Preparations for Commencement
There is no pre-Commencement rehearsal for students. When you pick up your cap and gown, you will receive a handout containing important information about the assembly area, gate assignments, seating locations, and related matters.
Diplomas are not distributed during the Friday & Saturday ceremonies, they will be mailed post-Commencement. To ensure the delivery of diplomas, all graduates should check SPIRE to make certain that their diploma mailing address is accurately recorded. Diplomas are usually mailed by the end of the summer. Questions regarding diplomas should be addressed to: Registrar’s Office, 213 Whitmore Administration Building, 413-545-0555.
A student’s year of graduation is established by the Registrar’s Office. To be eligible to participate in the May 2018 Commencement ceremony, students must have fulfilled all requirements by the time of the ceremony or be scheduled to do so by September 2018. Students scheduled for February 2019 graduation who wish to attend the May 2018 ceremony must file a “Petition to Participate in an Earlier Commencement” form, available at the Registrar’s Office in 213 Whitmore.
Commonwealth Honors College seniors are urged to meet with a Commonwealth Honors College advisor well before University Commencement, to confirm that they are fulfilling all requirements for graduating from Commonwealth Honors College. At the Commonwealth Honors College Convocation, “Celebration of Excellence,” on Friday, May 11, 2018, at the Mullins Center, the Dean of each college will present each graduating Commonwealth Honors College senior with a gold stole to be worn at the University Commencement later the same day.
Commencement Program Listings
Because of publication deadlines, the names of students added to the graduation list and the names of those who petition to participate in an earlier Commencement received after March 1, 2018, will not appear in the Commencement Program. A program addendum will be printed after Commencement to include names of 2018 graduates not included in the program that were received after the deadline. The form to have the addendum mailed post-Commencement is available at the Registrar’s Office, 213 Whitmore. Students who have a full-privacy request on file but wish to have their names printed in the Commencement program must so notify the Dean of Students Office no later than the close of business on March 1, 2018. Those who fail to do so will not be listed.
Visa Letter Request
The Office of External Relations and University Events will provide students seeking letters of invitation for family living abroad to attend Commencement Ceremonies. This letter simply states the name of the graduate, major, commencement dates and relationship to the guest seeking the invitation. It is not an official government document. Complete the Visa Request Form. Our office will complete the letter within one week of receipt and email the graduate when the letter or letters are available for pickup. Please note, it is the responsibility of the graduate to mail the letters to the appropriate Embassy.
Commencement Day Instructions
On Commencement Day, Friday, May 11, you must arrive at Yellow Lot #11 (north of the football stadium) no later than 3:30 p.m., with your cap and gown. Once at Yellow Lot #11, graduates should follow the posted signs to the designated area for their school or college. Bags or purses will not be allowed in the stadium and will be subject to search. Small clutches will be permitted with a visual search by security. Commencement marshals will line up students for the processional and escort them onto the field. The ceremony begins at 4:30 p.m. and will end at approximately 6 p.m. Students who have not yet obtained caps and gowns may do so in Yellow Lot #11 after 3 p.m.
Visit the Senior Recognition Ceremonies page for more details regarding those ceremonies.