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Commencement Information

Washington College's 238th Commencement Exercises for the Class of 2021 is scheduled for SATURDAY, MAY 22, at 10:30 A.M. with a RAINDATE of SUNDAY, MAY 23. Please check back for more information as it develops. We will keep this page updated with announcements and important communications throughout the weeks ahead.

Check out our Commencement 2021 Highlight Reel! Congratulations, again to the Class of 2021!

Senior Awards Program

2021 Commencement Program

Email about Graduate Testing

This e-mail was sent to students on April 29, 2021 from Gina Ralston

Dear Class of 2021, 

I hope you’re well! This morning’s email is all about testing and attesting! The goal of this email is to provide clear and detailed information all in one place about the graduate COVID testing requirements for commencement and about the attestation/Emocha requirements for commencement week.  

This information and more is on the commencement website:, and we’re updating it frequently with new information and details. Check back often! 

COVID Testing Requirements for Graduates: 

As you already know, all students participating in commencement in-person must have proof of a negative PCR COVID test completed 72 hours prior to commencement. Even if you are fully vaccinated, you must undergo COVID testing to participate in the commencement rehearsal (Friday, May 20 at 1:00 p.m.) and in the commencement ceremony (Saturday, May 22 at 10:30 a.m. – rain date: Sunday, May 23 at 10:30 a.m.) If you intend to participate in commencement in-person, you must attend the in-person rehearsal. 

Students already in the Washington College COVID testing program and those requesting housing on campus for commencement week will participate in the Wednesday, May 19 on-campus COVID surveillance testing protocol. 

For those students already enrolled in the Washington College testing program, Health Services will reach out to you to schedule your May 19 COVID testing time. 

Those students who are not currently enrolled in the Washington College testing program and who have requested housing on campus for a portion of commencement week should email prior to May 14 and let them know that they will be arriving on Tuesday and need to enroll in the Wednesday testing.  

All students arriving on campus after the final testing appointment (4:30 p.m.) on May 19 must have proof of a negative PCR COVID test in the 72 hours prior to their arrival on campus and submit that proof to Health Services no later than May 21 at 4:00 p.m.   

If you have already filled out a housing request, and you would like to modify your arrival date in order to be on campus for the May 19 testing, please email Carol Landis – 

COVID Symptom Attestation for Graduates: 

Students who have been on campus this semester and are enrolled in the Emocha attestation app will be required to continue attesting on Emocha each day during commencement week. To participate in any commencement week events, including commencement rehearsal and the commencement ceremony, they must show three consecutive green badges in their app. 

Students who have not been accessing campus this semester but who will be living on campus for a portion of commencement week will be required to complete a paper symptom attestation form for each event they attend, including commencement rehearsal and the commencement ceremony. These paper forms will be provided at each event. 

That’s it! Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for everything you are doing to mitigate risk and ensure that we will be able to conduct the College’s 238th Commencement Exercises in person. 


Guest Registration Now Available

The due date for registering guests is Monday, May 3. 

Each graduate may register two guests to attend the commencement ceremony. You will need the following information to register your guests: 

  • First and last names
  • Phone numbers 
  • Email addresses 

If your guests will need disability-related accommodations, please indicate this on the form when you register them. 

Guest registrations are not transferrable. If graduate A is not attending commencement, and graduate B is attending, graduate B may not use graduate A’s guest registrations. With all of the COVID restrictions, space limitations, and information we have to gather in advance, we have to limit each in-person graduate to two guests regardless of how many graduates attend in person. Thank you for understanding! 

This registration process is being handled through CampusGroups. We have tagged all graduates in CampusGroups who have RSVPed to the Office of Student Records and Registration that they will attend commencement in person. If you have not RSVPed, you will not have access to the guest registration form. To RSVP for yourself for commencement, please respond to the Commencement RSVP email from the Office of Student Records and Registration. If you think you have not received the RSVP email, please email with Commencement RSVP in the subject line. Once you have RSVPed for yourself, we will tag you in CampusGroups for the guest registration, and you will be able to register your guests. If you do not have access to log into CampusGroups with your WC email and password, please email Carol Landis (  

You may also directly access the registration RSVP form here:

Important Update from Provost Harvey

Please click here for the PDF version of the e-mail.

Commencement COVID FAQs

March 25, 2021

Dear Class of 2021 and families,

It’s been quite a year, and I want to thank you for your patience as we have weighed our options for the College’s 238th Commencement Exercises. After many discussions internally and after consultation with the Kent County Health Department, we are pleased to announce our plans to hold an in-person commencement, celebrating the accomplishments of the Class of 2021.

Please note as well that we will still include in a meaningful way any 2021 graduates who don’t feel comfortable participating in an in-person celebration. 

While we are working out specifics, we wanted to share with you as much information as we can so that you know what to expect and how to plan. We will send multiple follow-up communications as we fine tune plans and procedures.

We are updating our commencement webpage with all of the most up-to-date information- Please check back to this site often!


