Middlebury

 

Questions frequently asked about Commencement weekend:

Future Commencement Dates?

2014: Sunday, May 25
Memorial Day weekend

2015: Sunday, May 24
Memorial Day weekend

Accessibility Services - What services are available for people with disabilities?

The Student Accessibility Office provides a wide-range of services for people with disabilities, including phonic ear, American Sign Language interpretation, wheelchairs (limited number), and more.  Please click here for more information.

Caps & Gowns - How do I get my cap and gown?

You may pick up caps, gowns, and two keepsake Commencement invitations from the College Bookstore (802.443.5334) from May 21-24 (8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; until 7:00 p.m. on Friday). Middlebury College provides complimentary caps, gowns, and tassels for our seniors.

Tassels are worn on the right side on the mortarboard until after the BA degree is conferred, at which time the tassels are moved from the right side to the left side.

Note: The dye in the gowns may bleed when wet.  If it rains you may want to wear rain-gear beneath the gown to protect your clothing. The College provides ponchos at line-up that can be used for this purpose.

Check-Out / Departure - When do guests and graduates need to leave?

Guests: Check-out for Stewart Hall and Bread Loaf Guests is 3:00 p.m. Commencement Day – no exceptions. If housing is needed beyond that time, please seek alternative lodging in the area.

Graduates: ALL seniors must be moved out of residence halls no later than 11:00 p.m. on Commencement Day. This deadline is enforced so that rooms may be prepared for Reunion and Language School. Be prepared! If possible, ship non-essential items home in advance. Pack remaining items during Senior Week.

Class Photo - How do I get one?

Order forms are handed out when the photo is taken, usually on Friday of Senior Week.

Commencement Ceremony - What time does start and how long does it last?

Commencement is on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. It usually ends between noon and 12:30 p.m.

Seniors are required to arrive for line-up at 9:00 a.m. on the east side of Old Chapel and Starr Hall.

Commencement Invitations & Announcements - Will I receive any?

Each graduating senior will receive two Commencement invitations to share with their parents as keepsakes.  Invitations can be picked up at the College Book Store when you pick up your gown (starting the Wednesday before Commencement).  

You may purchase non-personalized graduation announcements for family and friends at the College Store (802.443.5334).

OR

Jostens, Inc. offers personalized announcements that you can send to family and friends. (Jostens information is mailed directly to parents.)

Jostens, Inc. (800.854.7464) www.jostens.com



Commencement Luncheon - Where do I find my graduate after the ceremony?

Graduates will recess to the luncheon area on Mead Chapel lawn.  In the event of intolerable weather Proctor and Ross dining halls will be open.  In either case, please prearrange a meeting place with your graduate.

Commencement Mailings/Notices - My friends received info but I have not. How do I get on the list?

In mid-March a Commencement mailing is sent to parents, and an email is sent to seniors outlining everything they need to prepare for Commencement. If you or your parents have not received info:

FOR MAY COMMENCEMENT:
1) Notify the Department of Event Management  (commencement@middlebury.edu or 802.443.2885) who can direct you to, or send you the information you are missing--identical info (and more) can be found here on this site.

2) Call your Commons Office and give them your correct mailing and email address so they may update their records.

3) FOR FEB GRADS: Notify the College Advancement Office at 802.443.5777.

Commencement Participation - Do I need to notify anyone if l will NOT be participating?

Yes! Grads who opt not to participate in the Commencement ceremony need to notify the Registrar's Office (registrar@middlebury.edu) no later than noon Monday, May 19, 2014.

Commencement Procession & Seating - When & where do seniors line up, and where are they seated?

Seniors are asked to line up at 9:00 a.m. on the east side of Old Chapel and Starr Hall so that we may line them up alphabetically within the department in which they chose to march on their "intent to graduate" form. Please note: That decision cannot be changed on Commencement day.

On which side of the aisle will your senior sit during Commencement? The graduating class is divided in half, alphabetically by department/program. The final size of the graduating class may not be known until the Friday before Commencement. Typically, "Am. Civ." through "History of Art and Architecture" will sit on the right, and "Independent Scholar" through "Women's and Gender Studies" on the left. Staff at the program tents will be able to advise you on Sunday.

Double/Joint Majors - Which department do I march with on Commencement Day?

The Registrar's Office will email you in February to ask which department you wish to march with.  IF you change your mind later, you must contact the Registrar's Office (registrar@middlebury.edu) ASAP. They cannot accommodate changes during Commencement Week.

Dress Code - What should I wear?

Dress for the weekend is typically "smart casual." Please remember, Commencement is an outdoor event. Be prepared for all weather conditions (warm coats, rain gear, hats, sunscreen, etc.) and wear shoes appropriate for damp, uneven, grassy terrain.

Graduates, please honor this dignified occasion (and your family!) by wearing appropriate dress clothing and footwear Commencement Day.  Tips:

  • Tassels are worn on the right side of the mortarboard until after the BA degree is conferred, at which time tassels are moved to the left side.
  • The dye in the gowns may bleed when wet.  If it rains you may want to wear rain-gear beneath the gown to protect your clothing. The College provides ponchos at line-up that can be used for this purpose.
  • Don’t forget to remove your tassel before you throw your hat!

Feb Grads & Non-Graduating Seniors - Can I participate in the Commencement ceremony?

Feb grads are invited to return in May to participate in Commencement with fellow graduating seniors to receive their diplomas.

