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Commencement

Washington College's 241st Commencement Exercises. Sunday, May 19, 2024 - 10:00 a.m

 

Information For Commencement

Caps and gowns should be ordered through Oak Hall's website. Students do not pay for cap and gown, it is paid for as part of the graduation fee which is billed in March. Deadline to order is April 11, 2024. Caps and gowns are distributed to students on the rehearsal the Friday before Commencement.

Befitting this formal occasion, all graduates must wear the College-approved academic regalia in order to participate in Commencement exercises. This regalia includes a black cap and gown complemented by a maroon and white hood. For the commencement ceremony, students may wear cords or stoles that indicate their participation in a Washington College-recognized organization or activity, in addition to approved honor society pins or philanthropy cords. Only these cords or stoles may be worn; no other decorations or accessories, including decorations to graduation caps, are permitted. If you are unsure whether an item is approved, please contact the Registrar’s Office at [email protected].

In keeping with the George Goes Green initiative, the regalia worn by students will be made from 100% recycled products and are for students to keep following the ceremony.

A list of area accommodations can be found on our Local Accommodations website. Some area hotels may have a “Commencement” rate. Please call them directly to inquire and make the necessary arrangements. You may also check the Kent County Lodging page for other accommodation options. As a campus, we are offering the families of graduates to stay on campus in the unused dorms. Please visit the Graduate Family Housing registration (coming soon)  for more information and to book your room(s).

There is no reserved seating at Commencement. If you expect to need assistance, call the Campus Events Office at (410) 778-7743 in advance.

No tickets are required if the Commencement is held outside. There is no limit to the number of guests you may bring. If poor weather conditions prevail and Commencement exercises are moved indoors, each guest must produce a ticket to gain entry to the Johnson Fitness Center. A rain call will be made by the Friday before commencement at 4pm.

Please note ticket information is subject to change.

ADA Seating (Outdoor Ceremony): Accessible seating areas will be set aside to accommodate guests with disabilities and one companion. Seating in these areas is general and unreserved. Wheelchair spaces with companion seating are also dispersed throughout the Commencement site’s general seating area. Please note that all seating areas are in the grass. Washington College does not provide wheelchairs. Ushers will help guide individuals to the designated ADA area.

ADA Access for Restrooms (Outdoor Ceremony): Restrooms at the outdoor Commencement ceremony are available in William Smith Hall. For ADA Access, please use the rear of the building to access the elevators on the ground floor. All Gender restroom's are available on the ground level and 1st floor; Women’s restrooms are available on the 2nd floor; Men’s restrooms are available on the 3rd floor. Additional directional signs will be displayed. 

ASL Interpretation Services: There will be a sign-language interpreter at the Commencement ceremony. If you need direct sightline seating, please contact the Campus Events Office at (410) 778-7743 by May 14.

Simulcast information, Captioning and ADA access (Outdoor Ceremony): Simulcast with captions are available via our streaming site and in William Smith Hall in Room 113 and Norman James Theatre, both rooms are located on the 1st floor. ADA access to the 1st floor is via the ground floor through the rear of the building (Help Desk entrance) by use of the elevator. Please note that Norman James Theatre is a sloped space.

ADA Parking (Outdoor Ceremony): Parking near the ceremony is limited. If your car has an accessible parking tag, you will be directed to drop-off guests with disabilities behind William Smith Hall and park in the nearest accessible parking space. There will be some reserved accessible parking and an easy drop-off area for guests with disabilities near the seating area. Courtesy carts and shuttles will be available to assist family members from parking areas to event venues. Designated areas near the Public Safety officers will be present at the location to help direct traffic and parking.

ADA Seating (Indoor Ceremony): In the event of inclement weather, Commencement will be held in the Johnson Fitness Center(JFC). In the case of rain/commencement indoors, each student will be issued SIX tickets and it is up to them to distribute. The JFC is ADA accessible at the main entrance point. All seats are ADA accessible with room for wheelchairs. Restrooms in the hallway outside the Field House are accessible.

Simulcast information, Captioning and ADA access (Indoor Ceremony): Simulcast with captions are available via our streaming site and in William Smith Hall in Room 113 and Norman James Theatre. Both rooms are located on the 1st floor. ADA access to the 1st floor is via the ground floor through the rear of the building (Help Desk entrance) by use of the elevator. Please note that Norman James Theatre is a sloped space.

ADA Parking (Indoor Ceremony): Parking near the ceremony is limited. If your car has an accessible parking tag, you will be directed to drop-off guests with disabilities at the driveway of the Johnson Fitness Center and park in the nearest accessible parking space. Please note that there is a hill to enter the building, but access is available without steps. Courtesy carts and shuttles will be available to assist family members from other parking areas to event venues. Public Safety officers will be present at the location to help direct traffic and parking.

