Commencement Activities for Graduates
Important Information from the Marshal of the College
May 18 and 19, 2013
These ceremonies are among our grandest traditions and date back to the very first graduating class of the college. The following information should provide a useful guide for graduating seniors. All seats will be available (except for those reserved for degree recipients and special guests) on a first come, first served basis.
BACCALAUREATE, 3 p.m. Saturday, May 18 on the lawn in front of Old West: Please plan to be on hand to process at 2:15 p.m. Weather permitting, graduates will form a double column on the sidewalk in front of the Waidner-Spahr Library, facing toward N. College Street. Gowns should be worn without caps. Seniors need not line up in alphabetical order for this ceremony. Please stand in front of or behind the person with whom you wish to sit. The procession will begin promptly at 2:45 p.m. Assistant Marshals will direct you to your seats. Following the ceremony, the seniors should remain seated until the processional is beyond your seats. At this time, you are dismissed.
Whether the Baccalaureate ceremony will be held outdoors or indoors will be decided several hours ahead of the occasion because of the intensive efforts which must be made to ensure that seating, audio equipment, and all other arrangements are in place by the time the families and guests of graduating seniors begin to gather. Should severe weather conditions exist, the Baccalaureate ceremony will be held in the Kline Athletic Center. In that event, details will be available at the Office of Conferences and Special Events (717-245-1900) and on the college Web site as soon as possible in advance of the ceremony. Seniors will line up on the mezzanine level, and the platform party will gather on the lower level.
COMMENCEMENT, 10 a.m. Sunday, May 19 on the lawn in front of Old West: Caps and gowns are to be worn. Please assemble at or before 9:15 a.m.; please be prompt because the Assistant Marshals must arrange you in alphabetical order. The procession will begin at 9:45 a.m. Seniors will form two columns on the sidewalk adjacent to the John Dickinson Campus along W. High Street. Look for the alphabetical signs. It is extremely important that you are in your proper place in line.
The seniors will follow the Faculty Procession. You will be escorted to your seats by Assistant Marshals. When it is time to receive individual degrees, please remain seated until you are directed by an Assistant Marshal to leave by the east aisle. You will proceed to the east end of Old West, enter through the door to the ground floor continue through the building to the west end, climb the stairs and proceed down the hallway to Memorial Hall, down the Old Stone Steps to the platform, and finally back to your seats. Upon your return to your seats, please enter your row from the west side and be seated. A photo area has been designated to provide parents and friends with the best possible view of the ceremony. At the close of the ceremony, you will follow the Platform Party and the Faculty leaving by way of the east aisle, retracing the approximate route used in the procession. During the recession, the Platform Party and Faculty will form two columns through which you will pass. You will recess until you reach the end of the walkway where you may disband.
In the case of severe weather conditions, the Commencement ceremony will be moved indoors to the Kline Athletic Center. The same arrangements as noted above for Baccalaureate will be in place, however the schedule will be adjusted to reflect the change in locations, and the ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m.
At the request of past graduates and parents, we have not rolled your actual diploma. Your original diploma will be available for pick up by you or a family member on Britton Plaza (or, in case of inclement weather, in Biddle House) immediately following Commencement. Please be sure to stop by to receive yours by 2 p.m.
The Commencement weekend ceremonies represent an important, significant milestone in your lives. It is a highly complex operation and requires the cooperation of all concerned; PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR ASSISTANT MARSHAL. The Marshal and the Assistant Marshals are at your service to make this a memorable occasion.
Prof. Chuck Zwemer
Marshal of the College
- Caps and gowns may be picked up at the Bookstore, Thursday and Friday, May 16 and 17, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; and Saturday, May 18, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Please note that caps and gowns are free to those seniors who submit the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) College Senior Survey (CSS), as distributed by the Office of Institutional Research, by May 5.
- If you have studied abroad (for credit, non-credit bearing experiences abroad do not qualify) during your college career, you should have received a Center for Global Study and Engagement (CGSE) survey associated with your study site. Upon completion of this survey, you are eligible to pick up your flag badge or badges at the CGSE. These badges must be picked up by Friday, May 17 from CGSE on Thursdays between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and Fridays between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Several years ago, we added a new badge "tradition" recognizing students who chose to study and remain active on the Carlisle campus and in the Carlisle community for their entire Dickinson experience. If you studied in Carlisle every semester you were a Dickinson student, you are eligible for the Carlisle badge as a participant in the "Carlisle In-Broad Program." These are available in the Bookstore on a first come, first served basis.
- All flag badges are to be affixed to the right shoulder on the outside of your robe.
- Hoods will be presented just prior to receipt of the degrees. Please note that when asked prior to receiving your hood, it is important that you know which degree you are receiving, B.A. or B.S., as the hood color is different for each.
- Caps and gowns do not need to be returned to the Bookstore.
For those interested in the finer points of graduation: the tassel may be moved from right to left after you leave the stage. This provides an unobstructed view for the professional photographer taking your photo. Women may wish to wear dress flats as the procession and recession will cross the grass, which could be soft from rain. In the case of inclement weather, you may wish to wear casual clothes beneath your robe and carry an umbrella.