Commencement

Frequently Asked Questions

For Traditional Undergraduate Students

Saturday, May 23, 2020

How do I participate in Commencement?

All candidates must submit a completed Application for Graduation form to the Registrar’s office by December 2. Forms are also available in the Registrar’s office. The information provided on the form will be used to order your diploma and for the Commencement program.

When and where is Commencement?

Commencement will take place on the Campus Green on Saturday, May 23, at 11:00 a.m. The graduates will begin lining up at 9:15 a.m. on the Lowell Thomas Quad between the Hancock and Dyson Centers and the procession will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m.

Who will correctly pronounce my name? 

Marist wants to make sure each name called on Commencement day is pronounced correctly. For this reason, names are all pre-recorded by the Dean of each school. Marist provides students with the opportunity to record their own names so that the name readers may use those recordings as a reference. To record your name, log into iLearn. Under your Sites, you will find a course named Commencement Name Recording. Follow the directions described in the assignment. You will need a computer with a built-in microphone. If you don’t have one of your own, stop by the Help Desk in Donnelly Hall or the Media Center in LT 208 for assistance. The Commencement Name Recording course will be available late March. If you have questions, please contact the Media Center at (845) 575-3635.

Do you know who the speaker will be?  

This announcement is usually made in mid-April.

How long does the ceremony last? 

The ceremony is expected to last approximately two hours. Following the ceremony you are invited to join fellow graduates and their families at a reception under the tent on St. Peter's Meadow.

How do I obtain graduation announcements?

Orders for personalized announcements can be placed online at collegegrad.herffjones.com.

How do I order my cap and gown?

We begin accepting orders on February 3, 2020 and will continue until April 17, 2020. A Marist computer account access code and password are required.

When do I pick up my cap and gown?

Information on cap and gown distribution will be published when available.

Cap and gown online ordering information will be emailed to the graduating student during the third week of January 2020. Cap and gown orders will be due on April 17, 2020.

What is a line-up card and why do I need it?

It is imperative that all graduates have a line-up card for cap and gown pick-up and for the Commencement ceremony itself. Students must bring their student ID and their signed Alcohol Policy Statement in order to receive a line-up card. The Registrar's office should be contacted immediately if the line-up card is lost.

Where do I pick up my line-up card?

Line-up cards will be available on Thursday, May 21 in Donnelly Hall from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Please note that a photo ID and a signed college Alcohol Policy Statement are required to obtain the line-up card.

Is there an alcohol policy?

Alcohol is not permitted before or during the Commencement exercises and will be confiscated if brought to the ceremony. Please advise all guests of this policy. Graduates participating in the Commencement ceremony will be required to sign a statement to acknowledge that they understand the College's Alcohol Policy. You must have signed the statement prior to obtaining a line-up card on Thursday, May 21.

Is there a rehearsal?

All graduates are required to attend a mandatory rehearsal on Friday, May 22 at 11:30 a.m. Students will convene on the Lowell Thomas Quad between Hancock and Dyson Centers in the area designated for their School. School banners will be prominently displayed. Line-up cards are needed for rehearsal, which is expected to last approximately one hour.

What time do I line up on Commencement day?  What time does the procession begin?

Students will assemble for the procession at 9:15 a.m. on the Lowell Thomas Quad between Hancock and Dyson Center. Students will need their line-up cards to participate in the ceremony. The procession is scheduled to begin promptly at 10:30 a.m. Candidates and faculty will march together, led by their marshal, and be seated by School. Graduates will be called to receive their diplomas in alphabetical order by School. Line-up cards will be collected from students just before they approach the platform to receive their diploma covers.

How should I dress?

Students should be cautious of the clothes they wear underneath their gowns. Neither the College nor the manufacturer of the caps and gowns guarantees that they are colorfast. Weather conditions have varied from picture perfect to extreme rain or heat. Graduates are advised to dress comfortably and be prepared for the weather. If it is raining, you may want to bring umbrellas. Bring sunblock and sunglasses for sunny conditions. Wear shoes appropriate for grassy areas.

When should my guests plan on arriving?

Family and guests are encouraged to arrive early to better ensure a parking space and seating.