Non-graduating seniors who will complete their degree requirements after May, but before February of the following year, are offered the opportunity to participate in the Commencement ceremony, wear a cap and gown, and march with their department. However, they will not walk across the stage for a diploma.  They will remain seated while the graduating seniors receive diplomas and canes.  President Liebowitz will recognize "Feb" '15s and those who have not yet completed their degree requirements as a group during the ceremony.

Please notify the Registrar's Office (registrar@middlebury.edu) if you are planning to participate in Commencement, no later than the first of May. 

To stay on campus, whether participating or not, please see the question on Housing below.  

Please note:  Questions about the "Feb Celebration" in January should be directed to the Alumni Office at 802.443.5183.

The Golf Course - Will it be open Commencement weekend?

Yes,  the number is 802.443.5125.

Housing - Can I stay on campus if I'm a returning Feb or non-graduating senior?

Non-graduating seniors (Feb '15's or those completing degree requirements after May 2014 but by February 2015) are allowed to stay on campus during Commencement Week. In mid-May, all non-graduating seniors will receive "pink slips" in their mailboxes.  The pink slip allows them to stay in their dorm rooms during Commencement Week.  If you are a non-graduating senior and do not receive a pink slip, please be in touch with Residential Systems Coordinator Karin Hall-Kolts (khall@middlebury.edu or 802.443.3301).

 

Returning Febs must make special arrangements for on-campus weekend housing by contacting Residential Systems Coordinator Karin Hall-Kolts via email at khall@middlebury.edu BEFORE May 11thWeekend housing is available from 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday of Commencement Weekend, to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday (Commencement Day).

Please Note: ALL students must be moved out of residence halls no later than 11:00 p.m. on Commencement Day so the College can prepare rooms for Reunion and Language School. Be prepared! If possible, ship non-essential items home in advance. Pack remaining items during Senior Week.

Invitation Letters for International Guests - How do I get them?

Your international guests may need an OFFICIAL letter of invitation to apply for a tourist visa to come to the U.S. Please visit our web page on International Guest Travel for information.

Phi Beta Kappa - When will I be notified if I have been elected to PBK?

You will be notified via e-mail no later than 5:00 p.m. on the Thursday before Commencement. The ceremony for Phi Beta Kappa is Saturday at 8:30 a.m. in the Kevin P. Mahaney '84 Center for the Arts, Concert Hall (Continental breakfast available in the lobby at 8:00 a.m.).

Learn more about the nation's oldest academic honor society.

Photography - Will there be professional photographers at Commencement?

Grad Images (800.261.2576, www.gradimages.com) attends the Commencement ceremony to photograph each graduate receiving his or her diploma. Proofs of these photographs, with information regarding purchase, will be sent from Grad Images to each graduate's home address following Commencement. Please contact Grad Images directly with questions.

Collegiate Video (802.365.4414, www.collegiatevideo.com) has been authorized by Middlebury College to produce a keepsake DVD featuring highlights from both the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies.  Their DVD will include footage of your graduate being announced, crossing the stage, and receiving their diploma.  You will receive a brochure and order form in the mail with your commencement information or you can order online.  DVDs are approximately 90 minutes in length.

Saturday Night - Should I make dinner reservations?

Yes, the last official Commencement Weekend activity on Saturday is the  luncheon for seniors and guests.

Senior Awards - When are they presented?

National honors will be recognized at the Baccalaureate ceremony on Saturday. Departmental awards and prizes will be presented by individual departments and programs at their Commencement weekend receptions, or at other end-of-the-year events of their choosing.  Students will be notified by the department or program.

Senior Week Activities - Where do I find out about them?

The Senior Week activity schedule is publicized in March. Senior Week activities are handled by the Senior Week Committee. Please email them at tsc@middlebury.edu with any questions.

The 2014 Senior Week "Grab 'n Go" schedule will be posted on the Commencement web site when it becomes available.

Tickets - Do we need them for Baccalaureate or Commencement?

Middlebury College usually hosts an outdoor Commencement ceremony so that our graduates may invite as many family, friends, and guests as they wish. Tickets are not required for the outdoor Commencement.

However, in the event of severe weather, the ceremony will be held in Nelson Arena, and each graduate will receive a limited number of tickets. If this should happen, we will communicate all necessary logistics and information to the graduates by e-mail, and we will post the new information on the Commencement website as soon as it is available.

For the Saturday Baccalaureate Service in Mead Chapel, attendance on the ground floor is limited to graduating seniors only (including Feb ‘14s, Feb 15’s and those completing degree requirements after May 2014 but by February 2015). Seating for parents and family is available in the balcony on a first come, first served basis. Guests may also watch a live broadcast of the ceremony in either McCullough Social Space or Dana Auditorium in the Sunderland Language Center.

Weather - What if it rains on Commencement day?

Middlebury College usually hosts an outdoor Commencement ceremony so that our graduates may invite as many family, friends, and guests as they wish. Tickets are not required for the outdoor Commencement.

A tent, to provide sun or rain protection, will be located behind the seating area. A live broadcast of the ceremony will be provided in McCullough Social Space (directly behind the rain tent) and Mead Chapel (up the hill) for those who wish to be inside.

However, in the event of severe weather, the ceremony will be held in Nelson Arena, and each graduate will receive a limited number of tickets. If this should happen, we will communicate all necessary logistics and information to the graduates by e-mail, and we will post the new information on the Commencement website as soon as it is available.

Other questions about Commencement Weekend?

Contact us at commencement@middlebury.edu or 802.443.2885.

Please note: Questions about the "Feb Celebration" in January should
be directed to the Alumni Office at 802.443.5183.