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 31, 2019.  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?

Tickets will not be required for the ceremony in 2019.  There should be adequate seating to accommodate your guests.  Additionally, there are air conditioned venues available in Jewett Auditorium, Collins Cinema, and Pendleton Hall.

Quick Links

Yearbook: Visit the website to purchase & enter code 13396
Graduation Caps and Gowns
Panoramic Class Photo
Class Rings, Diploma Frames, Announcements  See also the Wellesley College Bookstore for gift ideas.
Photo of Graduate receiving diploma. A photo of each student receiving their diploma will be sent, compliments of the College, to each graduate. In June or early July, you will receive a code to enter at this website to view all photos available to each graduate should you want to place additional orders..
Order Flowers in advance or at the kiosk located near the ceremony

Volunteering for Commencement activities?

Student Ushers:  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.  Names will be added to the list in April.

Staff Volunteers:  We welcome 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.  

Parking arrangements?       

Parking attendants will guide families to several locations around campus.  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: 

Senior Week activities
Thursday Senior Class Photo
Thursday Procession to the Chapel for Baccalaureate
Thursday post Baccalaureate Reception
Friday pre ceremony and post ceremony
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.  Family members should not approach the stage to take photos as students walk across the stage for the conferring of degrees.  There is a professional photographer for this event, and that person will take a  photo of each student, as the President greets them.  
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.  You may reserve/order your tickets online until May 28. After that date, you may email wellesleyfresh@wellesley.edu or by calling 781.283.2897.  Payment can be made by credit card or check. Reservations will not be accepted less than seven days prior to the cermony.  

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.

Obtaining a travel visa for family members to visit from other countries?

If you would like to invite your family members to visit the United States while you are here, they may need to apply for a B-1/B-2 tourist visa at the American Embassy in their home country.  Click here for more information.

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: (2018) Gowns $26,  Tams $34, Tassel $6 (optional)

The website for Herff-Jones is:  www.herffjones.com/college/wellesley
Questions:  Please e-mail Susan Wood, Class Dean’s Office at:  swood7@wellesley.edu or 781-283-2325.

Where can I order class rings, diploma frames, or graduation announcements?   

Graduation announcements or class ring inquiries can be made with Herff-Jones at  www.herffjones.com/college/wellesley.  

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 17th.   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 2018.

Class of 2018 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.