When is Commencement?
Commencement will be held on Thursday, May 20 at 3 p.m.
Why was the date moved from Sunday to Thursday?
We chose an earlier date to help reduce the potential spread of the virus before students leave campus.
May I invite guests this year?
Each senior will be able to invite two family members or guests to attend the ceremony in person. You may not invite any guests beyond the two allotted to you for Commencement.
When can seniors register their two guests?
You must register your two guests using this form no later than April 19. This information is critical to developing our Commencement plans, particularly our testing protocols. When you complete the guest registration form, please note whether your guests will need a Binax Rapid Result Test upon arrival, as these tests need to be ordered in advance. It will be critically important that all guests have an appointment to check in at the Testing Center in order to avoid long wait times.
What is the procedure for guests to gain access to campus?
Guests will first need to go to the Testing Center at the Athletic Center between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and noon at their appointment time. All guests will then need to verify one of the following:
Vaccination Based Access
Show proof of being fully vaccinated, which means being two weeks past their second Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna shot or one week past the Johnson & Johnson shot.
Test Based Access
Show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from within 72 hours of arrival on campus on Thursday, May 20. If guests are unable to access a COVID-19 PCR test and get the result within 72 hours of arrival, they may request a Binax Rapid Result Test at the Testing Center on Thursday, May 20. These tests will be available onsite at no cost.
Recent COVID-19 Diagnosis Based Access
Show proof of being within 90 days of being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Once the verification process is complete, each guest will receive a color-coded lanyard that signifies if they are attending the ceremony. One of the lanyards will signify that the guest is permitted to enter the residence hall to assist with the move-out process.
When can guests access Tempel Green for seating?
Guests will be able to find seats on Tempel Green between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tempel Green will not be accessible before 1 p.m. The ceremony procession will begin at 2:15 p.m. We would ask that all guests stay seated from the start of the procession through the entire ceremony.
What is the procedure for parents/guardians to attend the ceremony?
We are working with state and local health officials, as well as with Hartford HealthCare, to create a plan that follows current guidelines for large events, including accommodating everyone in a socially distant way. We are also developing expectations for all guests who will be attending, including verification of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result upon arrival to campus. This PCR test result needs to be within 72 hours of arrival on campus on Thursday, May 20. More details will be communicated in the coming weeks.
Will guests need to be vaccinated before coming to the Commencement ceremony?
No, guests will not need to be vaccinated before coming to the ceremony, but we will be expecting a negative COVID-19 PCR test.
May guests participate in the senior celebration activities before Commencement?
To keep our community healthy and safe, guests may not participate in any activities except for Commencement on Thursday, May 20.
Are accommodations available on campus for guests?
To keep our community healthy and safe, we cannot accommodate guests on campus. However, guests are welcome to visit this webpage to see available hotels in the area.
What is the procedure for remote seniors who want to attend Commencement in person?
There are two ways for remote seniors to participate in Commencement. They may choose to onboard on Thursday for the ceremony only, showing proof of a negative COVID test. Or, if they want to participate in senior celebrations from Monday through Thursday of Commencement week, they may arrive on campus Sunday, May 9 for an 8-day onboarding quarantine and regular testing including, daily testing in the days before Commencement.
Are on-campus faculty and staff invited to Commencement?
Yes. Faculty and staff who are already part of the College’s testing program need to test on Monday, May 17 or Tuesday, May 18. When faculty and staff test on one of these days, they will be given a lanyard that will be their credential to access Tempel Green for the May 20 ceremony.
Can remote faculty and staff attend Commencement?
Yes. Faculty and staff not currently in the College’s testing program will need to come to campus on Monday, May 17 or Tuesday, May 18 to be tested. This test is required even if an individual is fully vaccinated, as at the moment, we are still testing all employees even if they are vaccinated. If a faculty or staff member that is not in the testing program has had COVID-19 within 90 days, they do not need to be tested, but do need to go to the Testing Center and show documentation of their confirmed COVID-19 positive test or diagnosis. When faculty and staff go to the Testing Center on one of these days, they will be given a lanyard that will be their credential to access Tempel Green.
Will childcare be provided for guests?
Unfortunately, we are unable to offer childcare for guests. If guests would like to include a child as one of the two tickets allowed per student, that is fine.
What are the senior celebration events this year?
During the day on Tuesday and Wednesday, there will be a series of events to celebrate your academic and cocurricular accomplishments. More information will be shared in the coming weeks. There will also be three evening celebrations:
- Monday, May 17–Senior Toast on Chapel Green
- Tuesday, May 18–Pub Night in the Arboretum
- Wednesday, May 19–Lily Pad in the Arboretum
What time do students need to move out of their residence halls?
Graduating seniors need to vacate their residence halls no later than 10 p.m. Thursday, May 20. If a student needs to delay departure, they may request an extension by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can guests help students move out?
Guests will be permitted on campus during the morning hours and after Commencement to help students pack their belongings. One guest per student will be allowed in the residence hall.
What are the safety protocols during the Commencement ceremonies?
