a student speaks with a professor at commencement

Commencement questions? Find your answers here.

When will the Commencement ceremony be held?

Commencement will be held on Friday, May 26, 2017.  The ceremony will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m.  Seating will open at 8:30 a.m.

Are tickets required for Commencement? Is there a limit on the number of guests I can invite?

To accommodate the increasing number of those wishing to attend the Wellesley College Commencement Ceremony, each senior will be assigned five (5) tickets for family members to sit under the tent on Severance Green Lawn.  Parents and guests of degree candidates must have tickets, which they are required to show for entry to the ceremony tent. Seating is General Admission.  Seats are offered on a first-come basis and cannot be reserved.  The sale of Commencement tickets is prohibited.  Graduates have been notified about picking up their tickets.

In addition to seating under the tent, there will be overflow (air conditioned) seating in Alumnae Hall for additional family members.  Other air-conditioned venues will also be available.  

Quick Links

Yearbook: Click here to purchase & enter code 13396
Graduation Caps and Gowns
Panoramic Class Photo
Class Rings, Diploma Frames, Announcements
Photo of Graduate receiving diploma
Order Flowers:  In advance on the website, or at the kiosk located near the ceremony
 

Volunteering for Commencement activities?

Student Ushers:  Our usher list is now full.  Residential Life staff will recommend student ushers to work with the Events Office team.  If you are interested in volunteering, you should contact your Resident Director to state your interest.  There are limited openings. You must be available Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of commencement week to assist with multiple tasks.

Staff Volunteers:  Our volunteer list is now full.  There are limited number of places for staff volunteers.  Please contact Lynne Payson if interested in volunteering.

Preparing for Weather?

Please take into consideration the ever-changing nature of New England Weather. The Commencement ceremony under the tent on Severance Green Lawn will continue rain or shine. In the event of rain, please be prepared to wear appropriate shoes and clothing. We also recommend bringing your own reusable water bottle to help reduce the use of disposable plastic bottles. This is particularly helpful in the case of a very warm day. There will be water stations set up at the ceremony.  

Where do I park?       

** College Road will be CLOSED to the public on Friday, May 26th.  Parking will be restricted and will only allow access to faculty, students and their families/guests on Friday, May 26th.  **

Parking attendants will guide families to several locations around campus.  Please be prepared to show your reservation, college ID, or ticket to the ceremony to the parking attendants.  Once you have arrived on campus via the Route 16 or Route 135 entrances and are on College Road, parking attendants will be available to help you find a parking space. A designated parking area will be provided for guests who require accessible parking and have the appropriate tag.  

Please take note of the lot you are parked in.  It is easy to forget which location you are parked in as many of the spaces are in fields.  

There will be transportation, both shuttle service and golf car service, from the parking areas to the ceremony and back to the parking areas.

Where may I take photographs?       

Wellesley College Campus is alive with beautiful plantings and gorgeous outdoor settings.  Throughout the Commencement activities, there will be many opportunities to take photographs.  Here are some of our favorite photo opportunities: 

Thursday Picnic Luncheon
Thursday Senior Class Photo
Thursday Procession to the Chapel for Baccalaureate
Thursday post Baccalaureate Reception
 
Friday during the ceremony we recommend that families stay at their seat and snap a photo of the Jumbo Screen showing their student processing and more fun candid shots that will appear on the viewing screens in all locations.  Because of security plans, family members will not be able to be close to the stage to take photos as students walk across the stage for the conferring of degrees.  Instead, to record this moment, the College hires a photographer for this event, and that person will take a professional photo of each student, as the President greets them.  That photo will be sent, compliments of the College, to the student after the ceremony. 
 
Friday post ceremony light lunch is a beautiful setting for gathering everyone together for celebratory photos.  

How do I obtain information about disability services during graduation activities and Commencement?

Students, faculty, staff, and guests requiring accommodations during graduation activities and Commencement should make requests as soon as possible,  no later than three weeks prior to Commencement.  To request accommodations for Commencement, you may use the online Disability Accommodation Request Form,  or Contact Disability Services at DisabilityServices@wellesley.edu. Please feel free to call 781-283-2434 if you have questions about any disability-related need. A Disability Access Campus Map  shows ramps and accessible entrances.  

