Frequently Asked Questions
Who gets to walk?
Any senior who is graduating in February 2010 or is graduating in May or September 2010 or will be allowed to participate in the May 15 celebration. Students scheduled for February 2011 graduation who wish to attend the May 2010 ceremony must file a "Petition to Participate in an Earlier Commencement" form, available March 1 at the Registrar's Office in Whitmore.
When does the HFA ceremony begin?
At 1pm, the CHFA students wear their caps and gowns to Herter Hall to assemble with departments. Parents head to Curry Hicks to be seated. The Senior Recognition Ceremony begins at 1:30pm.
How many guests will each student be allowed to bring?
You may bring as many guests as you like. No tickets are required. Seating in the stadium and in Curry Hicks is unreserved.
What should participants wear?
Students should dress in commencement caps and gowns. Families should dress comfortably, wearing shoes appropriate for walking on irregular surfaces and climbing stairs. The area immediately outside the stadium has a gravel surface.
How should I plan for the weather?
The ceremony will take place, rain or shine. If rain is severe, an abbreviated program will take place. Curry Hicks is indoors, but the stadium is not covered, so guests should dress for the climate and bring umbrellas or other protection from sun or rain. Restrooms, public telephones, and first aid will be available.
Will there be refreshments?
There will be refreshments from 11:30am to 1:00 pm, served on the north end of the stadium (Lot 11) outside the fence. After enjoying refreshments, travel to the HFA Senior Recognition Ceremony (bus stop #1). Use of buses is required for on-campus transportation, unless you choose to walk. The menu of the Commencement cookout will be:
Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast
Grilled Beef Patties
Grilled Vegetarian Burger
Fresh Fruit Salad
Cape Cod Potato Chips
Is parking available?
Guests are advised to arrive on campus early, as traffic in, around, and out of the campus will be heavy and some roads, including the one to the stadium, are closed to all vehicles except buses. Be sure to note your parking lot's number for your return. Shuttle buses will operate between parking lots and the stadium and, unless you choose to walk, are required for on campus transportation. Allow plenty of time after parking (we recommend 40 minutes) to travel by bus to the stadium. For more information, click here.
I have relatives who have never been to the campus before. How do they get directions?
To get driving directions to UMass, please visit this site.
Someone in our party is hearing impaired. What should we do?
Sign language or oral interpreters are available upon request. Call 413.545.0892 V/TTY or e-mail (with the subject line "Commencement Interpreter Request") email@example.com no later than April 17.
Someone in our party is handicapped. What should we do?
Please visit this site for essential information, Handicapped-Accessible Parking, Stadium Wheelchair Seating, On-Field Seating, and Sign or Oral Interpreters. Guests with documented disabilities who need handicapped-accessible parking must complete and submit an application form by Friday, April 23, 2010. The application is available on the website noted above.
I want to watch my son/daughter process. Where should I go?
You will be able to see your son/daughter from your seats when they enter Curry Hicks gym. They will then be seated in groups, according to their major program. You will also see your graduate shaking hands with various College officials after his/her name is called, and seated with fellow majors for the duration of the ceremony.
What happens after the celebration is over?
Students and faculty will leave the gym as a group, after which graduates and their families can meet outside of the gym. Many people find it helpful to arrange for a meeting place before the ceremony begins, to avoid confusion. Shuttle busses will be available until 4:00 to transport you to parking lots.
Be sure to visit http://umass.edu/commencement/2010/index.html for information of the main event in the morning as well as information about lodging, dining, driving to campus and more.