However, no guests will be permitted to enter the actual ceremony site before 8:30 a.m. Guests should be in their seats no later than 10:30 a.m.

Are tickets required and is there a limit to how many guests I can invite?

Tickets are NOT required for the outdoor ceremony. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Students are asked to limit their party to six guests out of consideration for their fellow graduates. No saving of seats will be allowed.

I have a guest who is disabled. Is there special seating?

The College has made arrangements to have the ceremony interpreted in sign language for the hearing impaired. There will be a designated seating section to accommodate disabled guests. Students may request disabled seating tickets and parking permits in the Registrar's office starting May 6. A limit of one disabled parking permit and two disabled seating tickets per graduate will be issued. As guests enter the campus, they must be prepared to show their disabled parking permit to the security guard, who will direct them to the appropriate parking area. Lots are reserved for vehicles with handicapped license plates, handicapped parking placards issued by a municipality, or special parking permits issued by the College Registrar. Guests with handicapped permits should enter at the north entrance. There is no access to the handicapped parking areas from the south entrance.

What are the Weather Procedures?

Commencement is an important occasion for graduates and their families. Because of this the College strives to accommodate every graduate and their guests to the extent possible. Due to the size of our Saturday ceremony, the preferred site is outdoors, on the Campus Green. In the case of inclement weather, Marist cannot simply move the ceremony indoors or provide a tent that will cover the approximately 12,000 graduates and guests who attend commencement each year. The College's McCann Center Arena is the largest venue in the area and yet cannot contain all Saturday graduates and their guests at the same time. If severe weather is forecast, Marist will make alternate arrangements to the best of our ability based on the type of weather condition. We pledge to make decisions focused on the best interests of all in attendance.

If weather conditions are such that remaining outside on the Campus Green is not the best option, Saturday’s graduation will be moved into the McCann Center Arena and split into two ceremonies, details below. Graduates and families should prepare for this possibility when making travel arrangements.

Each graduate will be given four severe weather tickets with their line-up card distribution. It is the graduate's responsibility to distribute these tickets to their four guests prior to the ceremony. Only ticket holders will be permitted into the McCann Center Arena. All other guests will be directed to comfortable indoor live viewing locations located throughout campus.

As with outdoor exercises, Marist will have the ceremony professionally videotaped and have professional photographers on hand to capture graduates as they receive their diploma covers. Ceremonies may be abbreviated versions. Speakers will be videotaped and posted online with the commencement ceremony recording.

Alternate Saturday Schedule: School of Computer Science and Mathematics, School of Communication and the Arts, School of Liberal Arts

9:00 AM Graduates line up in the McCann Center Courts
9:40 AM Procession
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM Ceremony, reception immediately following

School of Management, School of Science, School of Social and Behavior Sciences

2:00 PM Graduates line up in the McCann Center Courts
2:40 PM Procession
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Ceremony, reception immediately following

McCann Center Arena: Much of the guest seating in the McCann Center Arena is on bleachers. Some individuals may find the climb to the upper seats difficult and may prefer to view the ceremony in areas designated for indoor live viewing. Parking at the McCann Center Arena will also be severely limited. Guests should plan to walk from their parking lot to the McCann Center in the rain and are encouraged to bring umbrellas.

In the Event of Severe Dangerous Weather: Marist must balance the hopes of our graduates with the safety of everyone in attendance. In certain weather events, it is possible that Commencement will be canceled or delayed; however, every effort will be made to allow graduates to cross a stage and receive their diploma cover from the president. The College is prepared to respond to dangerous weather in a number of ways. One possibility includes abbreviating the ceremony to diploma distribution only. Graduates would fill the McCann Center Arena and cross the stage individually, with parents and guests watching via live viewing from alternate locations.

Listen for Announcements: Announcements about cancelled or indoor ceremonies will be made and updated on the Marist website, the Marist weather hotline (845) 575-5500 and the Marist Guidebook App under the "Alerts" section. Please check these sources before traveling to campus

What if my guests need overnight accommodations?

For those students whose guests will need overnight accommodations, a list of local hotels/bed and breakfasts/motels, as well as an area restaurant listing, is available on our Commencement website.

Where do I meet my parents after Commencement?

We suggest that you prearrange a meeting place with your parents at the conclusion of the full recessional.

