The Black Congratulatory Celebration is an annual event held to honor Black graduates on the Illinois campus. The BNAACC recognizes students who are graduating from the U of I with a bachelor, masters, Ph.D. or professional degree in a ceremony reflecting various traditions in the African diaspora.

Save the date! Black Congratulatory May 17, 2025

2025 Black Congratulatory Ceremony

  • Date: Saturday, May 17, 2024
  • Location: To Be Announced 
  • Time: 7:00-9:00 pm CST (Doors open at 6:00 pm CST)
  • Cost: To Be Announced
  • Questions? Email 

2024 Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate in Black Congratulatory?

We recognize Illinois students receiving their Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral or Professional degrees between May 2024 and December 2024.

How can I register?

Please follow this link!  Registrations close April 7th 2024!

Does it cost to participate?

Yes. The fee is $85.00. This fee is paid electronically through the registration form. No other forms of payment will be accepted. Those who have concerns about cover black congratulatory cost should contact professional staff at BNAACC at

What is included in the $85.00 fee?

The $75.00 fee covers the following:

  • Kente Cloth Stole
  • Black Grad Week Activities
  • Class Gift
  • Class Picture
  • Program Booklet
  • And More!

Can I just pay for the stole?

Unfortunately, no - the fee is all or nothing. We do not provide an “A La Carte” option.

Will the ceremony be live streamed?

Yes! Please follow this link:

Do I need tickets and is there a limit to the number of family/friends I can invite?

Tickets are NOT required and there is no limit to the number of guests per graduating student. Seating is first come, first serve.

Is my cap and gown included in the fee? If not, then where can I get my regalia?

Your cap & gown are NOT included in the Black Congratulatory fee. Learn how to order your commencement regalia. Your cap and gown are ordered through Herff Jones Cap & Gown Company and requires an additional payment.

When is the Black Congratulatory Photo?

We will take the class photo on Sunday, April 7, 2024, at the Krannert Center For Performing Arts (KCPA); 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801.

When is Black Grad Week? And what are the activities?

Save the dates: April 21st - April 27th, 2024!

Sunday April 21st 2024 -Soul Night

Time: 7pm

Location: Bruce D Nesbitt African American Cultural Center

Overview: Join us at BNAACC on April 21st for a family-style Sunday Soul Dinner, graduates. Come enjoy good food, friends, and fun as a start to Black Congratulatory week.

Wednesday, April 24th 2024- Quad Juke Jam

Time: 6pm-8pm

Location: South Quad

Overview: BOW BOW BOW! Call your friends and meet us on the Main Quad Wednesday, April 24th. It’s the ideal way to cap off your academic journey with music and camaraderie of your peers!

Thursday April 25th 2023 -Black Grad Barn Dance

Time: 8pm-12pm

Location: 384 E 1200 North Rd, Thawville, IL 60968

Overview:Experience the enchantment of our Black Grad Week Barn Dance Celebration!

Conclude your graduation celebrations by gathering with your fellow Illini graduates at a barn dance Thursday, April 25th, where you can bask in the rustic charm of the venue, soak up the energetic music and immerse yourself in the friendly atmosphere.

Week Long Programs

Wisdom Wall: Stop by BNAACC throughout Black congratulatory week starting Tuesday, April 23rd to pass on advice, anecdotes, and words of encouragement to your fellow Illini graduates. Grab a post-it note and post a message on the advice wall!

Post Your Memories : Share your memories from your time at UIUC by participating in the “Post Your Memories” challenge on Instagram. Report to @bnaacc_illinois to find daily picture prompts throughout the week. Make sure to tag @bnaacc_illinois for the chance for your pictures to be featured on the account. 

Can I be refunded if I can not attend the Black Grad Week Events?

No, There will be not partial or full refund for missing or not attending Black Grad Week events so take full advantage of these exciting events! 

I'm concerned about the cost of Black Congratulatory Ceremony.

We understand the fee could be a factor in your participation. Please reach out to us at with your concern.


Please check your email regularly and follow BNAACC on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Have additional questions? Please contact us at

Black Congratulatory 2023!