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Commencement Guest Information

Guest Confirmation Information Sent by e-mail on May 10, 2021

Dear Commencement Guests, 

I hope this email finds you well and looking forward to Washington College’s 238th Commencement Exercises! I’m emailing you today because one of our graduates has registered you as one of their two guests to the ceremony. We look forward to welcoming you to campus, and we’re so happy you will be with us to celebrate this joyful occasion! 

First, a couple of reminders: 

  • Commencement will be held on Saturday, May 22 at 10:30 a.m. We will make every effort to host the event on this day. Please come prepared for any weather! If it is raining lightly, you will want to have a rain jacket and an umbrella. If it is sunny, you will want to have sunscreen, a hat, and a water bottle. Unless conditions are unsafe, we will hold the ceremony outside on Saturday, May 22. 
  • If conditions are unsafe due to weather on Saturday, we will move the ceremony to Sunday, May 23 at 10:30 a.m. 
  • If conditions are unsafe due to weather both days, we will have to move the ceremony inside and only the graduates will be permitted to attend in person. All others will be able to watch remotely at 
  • If a decision about weather needs to be made, we will make it by Thursday, May 20 in the afternoon. I will send an email, and the announcement will be posted on the homepage of the website. 
  • All guests must send in proof of a negative PCR COVID test done 72 hours prior to May 22 to Health Services ( by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 21. If we do not have record of your negative COVID test, we will not be able to issue you a ticket on the morning of commencement. This is in keeping with a plan approved by the Kent County Health Department that allows us to conduct this event in person. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.  
  • Here is the link to the Commencement COVID FAQs. Please review them for more COVID-specific information:  
  • Please remember that masks must be worn on campus at all times. 

Next, I want to walk you through what you can expect from your arrival on campus to your departure and provide as many details as I can about the day: 

  • Please enter campus through the College’s main entrance at Washington Avenue and Greenwood Avenue (see the attached Campus Map).  
  • Parking will be available in Parking Lot B, Parking Lot D, and behind the Western Shore Residence Halls, next to Rt. 291. Parking Lot C in front of the stadium will be closed for commencement check in. Event staff will be on hand throughout campus to direct you to available parking lots. 
  • If your graduate has indicated upon registering you as a guest that you require ADA parking, you will receive a separate email with instructions. 
  • Once parked, please make your way to Roy Kirby, Jr. Stadium where you will check in. Guest registration will open at 8:00 a.m.  
  • Guest check in tables will be organized by graduate last name.  
  • At check-in, staff will check your name off the attendance list, ask you to fill out a brief symptom attestation, and issue you a wristband.  
  • Once you have your wristband, you will be directed to the ticket tent where you will be issued your ticket with designated seat on it. If you are sitting with another person in a pod (two chairs together), please make sure that you go to the ticket table together to receive your seating assignment.  
  • If your graduate has indicated upon registering you that you require ADA seating/assistance, you will be issued a ticket that will allow you admittance to the ADA seating section of the guest seating. 
  • There will be restrooms available at Kirby Stadium should you need them. 
  • We will have bottled water at the stadium for guests, but if it is a particularly hot day, please also bring your own filled water bottle so that you stay hydrated! 
  • Once you have your ticket, you should make your way through campus to the Campus Lawn where the commencement ceremony will be held.  
  • Please keep in mind that the Campus Lawn is exactly that – a lawn! When choosing footwear for the day, please remember that you will be on grass (potentially wet grass!) for most of it.   
  • There will be one entry point to enter the seating area and one exit point. Please show your wristband and ticket to the staff at the entrance. There will be ushers throughout the seating area to offer assistance should you need it.  
  • You will find an event program on your chair. 
  • If you need the restroom before or during the ceremony, you will find them in William Smith Hall, Hodson Hall, or Kirby Stadium. These are the only buildings on campus that will be accessible. 
  • We will start the ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Please remain in your seats for the duration of the ceremony, including the processional.
  • The ceremony typically lasts about two hours and ends around 12:30 p.m. 
  • Following the ceremony, meet up with your graduate at a prearranged meeting place on campus for congratulatory hugs! 
  • Graduates will need to pick up their diplomas in Martha Washington Square by 2:30 p.m. 
  • To leave campus, please exit the same way you entered, by Washington Avenue and Greenwood Avenue. 

I know that’s a lot of information, but I want you to know what to expect so that you are not worrying about where to go and what to do on the morning of commencement and instead can focus on celebrating your graduate and the accomplishments of the Class of 2021! 

Please let me know if you have questions. Please also read through our commencement website, which has even more information and tips!  

Be sure to check out the Senior Spotlight! We’re so proud of our graduates!