When do graduates have to be out of their rooms?

All residence halls will close at 10:00 p.m. Commencement day, Saturday, May 23.

Are there additional campus weekend activities?

Various campus organizations conduct special celebrations with students, families and friends. Students will receive separate invitations, with reservations required, for these events.

What about Senior Week activities?

At the end of March you will receive the 2020 Senior Week Schedule outlining all the activities planned by the Senior Week Committee under the direction of Student Activities.

When do I receive my diploma?

Diplomas will be mailed by June 15 to all who have met graduation requirements. Graduates must be clear of all financial obligations, including loan exit interviews and library fees, before their diploma will be mailed. Questions about financial obligations should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Services (845) 575-3230.

What are the bookstore hours on Commencement day?

For your convenience the bookstore will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 23. Diploma frames are available at the bookstore for purchase.

Is there a yearbook I can purchase?

The yearbook is decided by the class each year.

How do I purchase a class ring?

Questions or information regarding class rings should be directed to Balfour at www.Balfour.com. Please contact Sales Operations Services Dave Handal at 1-(866) 225-3687 or (512) 440-2748.

Helpful Hints

  • Before you graduate, your tassel should be worn on the right; when you graduate, move it to the left.
  • The weather can be unpredictable, so remember both your umbrella and your sunblock.
  • Remember, the grass can be wet even if it isn't raining, so consider your footwear carefully.
  • All graduates and guests must turn off cell phones. Please be considerate of others.
  • The Commencement ceremony will last approximately two hours. We encourage you to participate in the entire ceremony. Out of respect for your fellow graduates, please remain seated throughout the entire ceremony.

For Adult Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Friday, May 22, 2020

How do I participate in Commencement?

All candidates must submit a completed Application for Graduation form to the Registrar’s office by December 2. Forms are also available in the Registrar’s office. The information provided on the form will be used to order your diploma and for the Commencement program.

When and where is Commencement?

The Marist College 74th Commencement ceremony will be held on Friday, May 22. Weather permitting, the ceremony will be held outdoors on the Campus Green. Students, faculty, and staff will assemble for the procession at 5:15 p.m. on the Lowell Thomas Quad, between the Hancock and Dyson Centers. Students will need their line-up cards to participate in the ceremony. The procession is scheduled to begin promptly at 5:45 p.m. Candidates for Bachelor's degrees will march together, led by their marshal, and will be called to the platform to receive their diploma covers in alphabetical order. Candidates for Master's degrees will march together, led by their marshal, and will be called to receive their diploma covers by graduate program. Line-up cards will be collected from students as they approach the platform.

Who will correctly pronounce my name?

Marist wants to make sure each name called on Commencement day is pronounced correctly. For this reason, names are all pre-recorded by the Dean of each school. Students may record their own names ahead of time so that the Deans may use those recordings as a reference. To record your name, log into iLearn. Under your sites you will find a course named Commencement Name Recording. Follow the directions described in the assignment. You will need a computer with a built-in microphone. If you don’t have one of your own, stop by the Help Desk in Donnelly Hall or the Media Center in LT 208 for assistance. The Commencement Name Recording course will be available late March.

Do you know who the speaker will be?

This announcement is usually made in mid-April. 

Are there announcements available that I may send to relatives and friends?

Orders for personalized announcements can be placed online at collegegrad.herffjones.com.

How do I order my cap and gown?

We begin accepting orders on February 3, 2020 and will continue until April 17, 2020. A Marist computer account access code and password are required.

When do I pick up my cap and gown?

Cap and gown online ordering information will be emailed to the graduating student during the third week of January 2020.

Cap and gown orders will be due on April 17, 2020.

What is a line-up card and why do I need it? 

It is imperative that all graduates have a line-up card for cap and gown pick-up and for the Commencement ceremony itself.

Line-up cards will be available on Thursday, May 21 in Donnelly Hall. There will be posted signs directing you to the proper distribution room. Students must show a photo ID and sign the Alcohol Policy Statement in order to receive a line-up card. The Registrar's office should be contacted immediately if the line-up card is lost.

Is there a rehearsal?

