Ivy Chain Ceremony

Ivy Chain is a traditional activity and a rite of passage for Columbia College students. The activity is held just before commencement and all students graduating within a six month time frame are eligible to participate.

Black and white group shot of former Christian College (now Columbia College) female students with ivy draped over sholder.


Ivy Chain is one of the most traditional Commencement Week activities. The first Ivy Chain was held in 1900. As part of the early programs, live ivy was planted near St. Clair Hall and the Ivy Song was chanted. Rose Vespers, and rose notes—the gesture of sending a sentimental note to underclass friends asking them to accept a rose from the graduate after the ceremony was completed—are traditions also associated with Ivy Chain.



Ivy Chain is available to all students from any Columbia College campus who are graduating within six months before or after the event. There is no fee to participate in Ivy Chain.

Modern Columbia College students standing in circle with ivy draped over shoulder.

Ceremony information

Students will check in at the Atkins-Holman Student Commons at 8 a.m. in order to have time to line up prior to the start of the ceremony. If you are late, we will not be able to guarantee a spot in line. The ceremony is scheduled to last no more than an hour, so you will have plenty of time to line up for commencement after the ceremony ends.

Big group of Columbia College students standing in circle on front lawn.


The Ivy Chain rehearsal will be held the day before the event in Bass Commons. While the rehearsal is optional, it is important that you attend if possible. It will not last more than thirty minutes. A tour of campus will be available for those not familiar with the home campus directly following the rehearsal.

Rain location

In case of rain, the ceremony will take place in Atkins-Holman Student Commons. Updated information will be posted on the website and at the doors. To inquire by phone, please call (573) 875-7400.

If you have questions about this event, please contact Student Affairs at (573) 875-7400 or StudentAffairs@ccis.edu