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Undergraduate Commencement: Information for Seniors

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Graduation Eligibility

A student’s year of graduation is established by the Registrar’s Office. To be eligible to participate in the May 2012 Commencement ceremony, students must have fulfilled all requirements by the time of the ceremony or be scheduled to do so by September 2012. Students scheduled for February 2013 graduation who wish to attend the May 2012 ceremony must file a “Petition to Participate in an Earlier Commencement” form, available at the Registrar’s Office in 209 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, 2012, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m., at the Mullins Center, the Dean of each college will present each graduating Commonwealth Honors College senior with a gold cord 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 April 10, 2012, will not appear in the Commencement Program.  A program addendum will be printed after Commencement to include names of 2012 graduates not included in the program and received after the deadline.  The program and addendum will be mailed to the individuals involved. The form to arrange this is available at the Registrar’s Office, 209 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 April 10, 2012.  Those who fail to do so will not be listed.

Graduation Portrait Sittings

Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Thursday, April 26, 2012
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Memorial Hall

GradImages® is the official graduation photographer. Each portrait sitting is efficient and takes less than 15 minutes and will result in multiple image choices. Free proofs of all images will be e-mailed and mailed to you, so there is no need to make your purchasing decision on that day. You have nothing to lose! There is no obligation to purchase these photographs. The staff will have complete Commencement regalia on site for you to use. Wear a nice shirt/blouse. Even though the provided gown will cover most of your clothes, the top part of the shirt is noticeable. Men, wear a dress shirt and bring a tie. Be prepared to look your best. Portraits may be of one individual or with friends. Portraits will also be taken during the School and College celebrations on May 12, 2012. Schedule your portrait session now.

Caps and Gowns

Caps, gowns, and tassels (the cost of which has already been paid by your student fees) and an accompanying packet of four Commencement announcements/invitations may be picked up at the Campus Center room 178, Monday through Thursday, May 7 - 10, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. On Friday, May 11, 9:00 a.m. to noon, caps ands gowns may be picked up at the Campus Center Room 178. On Commencement Day, May 11, caps and gowns may be obtained after 2:00 p.m. at the student ticket booth on the west side of McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Students who are not on campus may request to have their cap and gown shipped by visiting

Shipping will be by FedEx and the destination must be a street address. The cost is $15.00 for regular delivery and $25.00 for next day delivery. A student ID number is required to confirm eligibility.

Graduation Announcements

UMass Amherst Print Services offers graduation announcements personalized with the graduate’s name, degree, and major presented in either standard or customized texts. Many type styles are available. For information, prices, or to order, contact:

Print Services
151 Whitmore Administration Building

Hometown Press Releases

Each summer the Office of News and Media Relations sends press releases about in-state graduates to daily and weekly hometown newspapers in Massachusetts. Because of the large number of graduates involved, names are usually published in lists. Out-of-state graduates wishing to have press releases sent to their hometown newspapers must complete a form available from the News Office at or 413-545-0444.

UMass Amherst Alumni Association

The UMass Amherst Alumni Association congratulates the members of the Class of 2012 on their upcoming graduation! Explore all that your Alumni Association offers you, as you begin the next phase of your life.

Start by registering on MaroonCentral at, using your free alumni ID to access your online community and complete your profile, search for or connect with friends, and submit a class note. You can also access career tools to search for jobs, research industry data and trends, post your resume or find a mentor, and create your UMass Amherst email forwarding address.

Sign up to receive @UMASS, the Alumni Association’s free monthly electronic newsletter, to keep you updated and informed of campus news, volunteer opportunities and events in your area. Our Career Connections programs provide interactive opportunities for you to network with alumni professionals and enhance your new career. Use online resources at or attend targeted online and regional programs and workshops on topics of interest to you.

Through more than 35 regional Alumni Clubs across the U.S. and abroad, you can participate in social, educational, cultural and athletic programs to expand your network of alumni contacts. Come back to campus often, and join friends and fans for Homecoming, reunions and athletic receptions.

Be informed; stay connected − use your Alumni Association connection to enhance your life now. Go to to register on MaroonCentral, or call 800-456-UMASS for assistance or more information.

Commencement Ball

Graduating seniors will want to mark their calendars and plan to attend the 15th annual Commencement Ball on May 4, 2012, at the Mullins Center, when they’ll be able to celebrate their final days on campus with friends at the biggest graduation party of the year. The evening will include music, dancing, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts – all in honor of the class of 2012.

The Student Alumni Association is proud to host this year’s Commencement Ball. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Alumni Association at 413-545-2317 or visit the Student Alumni Association web site.

Class Rings

During the three days prior to Commencement, orders for class rings will be taken in the University Store (on Commencement Day, orders will be taken in the tent outside the stadium).

Final Preparations for the Ceremony

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. School and College Senior Recognition Ceremonies On Saturday, May 12, 2012, each school and college will hold a ceremony for graduates with majors in the school/college. Graduating seniors should make certain that their guests know in advance which ceremony to attend and the location and time. (See Senior Recognition Ceremonies)




Assembling for the Ceremony

Students should arrive at Yellow Lot 11, North of the Stadium, carrying caps and gowns, no later than 3:00 pm. They should follow the posted signs to the designated area for each school or college. Commencement Marshals will line up students for the processional and escort them onto the field.

Students who have not yet obtained caps and gowns may do so at the Student Ticket Booth on the west side of the football stadium after 2:00 p.m.

Commencement Ceremonies Timetable

Friday, May 11, 2012

3:00 p.m. Degree candidates arrive at Yellow Lot 11.

3:15 p.m. Degree candidates assemble by school or college, don their robes, and receive processional instructions from Marshals.


5:30 p.m. Ceremony concludes. University Commencement Reception hosted by Chancellor Holub in the tent at the southeast area of the stadium.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

See Senior Recognition Ceremonies for a listing of all school and college senior recognition ceremonies, including the time, location and recommended parking locations.

10:00 a.m. Stockbridge School of Agriculture Commencement Ceremony

The possession of use of alcohol at Commencement is prohibited.





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 Office207 Whitmore413-545-0555

Commencement Photographs

During the Saturday Senior Recognition Ceremonies for each school and college, graduates will be photographed in their regalia. Proofs of these photographs will be mailed to graduates along with order forms and information. To learn more, see or call 800-261-2576.