With Governor Larry Hogan’s announcement on March 9 lifting capacity restrictions on indoor and outdoor venues, we are able to announce that we will be holding commencement in-person for our graduates and some guests. (Waiting to make a final decision has paid off!) We have been unsure of our ability to allow guests, and we are now moving forward with plans to allow each graduate to invite and register two guests to attend the outdoor ceremony. This is not something we thought would be possible even just a month ago, and we are so excited to allow limited numbers of friends and families to celebrate with us in-person. We will, of course, live stream the event for any family and friends who cannot attend in-person. Unfortunately, because of the capacity restriction, we will not be able to have the usual presence of faculty at commencement, either on the platform or in the audience. 


Our next big announcement is that we will be holding commencement on Saturday, May 22, reserving Sunday, May 23 as the rain date. As a safety measure, we need to make every effort to hold this event outside. In the event commencement has to move indoors due to inclement weather, graduates will attend in person, but no guests will be permitted to attend. We want to make every effort to hold commencement outdoors so that guests may attend.


In the coming week, the Office of Student Records and Registration will send out an RSVP link to all graduates asking them to let us know whether or not they wish to participate in the in-person commencement. The due date to complete this form will be April 16. Once this date has passed, we will consider those decisions to be final. If we do not hear from a graduate, we will do everything we can to contact them. If we do not hear back, we will assume they do not wish to participate and will be considered in absentia. Please be on the lookout for that email. We will send numerous reminders prior to the due date. 


All graduates planning to participate in commencement in person will be required to have a PCR COVID test, administered by Washington College Health Services on campus, on Wednesday, May 19. Anyone with a positive test result will not be permitted to participate in commencement. Graduates planning to participate in the in-person commencement who are not currently on campus or in the Chestertown area and cannot make it to campus on May 19, can submit proof to Health Services of a negative PCR COVID test no more than 72 hours prior to May 22.


Guests will be required to send in proof of a negative PCR COVID test no more than 72 hours prior to May 22. Guests who have been vaccinated still must send proof of a negative COVID test. Please be on the lookout for information on how to submit those results.


Graduates will be responsible for registering their two guests in CampusGroups. A registration link will be emailed to all graduates in the coming weeks. 


Upon arrival to campus, all guests will check in at Roy Kirby, Jr. Stadium before making their way to the Campus Lawn where the ceremony will be held. At check-in, all guests will complete a symptom attestation with a temperature check before being issued a ticket. Each ticket will show an assigned seat on it. We will distribute tickets for seats closest to the stage first. Tickets will be distributed on a first come first served basis.

All guest chairs will be set up in pairs with six feet of distance between each pair.


We will have a designated section of ADA seating for registered guests with mobility concerns or those requiring sight line seating. To request ADA seating, in addition to registering this guest when guest registration is open, please email


Students coming to campus to participate in commencement in person will pick up their regalia and honor regalia at commencement rehearsal. We will ship all regalia and honor regalia to graduates who do not wish to participate in commencement in person. Please stay tuned for more details!


We are still working on a full schedule of events. Commencement week for graduates will include the Senior Awards Ceremony, a commencement rehearsal, and the Sophie Kerr Prize Announcement. Please stay tuned to the commencement website ( for schedule updates!


All graduates currently living on campus will remain on campus through commencement. Any graduates not currently living on campus or in the local community (Chestertown and surrounding areas) are invited to request a room in a residence hall on campus for a portion of commencement week. We are working on a registration form for graduates to request housing, and we will communicate more details in the coming weeks. Housing for graduates is not limited, so rest assured that any graduate that needs housing in order to participate in commencement activities in-person will be able to sign up for it! There will be no cost associated with this housing. 


We regret that we are not able to house commencement guests in our residence halls this year. 


Meals in the dining hall for graduates that are currently living on campus will continue to be covered through commencement under their respective meal plans. All graduates moving to campus for commencement week will be able to pay a special rate for meals in the Dining Hall.

Again, thank you for your patience as we have finalized our commencement plan. Please stay tuned to the commencement website and to your email for updates. I look forward to celebrating the Class of 2021 in-person on May 22!


Michael Harvey
Interim Dean and Provost



Further Information

For further information please read through the General Information and Schedule (coming soon) pages or contact the Campus Events Office:
Phone: (410) 778-7888 or email

The Office of Records and Registration will provide a checklist that will help guide students through their responsibilities leading up to Commencement day. Students can also find information on general graduation requirements and policies on the their Graduation Requirements page.

Most of all, we hope you will find that the Commencement Weekend activities create a wonderful environment in which to celebrate and enjoy this achievement with your graduate – congratulations!


Previous Updates

Please read the e-mails sent to students and parents regarding the May 2021 graduation ceremony here:

Letter to Students intending to graduate in May 2021

Letter to Parents and Friends of the Class of 2021

Graduation applicates were due on October, 23, 2020. If you did not complete the graduation application, please contact immediately.

Caps and gown orders should be placed by February 25th, 2021 through Oak Hall's website: Payment for regalia is not needed, as it is billed as part of the college's graduation fee. All regalia will be mailed to the college to be distributed.