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

A: 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.) 

Q: Where and how can Connecticut College Commencement invitations be purchased?

A:  Each student will receive four (4) Commencement invitations in his/her college mailbox following Spring Break.  Please note that invitations are not required to attend the Commencement ceremony.  If additional invitations are desired, please contact the Events Office, events@conncoll.edu or stop in at room 219 in The College Center at Crozier Williams.

Q: Where and how can Connecticut College Commencement announcements be purchased?

A: 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.

Q: Where and how can Connecticut College class rings be purchased?

A:  Jostens, in conjunction with the Connecticut College Bookshop, holds several on-campus ring dates throughout the academic year.  For additional information visit the Josten website.  You may place orders directly on the Jostens website or by calling 800-854-7464.  Jostens will be on campus April 24 for Over the Hump Day.  Please allow 4-5 weeks for delivery.

Q: Where and when can students purchase their caps and gowns?

A:  Caps and gowns for students graduating with a bachelor’s degree will be available for purchase at the Connecticut College Bookshop.  Gowns may be pre-ordered beginning February 5 through March 26, 2019.  While there is no need to pre-order, web ordering is recommended.  Gowns will be in the bookshop by February 12 if you need to check sizing.  Starting April 25th with Over the Hump Day gowns will also be available to purchase for anyone who did not pre-order.  The price for the student package consisting of a sustainable gown made from recyclable materials and keeper cap with a navy and white tassel is $47.08.  Pieces may be purchased separately:  gown $32.83, cap $8.58, tassel $5.67

Questions?  Email may be sent to bookshop@conncoll.edu or call 860-439-2377.

Additionally, please note that the bookshop will be open on Saturday, May 18, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and on Commencement Sunday, May 19, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Q: When and where does Baccalaureate take place?

A: Baccalaureate will be held on Saturday, May 18, 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. No invitation or ticket is required to attend Baccalaureate. Students are asked to wear their graduation robes and their processional begins at 3:40 p.m.

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

A:  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 morning, May 18 at 10 a.m. in Evans Hall of the Cummings Arts Center.

Q: When and how will students be notified of Latin Honors?

A:  Cum laude, Magna cum laude and Summa cum laude honors are listed in the Commencement program.  Students are not notified ahead of time and there is no cord presented to them. 

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

A:  The College has retained GradImages to take a candid photo of each senior.  Prior to the ceremony, you may pre-register your permanent email address at GradImages. By pre-registering, you will automatically receive a coupon code for 20% off.   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 GradImages or by calling 800-261-2576 or send an email to giservice@gradimages.net

Q: Are there flowers that can be purchased for the graduates?

A:  Fresh flowers will be available for purchase at the Connecticut College Commencement Ceremony. Commencement Flowers will also be offering a commemorative 2019 class t-shirt. You may browse available products to pre-purchase and reserve your flowers or t-shirts ahead of time. 

Q: Will there be special parking for individuals with disabilities or health concerns? Where can I find accessible bathrooms? 

A:  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 860-439-5356 by Monday, May 6, 2019. Accessible bathrooms are located in New London Hall and Palmer Auditorium. Learn more about campus accessibility.

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

A:  Assistive listening devices for people with hearing impairments are available for internal viewing in Evans Hall.  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.  Commencement is also live-streamed so earbuds with a personal cell phone is a possible solution. 

Q: What time should I arrive on Tempel Green for Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 19?

A:  The Commencement processional begins at 10:30 a.m.  Plan to arrive at Tempel Green no later than 10:00 a.m.  A luncheon will be served immediately following the Commencement ceremonies and will be a short walk from the event in the Harris Refectory and the lawn behind Harris.

Q: Can I reserve seats for my family on Tempel Green?

A: Students and their families may label chairs on Tempel Green no earlier than 7:30 a.m. Sunday, May 19.  Any signs posted prior to this will be removed by the Facilities Management crew setting up the green.

Q. How long does the Commencement ceremony last?

A. Commencement generally lasts 2 1/2 hours.

Q. Who is invited to attend the luncheon on Sunday, May 19?

A. Immediately following the ceremony, Connecticut College cordially invites all of our Commencement guests to the luncheon.

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

A. The Mystic & More website contains a listing of hotels in our area as well as a list of restaurants.

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

A. In addition to the complimentary post-Commencement luncheon on Sunday, May 19, Connecticut College Dining Services has set the following hours for other facilities: 

The Oasis Snack Shop, located in the College Center at Crozier-Williams, will be open Saturday, May 18 from 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. On Sunday, May 19, the Oasis will be open for cash sales from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.  

Harris Dining Hall will be open Saturday, May 18 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 19 Harris will be open for breakfast from 7:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. and offer a modified dinner menu from 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.  Per person guest meal rates are:  $5.50 breakfast, $7.50 brunch/lunch/modified dinner.

Q. What happens in the event of rain or inclement weather?

A.  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.  There are no exceptions to this policy. 

Seniors must pick up these tickets on Friday, May 18 in the College Center at Crozier-Williams room 219 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 17. 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. The 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) and the Blaustein Humanities Center (classrooms 203 and 210). The ceremony is also available on the web, viewable with any portable device.

Please note that internal viewing will be available on Commencement Sunday, May 19 in Blaustein Humanities Center room 203 And in Cummings Arts Center Evans Hall regardless of the weather. 

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

A. Graduating seniors must vacate their rooms no later than 10 p.m. on Sunday, May 19.

Q. Where should guests park for Commencement Weekend activities?

A.  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 18 and Sunday, May 19, 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.

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

A.  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.