Where do I purchase/reserve tickets for the Baccalaureate Day Picnic Lunch?   

Reservations are required for the picnic lunch at Tower Courtyard overlooking Lake Waban. There is no limit on the number of guest tickets. Please remember to include your graduating senior in your ticket count when you place your order. Tickets are $15.00 per person. You may reserve/order your tickets online or by emailing wellesleyfresh@wellesley.edu or by calling 781.283.2897.  Payment can be made by credit card or check. Reservations will not be accepted after Friday, May 19. Purchased tickets will be delivered to your student's Wellesley College unit mailbox address. 

Will there be food served after the Commencement ceremony?

Following Commencement, a complimentary light lunch and reception will be held for families and guests.  This event is not open to the public.  

What if my family cannot travel to Wellesley College?      

For family and friends who cannot travel to Wellesley, the ceremony will stream live online, viewable from any computer with Flash player (9 or higher) and a high-speed network connection, or an iPad.

How do I purchase my gown and tam?  

New and Recycled gowns are available.  Click here for more information.

The Herff-Jones representatives will be on campus in the Spring.  Dates will be announced by the Class Deans.

Pricing: Gowns $26,  Tams $34, Tassel $6 (optional)

The website for Herff-Jones is:  www.herffjones.com/college/wellesley

Questions:  Please e-mail Kelly Chilson, Class Dean’s Office at:  kchilson@wellesley.edu

Where can I order class rings or graduation announcements?    

Graduation announcements or class ring inquiries can be made with Herff-Jones at  www.herffjones.com/college/wellesley.  Herff-Jones will also be on Campus at the bookstore in the spring displaying ring samples and announcements.

Do I need to attend the Commencement rehearsal?

All graduating seniors must attend the Commencement rehearsal. Please do not invite guests. Attendance is required for the entire rehearsal. Rehearsal typically runs until 4:00 p.m. Requests for permission to be absent, for serious reasons only, should be submitted to your Senior Class Dean by Friday, May 19th.   Reminder: Commencement attire is NOT worn at rehearsal.

How do I get my diploma?   

Diplomas will be distributed immediately following the ceremony until 2:15 p.m. in the Clapp Library Main Reference Room. Graduates only (no families) should come to pick up their diploma. If you don't pick up your diploma on the day of Commencement, it will be mailed to you.

What if there is a Bursar's hold on my account?

You may be able to resolve the issue immediately. Go to the Student Financial Services office in Schneider Building, and if you pay your outstanding charges, you can come back to the Clapp Library Main Reference Room and get your diploma until 2:15 p.m. We encourage you to resolve any holds before Commencement day.

Can I purchase additional tickets for the Baccalaureate service?

Each graduating senior will be issued one complimentary guest ticket for the Baccalaureate service at Houghton Chapel. Seating is limited in the chapel.  No additional tickets may be purchased. Only seniors and guests with a ticket will be seated inside the Chapel.  Additional seating will be available in the tent adjacent to the Chapel with large visual monitors in place for viewing the ceremony. Please note: On Baccalaureate Day, if there are still seats available in the Chapel, staff members will inform the guests seated under the tent. Additional guest seating will be available on a first-come basis.

What activities are occurring during Senior Week?   

Senior Week is a week-long celebration held in the spring between the end of classes and before Commencement. For a listing of Senior Week events and/or if you have any questions, please contact the Class Council for the Class of 2017 at classof2017classcouncil_wcso@wellesley.edu.

Class of 2017 Yearbook Orders?   

Click here to purchase and enter code 13396.  Each yearbook is $100. (includes shipping within the U.S.). Ordering deadline is June 1.  The yearbook is published in the fall and shipped directly from the publisher.  All student organizations, sports, major events, senior portraits, and spring commencement festivities are featured.  Email Abigail Stevenson at asteven3@wellesley.edu with any questions.