There is no rehearsal for Friday's Commencement ceremony. There will be plenty of staff on hand to help the graduates line up. Graduates should assemble for the Commencement procession at 5:15 p.m. on the Lowell Thomas Quad, between the Hancock and Dyson Centers. Please take a few moments to view the virtual rehearsal video.

What is the suggested attire?

Weather conditions have varied from picture perfect to extreme rain or heat. Graduates are advised to dress comfortably and be prepared for the weather. Bring sunblock and sunglasses for sunny conditions. Wear shoes appropriate for grassy areas. Also, students should be cautious of the clothes they wear underneath their gowns. Neither the College nor the manufacturer of the caps and gowns guarantees that they are colorfast.

Are tickets required and is there a limit to how many guests can be invited?

No, tickets are NOT required for the outdoor ceremony. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. No saving of seats will be allowed.

What if it rains?

In the case of rain or severe weather, the ceremony will be moved indoors to the McCann Center Arena. Details will be available on the Marist website, the Marist weather hotline at (845) 575-5500 and the Marist Guidebook App.

When should my guests arrive?

Family and guests are encouraged to arrive before 5:30 p.m. However, no guests will be permitted to enter the actual ceremony site before 5:00 p.m. The ceremony is expected to last approximately one hour. You are invited to join fellow graduates and their families at a reception immediately following graduation at Saint Peter's Meadow.

What about parking?

Family and guests are encouraged to arrive before 5:30 p.m. to better ensure a parking space. Vehicular access to the campus will become increasingly difficult as the parking lots fill. Parking will be available on the east and west campuses.

Are there special arrangements for parking and seating for disabled guests?

The College has made arrangements to have the ceremony interpreted in sign language or the hearing impaired. There will be a designated seating section to accommodate disabled guests. Students may request disabled seating tickets and parking permits in the Registrar's office starting Wednesday, May 6. A limit of one disabled parking permit and two disabled seating tickets per graduate will be issued. Guests with disabled parking permits should enter through the north entrance and be prepared to show their disabled parking permit to the security guard, who will then direct you to the appropriate parking area. Lots are reserved for vehicles with handicapped license plates, handicapped parking placards issued by a municipality, or special parking permits issued by the College Registrar. Please note that there is no access to the handicapped parking areas from the south entrance.

Is there an alcohol policy?

Alcohol is not permitted before or during the Commencement exercises and will be confiscated if brought to the ceremony. Please advise all guests of this policy. Graduates participating in the Commencement ceremony will be required to sign a statement to acknowledge that they understand the College's Alcohol Policy in order to obtain their line-up card on Thursday, May 21.

Will my guests be able to take pictures during the ceremony?

Professional photographers will be on hand to photograph all graduates as they shake hands with President Dennis Murray. Three to four weeks after graduation, the graduate will receive two proofs from which prints may be ordered. If you have any questions, please contact Island Photography directly at (800) 869-0908. Due to the large number of people attending Commencement, it is necessary to restrict access to the platform and the graduates' seating area. Guests will not be able to walk or stand in the aisles to take photographs or to videotape. However, there will be a designated area for families to take pictures following the ceremony. The Commencement program, which you will receive on Commencement day, will show the location of this area.

When do I receive my diploma?

Diplomas will be mailed by Monday, June 15 to all who have met graduation requirements. Graduates must be clear of all financial obligations, including loan exit interviews and library fees, before their diploma will be mailed. Questions about financial obligations should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Services (845) 575-3230.

What are the bookstore hours on Commencement day?

For your convenience the bookstore will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, May 22. Diploma frames are available at the bookstore for purchase.

What if my guests need overnight accommodations?

For those whose guests will need overnight accommodations, a list of local hotels/bed and breakfasts/motels, as well as an area restaurant listing, is available on our Commencement website.

Helpful Hints

  • Before you graduate, your tassel should be worn on the right; when you graduate, move it to the left.
  • The weather can be unpredictable, so remember both your umbrella and your sunblock.
  • Leave ample time for parking.
  • Remember, the grass can be wet even if it isn't raining, so consider your footwear carefully.
  • All graduates and guests must turn off cell phones. Please be considerate of others.
  • The Commencement ceremony will last approximately one hour. We encourage you to participate in the entire ceremony. Out of respect for your fellow graduates, please remain seated throughout the entire ceremony.