For access questions and general Commencement questions, contact the Campus Events Office at (410) 778-7743 or [email protected].

This event will be offered to virtual guests on our streaming site  beginning at 9:55 a.m. on the day of the event.

Please do not bring your pets; only service animals are permitted at Commencement.

Custom graduation announcements and other items may be ordered through Herff-Jones on their website or by calling (800) 447-4723. The Washington College Bookstore does not provide this service. 

The faculty and administration of Washington College wish to create a courteous and respectful environment in which to celebrate our newest alumni. We ask that all Commencement attendees refrain from disrupting the weekend’s formal ceremonies through the use of noisemakers (such as air horns, cowbells, and bullhorns), shouting or chanting, or high-volume mobile phone ringtones and conversations. Beach balls and other objects of distraction are prohibited. Additionally, College policies that restrict the use of tobacco and alcohol remain in force before, during, and after the Commencement ceremonies. In particular, current students found to have provided alcoholic substances to their graduating classmates during the procession or conferral of degrees may be subject to judicial action.

Diplomas will be available for pick up for one hour immediately following the conclusion of the Commencement ceremony in the Underwood Lobby of the Gibson Center for the Arts.

Graduates must present their student ID or other government-issued ID to the Registrar’s Office Staff to receive their diploma.

Please be advised that family or friends of the graduate may not pick up their diploma; the diploma must be picked up by the graduate.

Graduates who neglect to pick up their diploma following the ceremony must contact the Registrar’s Office to make arrangements to receive their diploma.

We invite the families of the Class of 2024 to honor their graduates and to show appreciation for a special member of the Washington College community by making a gift to The Washington Fund in honor of their graduate. Visit the Washington Fund page to find out more.

Display & wear your Washington College pride! From diploma frames to sweatshirts, find graduation gift ideas at the Washington College Bookstore.

Use this link to the Washington College Donation page to give your senior class gift. You can designate your gift to any cause of your choosing (Washington Fund, club, department, team, etc.). Simply indicate that on the form followed by their class year.

Juniors and seniors approaching graduation will find a host of information related to the College’s graduation policies and requirements on the Graduation Requirements page. 

Parking is available throughout campus. Please be aware that parking near the Commencement site and on the nearby streets is limited. Cars parked illegally or otherwise blocking College or town streets are subject to towing at the owner’s expense. Courtesy golf cart shuttles will be running on Sunday starting at 8:30 a.m. and immediately following the ceremony to transport guests to and from their vehicles.

ADA Parking: Accessible parking is limited on campus. Even if your car has a handicapped permit, you will be directed to drop-off guests with disabilities behind William Smith Hall (outdoor ceremony) or in front of the Johnson Fitness Center (indoor ceremony) and park in the nearest ADA parking area. Courtesy golf carts will be available to assist family members from parking areas to event venues. Designated areas near the Commencement ceremony venue will be restricted for special needs parking and easy drop-off of special-needs guests near the seating area. Public Safety officers will be there to help direct traffic and parking.

The College has a contract with Grad Images to take photographs during the Commencement ceremony. Following Commencement, you will be contacted independently by Grad Images with proofs to order. For more information, please visit their website: Grad Images. Due to the carefully orchestrated nature of the conferral procession, it is not possible for each family to approach the platform to take a picture of their graduate as they receive their diploma.

Ushers will distribute programs starting at 9:00 a.m. Sunday. Digital versions are expected to be available after noon on Friday before commencement. The program will be posted online in a downloadable PDF format. We encourage you to consider the environment and Washington College’s commitment to sustainability by utilizing the digital version of the program.

Please note that all information regarding tickets is subject to change.

No tickets are required if the Commencement is held outside. There is no limit to the number of guests you may bring. In the event of inclement weather, Commencement will be held in the Johnson Fitness Center (JFC). To prepare for this eventuality, the Registrar’s Office will distribute tickets to graduates at the mandatory rehearsal on Friday. Each student will be issued six tickets. It is each student’s responsibility to distribute these tickets to their friends and family in a timely manner, as admission to the Field House will be limited to those who hold a ticket.

Additional tickets are not available for purchase.

Indoor viewing locations with live-streaming video will be available in several campus locations. Simulcast with captions are available via our streaming site and in William Smith Hall in Room 113 and Norman James Theatre. Both rooms are located on the 1st floor. ADA access to the 1st floor is via the ground floor through the rear of the building (Help Desk entrance) by use of the elevator. Please note that Norman James Theatre is a sloped space

The College yearbook, Pegasus, will only be available electronically. The yearbook should be completed by Commencement.