Frequently Asked Questions



Do family members and guests need invitations or tickets to attend Commencement?

The Connecticut College Commencement exercises are held outdoors on Tempel Green. No invitation or ticket is required for this outdoor ceremony. If Commencement must be moved indoors to Palmer Auditorium, due to severe weather, guests will be required to present severe weather tickets. (See the question below regarding the Commencement severe weather plan.)

Where and how can Connecticut College Commencement invitations be purchased?

Students will each receive four (4) Commencement invitations in their college mailboxes following Spring Break. Please note that invitations are not required for the outdoor Commencement ceremony. If additional invitations are desired, please contact the Events Office, events@conncoll.edu.

Where and how can Connecticut College Commencement announcements be purchased?

Jostens, in conjunction with the Connecticut College Bookshop, will be selling personalized graduation announcement packages on their website. For additional information please refer to www.jostens.com. You may place orders directly on the Jostens website or by calling 800-854-7464. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Please note that Connecticut College does not determine Latin Honors until the week prior to Commencement so it is not possible to have this honor noted on announcements.

Where and how can Connecticut College Class Rings be purchased?

Jostens, in conjunction with the Connecticut College Bookshop, holds several on-campus ring dates throughout the academic year. For additional information please refer to http://college.jostens.com/jostens/index.jsp?affiliateId=1037097&flashOptOut=false. You may place orders directly on the Jostens website or by calling 800-854-7464. Please allow 4-5 weeks for delivery.

Where and when can students purchase their caps and gowns?

Caps and gowns for students graduating with a bachelor's degree will be available for purchase at the Connecticut College Bookshop beginning in April 2015. There is no need to pre-order. The student package consists of a sustainable gown made from recyclable materials and keeper cap with a navy and white tassel. 

Master's degree students may rent academic regalia from the Bookshop. Orders should be placed by mid-March. Doctoral regalia may also be rented. Place all rental orders before April to guarantee on-time delivery and to avoid shipping surcharges.

Questions? Email may be sent to bookshop@conncoll.edu or call 860-439-2375.

When and where does Baccalaureate take place?

Baccalaureate will be held on Saturday, May 16, at 4 p.m. in Palmer Auditorium. This interfaith service of prayers and reflections is an occasion for reminiscence and a form of collective thanksgiving that will include readings, music and song. No invitation or ticket is required to attend Baccalaureate.

What is the Friends and Family Gala?

To be held on Saturday May 16, 2014, this event is the culmination of the Senior Week activities sponsored and hosted by the Junior Laurel Chain and Usher Corps. Scheduled from 8 – 11 p.m. in the College Center at Crozier-Williams, all family members are welcome to attend and no invitations are necessary. It is a casual to business-casual dress code, after-dinner reception and one more opportunity for students to gather with friends, faculty and staff. Light refreshments and beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are provided and a variety of music is offered throughout the building. Stop in for a few minutes or stay for the duration. Enjoy!

When and how will students find out if they have been elected to Phi Beta Kappa?

Students will receive written notice of their election to Phi Beta Kappa through campus mail in April. They should read the letter of invitation very carefully, as they must affirmatively indicate their willingness to join the chapter and to participate in the initiation ceremony. The Phi Beta Kappa initiation ceremony will be conducted on Saturday, May 16 at 10 a.m. in Evans Hall of the Cummings Arts Center.

Will there be a photographer at Commencement to take pictures of each graduating senior?

The College has retained GradImages™ to take a candid photo of each senior. Prior to the ceremony you may register your permanent email address at www.gradimages.com. After the ceremony proofs will be posted on the Internet and mailed to graduates within one week after the ceremony. You may select from a variety of photo packages, place orders, and obtain answers to questions at www.gradimages.com or by calling 800-261-2576.

Are there flowers that can be purchased for the graduates?

Fresh flowers will be available for purchase at the Connecticut College Commencement Ceremony. Commencement Flowers will also be offering a commemorative 2015 class T-shirt. You may browse available products to pre-purchase and reserve your flowers or t-shirts ahead of time at  www.commencementflowers.com/index.php/connecticutcollege

Will there be special parking for individuals with disabilities or health concerns?

If you, or a family member, have special needs, please stop at the gatehouse upon entering campus and you will be directed to special parking. If you wish to reserve a wheelchair, please call the Office of Events and Catering at 860-439-5462 by Monday, May 4, 2015.