Please keep in mind that the College’s safety protocols will continue. All participants must wear masks at all times unless actively eating or drinking, and everyone must adhere to our social distancing protocols by maintaining a six foot distance from each other (seniors and others who are part of the College’s testing protocol may be three feet apart outside). Seating on Tempel Green will be arranged in a socially distant way.
Will food be available during Commencement?
On Commencement day, students (no guests) will have access to a brunch and dinner in Harris. Guests and students are free to eat in the New London area before and after the Commencement ceremony. Families may also choose to take a picnic to the Arboretum, but not on the main campus.
What are the safety protocols during the Commencement ceremonies?
Conn’s safety protocols will not change. All participants must wear masks at all times unless actively eating or drinking, and everyone must adhere to our social distancing protocols by maintaining a six feet distance from each other. Seating on Tempel Green will be arranged in a socially distant way to follow state guidelines for large events.
What time should students check in for Commencement?
Check-in will begin at 1 p.m. on the Shain Library patio. All students must be checked in by 2 p.m.
How long does the Commencement ceremony last?
We anticipate that the Commencement ceremony will last 2 hours.
Do students have to keep their masks on when they receive their diploma cover?
Yes. Masks should be worn at all times, including when you receive your diploma cover. You will have an opportunity to take off your mask for your formal picture with the College's photographer upon departing the stage.
Will pets be allowed on campus?
Unfortunately, we will not be allowing pets on campus for this year’s ceremony.
Will Commencement be livestreamed?
Yes. We will livestream the ceremony so that your family and friends can watch from afar. We will also record the event so that you can watch it at a later date.
How will students provide their name pronunciation to Commencement staff?
All seniors should call 860-439-2361 and speak their name slowly and exactly how they would like it repeated at Commencement. Seniors may also stop by the Grad Fair on Larrabee Green on April 27 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to provide their name pronunciation directly to College Marshal Marc Forster.
Will there be a photographer at Commencement to take pictures of each graduating senior?
Yes. GradImages™ will take photos of each senior, including the handshake on stage as well as one with the College flag. Prior to the ceremony you may register your permanent email address at www.gradimages.com. (Click on the Pre-Event Registration tab) and receive a coupon code for 20 percent off a purchase of $50 or more. After the ceremony, proofs will be posted at www.gradimages.com and each graduate will receive a personalized email and proof mailer 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 call 800-261-2576 or send an email to email@example.com.
Please keep in mind that guests are asked to stay in their seats for the duration of the ceremony. There will, however, be opportunities to take pictures following the ceremony.
When will guests receive Connecticut College Commencement invitations?
Each registered guest will be sent one (1) Commencement invitation starting the week of April 26th. Please note that each graduate is limited to two guests. The printed invitation is not required to attend the ceremony.
Will graduate lawn signs be available this year?
Yes. Our printing partner, Copy Cats of New London, is again offering the opportunity for students and families to order signs congratulating Conn grads. The signs are available in a number of designs and names and/or photos can be incorporated. If interested in ordering a sign, please go to the Copy Cats website. Signs are available for $15 each plus any additional costs for shipping. Expedited shipping also is available for an additional cost. For those living outside of the United States or who would prefer to post a digital sign on social media, you may download signs directly from this website.
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. You may place orders directly on the Jostens website or call 800-854-7464. Please allow two to three weeks for delivery. Note: 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, is the preferred vendor for college rings. For additional information, please refer to the Jostens website. You may place orders directly on the Jostens website or call 800-854-7464. Please allow four to five 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 to pre-ordered at the Conn College Bookshop. Online orders are due by March 31, 2021. While there is no need to pre-order, it is recommended. Payment is due when the gowns are picked up in the campus Bookshop starting in April. By the third week in April, gowns will also be available to purchase in the bookshop for anyone who did not pre-order. The price for the student package, which consists of a sustainable gown made from recycled materials and cap with a navy and white tassel, is $48. Pieces may be purchased separately.
Questions? Email store manager Deborah Silvers at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-439-2377.
Please note: the bookstore will be open May 20 from 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Please follow all masking and social distancing protocols while in the bookstore.
When and how will students be notified of Latin Honors?
Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude honors are printed on student diplomas. Students are not notified ahead of time and there is no cord presented to them.
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 Sunday evening, May 9, at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom.
When will students receive their diplomas?
The College is making arrangements for diplomas to be mailed to students directly by our diploma vendor. This mailing will take place in June, once diplomas have been printed. Students must confirm their mailing addresses no later than Friday, May 7. Students may do so by logging into CamelWeb, selecting the menu icon in the header and then choose “My Contact Info” from the Account section.
When and where does Baccalaureate take place?
Baccalaureate will be held on Tuesday, May 18, at 4 p.m. on the Harkness Chapel steps. This Multi-Faith service of performances, prayers and reflections is an occasion for reminiscence and celebration. No invitation or ticket is required to attend Baccalaureate, but attendees will be required to wear masks and socially distance from others.
Will there be special parking for individuals with disabilities or health concerns?
If you, or a family member or guest, 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 email Events@conncoll.edu by Monday, May 3, 2021.