Commencement

Traditional Undergraduate Ceremony

74th Commencement Exercises: Saturday, May 23, 2020

Congratulations!

The countdown to your graduation is here. Congratulations on making it to this point—a culmination of years of hard work and dedication. Just as your studies required  careful attention to directions and deadlines, participating  in  Commencement  activities  requires  advanced planning.   The following information is intended to help you and your guests enjoy Commencement 2020 exercises to the fullest. You deserve it!

Application for Graduation

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.

Line-up Cards/Cap and Gown Distribution

All graduates must have a line-up card for cap and gown pick-up, rehearsal, and the Commencement ceremony.

Line-up cards will be available on Thursday, May 21, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. in Donnelly Hall. Signs will be posted throughout the building directing you where to go. Students must show a picture 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.

Caps, gowns, and hoods (regalia) are purchased by the College for all graduates, at no cost to the student. These “keepers” are an eco-friendly product that are made from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic. Graduates may keep their regalia as keepsakes. However, those graduates who do not want to keep their regalia and are interested in an environmentally conscious method of disposing of the regalia may deposit their used regalia in recycling collection boxes in Donnelly Hall after the ceremony.

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.

Cap and gown sets will be available in Donnelly Hall on Friday, May 22 after rehearsal until 4:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until the start of the ceremony. Signs will be posted throughout the building directing you where to go. Students must pick up their cap and gown set in person and will be required to show their line-up card at the time of pickup. Cap and gown sets will not be available for pick up prior to rehearsal on Friday, May 22.

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 the 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.

Pronunciation of Names

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 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 in late March, specific dates to be announced. If you have questions, please contact the Media Center at (845) 575-3635.

Baccalaureate Ceremony

The College sponsors a Baccalaureate Awards program to recognize the special achievements of graduating students in academic and community affairs. Award recipients will be notified at least one week prior to the ceremony. The ceremony will be held Friday, May 22, at 4:00 p.m. in Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel. Seating at the ceremony is limited, and each honoree will be allotted four guest tickets. Those holding tickets must arrive at the ceremony by 3:45 p.m. in order to be seated. After 3:45 p.m. anyone wishing to attend the ceremony will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis. The program will last approximately one hour.

Commencement Day

The Marist College 74th Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 23, 2020 on the Campus Green. Students, faculty, and staff will assemble for the procession at 9:15 a.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 10:30 a.m. Candidates and faculty will march together, led by their marshal, and will be seated by school. Graduates will be called to receive their diploma covers in alphabetical order by school. Line-up cards will be collected from students just before they approach the platform.

Family and guests are encouraged to arrive before 9:45 a.m. However, no guests will be permitted to enter the actual ceremony site before 8:30 a.m. The ceremony is expected to last approximately two hours. Immediately following the ceremony, all graduates and their guests are invited to join their fellow students at a reception tent on Saint Peter’s Meadow.

Conditions at Commencement have varied from picture perfect to extreme rain or heat. Graduates and guests are advised to prepare for the weather. Family and guests may want to bring umbrellas, appropriate rain gear, and a covering for their chairs if it rains. Also, students should be cautious of the clothes they wear underneath their gowns. Neither the College nor the manufacturer guarantees that they are colorfast.

Parking Information

Parking on campus will be granted  on a  first-come,  first-served  basis  for  all  lots. Family  and guests are encouraged to arrive before 9:45 a.m. to better ensure a parking  space. Vehicular access to the campus becomes increasingly difficult as the parking lots become filled.

East campus lots, including Beck, Lower West Cedar, Upper West Cedar, and Fulton Street, will be available for guest parking. The Midrise Hall, Dyson Center, and Fontaine Hall lots are reserved for vehicles with handicapped license plates, handicapped parking placards issued by a municipality, or special parking permits issued by the Registrar’s office.

The Foy lot is reserved for the platform party, invited dignitaries, and handicapped permits. Guests with handicapped permits should enter the North Entrance only. There is no access to handicapped parking from the South Entrance.

Once lots are full, the campus will be closed to vehicles until after the ceremony. Vehicles parked off campus will not be allowed to enter the main campus for at least 90 minutes after the ceremony to allow parking lots to empty out.

For a complete list of parking sites and instructions, please see the Parking Information & Map.

Disabled Guests

There will be a designated seating section to accommodate disabled guests, and the ceremony will be interpreted in sign for the hearing impaired. Graduating 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.

Lots are reserved for vehicles with handicapped license plates, handicapped parking placards issued by a municipality, or special parking permits issued by the Registrar’s office. Guests with handicapped parking permits should enter the North Entrance only and should be prepared to show their permits to the security guard, who will direct them to the appropriate parking area. There is no access to the handicapped parking areas from the South Entrance.

General Seating

Admittance to the outdoor ceremony is by general admission. Students are asked to limit their party to six guests out of consideration for their fellow graduates.