If you have concerns about hearing the ceremony, what are your options?

Assistive listening devices for people with hearing impairments are available. They can be found at the Commencement information tent near Palmer Auditorium. Additionally there is a sign language interpreter for the duration of the ceremony. They are located on the Green to the right of the platform party tent but can also be requested at the handicapped seating area if preferred.

What time should I arrive on Tempel Green for Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 17?

The Commencement processional begins at 10:30 a.m. Plan to arrive at Tempel Green no later than 10 a.m. A luncheon will be served immediately following the Commencement ceremonies and will be a short walk from the event.

Can I reserve seats for my family on Tempel Green?

Students and their families may label chairs on Tempel Green no earlier than 7:30 a.m. Sunday, May 17. Any signs posted prior to this will be removed by the Facilities Management crew setting up the Green.

How long does the Commencement ceremony last?

Commencement generally lasts 2 1/2 hours.

Is everyone (family members, friends, etc.) invited to attend the luncheon on Sunday, May 17?

Connecticut College cordially invites all of our Commencement guests to attend the luncheon that follows the ceremonies on Tempel Green.

Is there a listing of area hotels to stay at as well as a listing of area restaurants?

The Mystic & More website contains a listing of hotels in our area as well as a list of restaurants at www.mysticmore.com.

Are meals and snacks available for purchase on campus during Commencement Weekend?

Jazzman's Café at Ruane's Den will be open within Harkness Hall on Tempel Green Sunday May 17, 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. In addition to the complimentary post-Commencement luncheon on Sunday, May 17, Connecticut College Dining Services has set the following hours for other facilities:

- Oasis Snack Shop, located in the College Center at Crozier-Williams, will be open Saturday, May 16 from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- On Sunday, May 17, Oasis will be open for cash sales from 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
- Harris Dining Hall will be open Saturday for breakfast/lunch from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. with a modified dinner menu.
- Sunday, May 17 Harris will be open for breakfast from 8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. and offer dinner from 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. Per person guest meal rates are: $5 breakfast, $7.25 brunch/lunch/modified dinner.

What happens in the event of inclement weather?

It is important to remember that we will try to hold the Commencement exercises outside under most circumstances (if raining, bring rain gear) and no tickets are needed for an outdoor ceremony. However, if the weather is deemed dangerous and severe, the ceremony will be moved indoors to Palmer Auditorium. Due to limited seating in the auditorium, each student will receive two (2) severe weather tickets. Seniors must pick up these tickets on Friday, May 15 in the College Center at Crozier-Williams room 217 between the hours of 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., regardless of the weather forecast. Tickets will not be issued after 4 p.m. on Friday, May 15. Seniors who are unable to pick up their tickets themselves may send a friend with written permission from the absent senior. If a family member/guest does not have a ticket, he/she will not be allowed into Palmer Auditorium. Commencement ceremony will be streamed live via the Internet and viewing will be available in the following locations: Cummings Arts Center (Evans Hall and Oliva Hall), F.W. Olin Science Center (Room 014), Blaustein Humanities Center (classrooms 203 and 210), and College Center at Crozier-Williams (1962 Room and 1941 Room). The ceremony is also available on the Web, viewable with any portable device.

Please note that internal viewing will be available on Commencement Sunday in Blaustein Humanities Center regardless of the weather.

What time do students need to move out of their residence halls?

Graduating seniors must vacate their rooms no later than 10 p.m. on Sunday, May 17.

Where should guests park for Commencement Weekend activities?

Please be aware that parking will be tight on campus during Commencement Weekend. Guests may park on campus in the south lot, the north lot and at the Athletic Center. While parking restrictions designating spaces for faculty, staff and students will not apply on Saturday, May 16 and Sunday, May 17, guests may not park in handicapped designated spots without appropriate vehicle tags. Families are strongly encouraged to carpool from their homes or hotels to reduce the number of cars to be parked on campus.

Can seniors host private parties on campus with families and friends?

Connecticut College recognizes the desire of its graduating seniors to celebrate with family and friends during Commencement Weekend. In order to balance this desire with the College's need to devote its resources to the "official" weekend events, a policy has been developed regarding private party requests from students. View the Private Parties Policy.