our 2018-2019 Sponsors

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From upcoming events and ongoing opportunities, to association and industry news, NAACO is your central source for everything ceremony related. Join our growing email list to stay connected.


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