During the ceremony please inform your guests to follow the directives of the security staff and ushers. All persons must stay within the roped-off areas to allow the best visibility for everyone. There is no saving of seats. Please do not block the view of others by standing on chairs or in the aisles.

In addition to the outdoor seating area, the College has arranged for a special indoor live viewing of the ceremony to be broadcast indoors in several campus locations. Please see Indoor Live Viewing for further information.

Indoor Live Viewing

In addition to the outdoor seating area, the College offers indoor live viewing of the ceremony in posted campus locations. These locations offer air-conditioned venues for guests who prefer to be out of the “elements.” Please see site maps or Marist Guidebook App for more information.

Web Broadcasting

Family and friends of graduates who are unable to attend the event can view the ceremony streaming live by visiting Marist’s homepage at www.marist.edu and clicking on the Commencement link.

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

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. An email will be sent to your Marist account regarding the distribution and collection of these statements.

Diplomas

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 a diploma will be mailed. Questions about financial obligations should be directed to the Office of Student Financial Services (845) 575-3230.

Flowers

Bouquets, corsages, and boutonnières can be purchased in advance courtesy of the Alumni Office and picked up on campus on graduation day between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. Please download the 1-800-FLOWERS.COM order form found on the Commencement website.

Photographs

Professional photographers from Island Photography will photograph all graduates as they receive their diplomas from President Murray. To receive proofs online, please provide an email address on the back of your line-up card, and you will be notified when they are available for viewing. Graduates will also receive two complimentary proofs and an order form by mail.

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 videotape. However, there will be designated areas for families to take pictures following the ceremony. The Commencement program, which you will receive on Commencement day, will show these locations.

Hometown Newspaper Announcements

The Office of College Marketing and Communication would like to tell the world about your graduation...or at least your hometown newspaper. The Office receives a list of graduating students; the office is able to match your hometown with your local paper automatically and send the release out electronically. Graduates who do not wish to have a news release sent to their hometown paper must opt out of this process. To opt out, please email MediaRelations@marist.edu or call (845) 575-3174 by Friday, April 3. If Media Relations does not hear from graduates by April 3, releases are sent to hometown newspapers.

Marist cannot guarantee that newspapers will print the release, but we will make sure the newspaper gets it.

Personalized Announcements

Students may wish to order announcements to alert family and friends about their upcoming graduation. Orders for personalized announcements can be placed online at https://collegegrad.herffjones.com.

Alumni Information

The Marist College Alumni Association is a network of more than 42,000 Marist graduates with 15 domestic regional chapters spanning from New York to California as well as an active group in Europe. The chapters are designed to keep you involved and connected with your alma mater and fellow alumni, and can be a lot of fun. A list of regional chapters is available at maristconnect.marist.edu/chapters. The best way we can keep you updated on Marist events and send Marist magazine, the Marist Minute enewsletter, invitations, and other communications, is if we have your correct contact information.

We have no way of knowing if you’re using your Marist email address or a different address unless you tell us. You can easily update your personal and business contact information online by logging into maristconnect.marist.edu. Please feel free to contact the Office of Alumni Relations at any time at maristalumni@marist.edu or (845) 575-3283.

Helpful Hints

  • Your tassel should be worn on the right until President Murray confers all graduates’ degrees.
  • Only one honor cord should be worn with regalia.
  • 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.
  • Leave ample time for parking.
  • All graduates and guests must turn off cell phones. Please be considerate of others.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Monday, October 28: Undergraduate and Graduate graduation applications are due in the Registrar’s Office for January 2020 candidates.

Monday, December 2: Undergraduate and Graduate graduation applications are due in the Registrar’s Office by 5 p.m. for May 2020 candidates.

Monday, February 3: Website for student regalia orders opens

Friday, April 17: Last day to place cap and gown orders

Thursday, April 9: Last day for graduates to record their own names for reference in the iLearn system

Wednesday, May 6: Disabled seating/parking permits become available in the Registrar's office

Thursday, May 21, 1:00-4:00 p.m.: Line-up card distribution in Donnelly Hall (photo ID required)

Friday, May 22, 11:30 a.m.: Mandatory rehearsal. Line up on Lowell Thomas Quad (line-up card required)

Friday, May 22, 12:30-4:00 p.m.: Cap and gown distribution in Donnelly Hall (line-up card required)

Commencement Day: Saturday, May 23

  • 8:30 a.m.: Guests allowed to enter ceremony site
  • 9:00-11:00 a.m.: Flower tent open (see order form on Commencement website)
  • 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.: Bookstore open
  • 9:15 a.m.: Graduates line up
  • 10:30 a.m.: Procession begins (guests should be seated)
  • 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.: Commencement Ceremony ~ Reception follows immediately after the ceremony

Monday, June 15: Diplomas mailed to all eligible graduates