President

Commencement

PARENT & FAMILY INFORMATION – COMMENCEMENT 2020

On Sunday, May 17, 2020, we will celebrate the 195th Commencement for Hobart College and the 109th Commencement for William Smith College. We welcome your participation in the weekend of events.

REGISTRATION

Families who want to stay on campus and/or purchase meal tickets for special event meals during commencement weekend may do so when online registration opens in early March. Online registration will be available through 11:59 p.m. May 10, 2020. On-campus housing fees and meal tickets are nonrefundable after May 13, 2020.

Welcome Desk Hours
Friday, May 15, 2 – 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Scandling Campus Center, First Floor

Meal tickets and room keys can be picked up at the Welcome Desk. Materials not picked up by 2 p.m. Saturday will be available at the Campus Safety Office in the Medbery Parking lot.

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ACCOMMODATIONS

Commencement Weekend lodging online reservations for families & friends of graduating seniors will be LIVE on March 1, 2020.

ON CAMPUS HOUSING
Commencement weekend lodging is available in a traditional style, non-air conditioned, residence hall with communal bathrooms on each floor, two twin beds in a double room and one twin bed in a single room. Bedding is included however we recommend you bring extra pillows, towels, and a fan, etc.

LOCAL LODGING and RENTALS
A list of local accommodations can be found here. We suggest you make reservations soon, and directly with a hotel as rooms are going fast.

MEALS

Commencement Weekend dining online reservations for families & friends of graduating seniors will be LIVE on March 1, 2020.

Throughout the weekend, the Colleges offer special meals (see details below). Vegetarian and gluten free entrees will be available at all meals.

Reservations for on-campus meals can be made through the online registration form in early March.

SENIOR FAMILY BARBEQUE
6 – 9 p.m. | Friday, May 15
Senior BBQ with Families (Tickets available pre-order or at the event)
Stern Lawn (Rain Location: Scandling Campus Center)
Barbeque from 6 – 8 p.m.
$15.00 per person, children 5 and younger are free
This evening includes a barbeque, performances by the campus a capella groups and a live band.
Tickets not required for graduating seniors who have purchased a senior week bracelet.

SENIOR DINNER CELEBRATION
Reservations offered between 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. | Saturday, May 16
The Common Room, Scandling Campus Center
$50 per adult, $25 per child under 12, no charge for children under 5
Graduating seniors’ dinner is compliments of our dining services partner, Sodexo

Your dinner entrée will need to be pre-selected through the online registration form. Your options will be:

  • Beef Tenderloin Roulade- stuffed with spinach, red peppers, tangy asiago cheese with a Bordelaise Sauce
  • Chicken Roulade- stuffed with asparagus and roasted red peppers with a lemon sauce
  • Mushroom Napoleon (Vegetarian option)
  • Vegan option also available

COMMENCEMENT MORNING BREAKFAST
8 – 9:30 a.m. | Sunday, May 17
Scandling Campus Center, Great Hall of Saga
Grab and Go options available
Pre-registration is not required.

COMMENCEMENT DAY LUNCHEON
Immediately following Commencement | Sunday, May 17
Scandling Campus Center, Great Hall of Saga
$22.00 per adult/graduating senior, $16.00 per child under 12, no charge for children 5 and under
Pre-registration is required.

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OTHER

OUTSTANDING BILL
Students slated for graduation will receive a final E-Bill in April, which must be paid prior to Commencement. E-bills are generated by the Student Accounts Department, and issued via each student’s Nelnet account. Questions about billing can be directed to Student Accounts at 315-781-3343.

QUESTIONS ABOUT ELIGIBILITY
Should you have any questions regarding your child’s eligibility for graduation, the student may email Linda Radin at radin@hws.edu from their HWS email account with concerns. If the student includes their parent email address, and states in the inquiry that they are providing permission for their parent to be included in Registrar email correspondence, then the parent (or other designated party) will be included in the response.

TICKETS NOT REQUIRED FOR COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY
Commencement is held outdoors on the Hobart Quad where there is plenty of seating available. All family and friends are welcomed to attend the ceremony. If the rain plan is implemented, the ceremony will be moved to the Robert A. Bristol ’31 Field House.  Please dress for comfort in either venue. Commencement will be simulcast in a location to be announced.

PARKING FOR ALL GUESTS
Parking is available in the Medbery and Scandling parking lots. If the rain plan is implemented, parking is available at Medbery and the Staples Plaza with shuttles running.  For guests with accessibility needs, complete parking information and maps, please visit the commencement parking page.

RAIN PLAN
Should the weather be inclement, Commencement exercises will be moved to the Robert A. Bristol ’31 Field House at the Caird Center for Sports and Recreation. WGVA (1240 AM and 96.1 FM), WEOS (89.7 and 90.3 FM) and WHWS 105.7 FM will make announcements Sunday morning beginning at 7 a.m. Or, you can check the HWS Update webpage for the most current information regarding location. Special parking and shuttle services will be made available should the rain plan be implemented.

SPECIAL NEEDS
If you have any special needs that may require accommodation in order to ensure your full participation, please contact the Parents Office at (315) 781-3700. There will be a sign language interpreter at Commencement. 

BROADCAST ARRANGEMENTS 
The Commencement ceremony will be simulcast on campus in a location to be announced. Additionally, Commencement will be streamed online starting at 10:15 a.m.

ANNOUNCEMENTS, DIPLOMA FRAMES, CLASS RINGS
The College Store is your source for announcements/invitations, diploma frames and class rings. Visit the College Store and click on Graduation Items. The College Store will be open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16, and from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 17. Phone: (315) 781-3449.

PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO SERVICES
A professional photographer will photograph each senior as he/she receives his/her diploma. You will receive a color proof and order form a few weeks after Commencement from GradImages Photography. Personalized DVD/Blu-Ray Videos of Commencement Exercises will be available through the online registration form or through IT Services. For questions, contact IT Services at 315-781-4357, or by email at helpdesk@hws.edu

GradImages Photography, 3490 Martin Hurst Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32312, (850) 906-3543
Contact: Travis Walker, Client Services Specialist, twalker@gradimages.com

PRESS RELEASES
Press releases will be sent to the hometown newspaper of graduates after Commencement. As soon as possible prior to Commencement, please email publicity@hws.edu with your hometown newspaper’s name, address (e-mail address if they have one) along with a current photo of the graduate.

CAP AND GOWNS
The College Store will offer an online store for caps and gowns beginning in February 2020. Ask your graduating senior to watch for details in their email.

STUDENT COMMUNICATIONS
Students will be notified about schedules for rehearsals and procedures to ensure correct name pronunciation for Commencement.

SENIOR WEEK EVENTS
The Senior Week Committee plans activities for seniors during the week before Commencement. Contact the Office of Student Activities with questions at (315) 781-3513.

If you have any additional questions regarding Commencement Weekend, please contact the Parents Office at (315) 781-3700.

Messages to the Community

Commencement 2020 by President Joyce P. Jacobsen, Provost and Dean of Faculty Mary Coffey and Vice President for Campus Life Robb Flowers - March 22, 2021


VIDEO

Commencement Stream

Commencement 2020 will be streamed live on Sunday, June 6, 2021 starting at 10 a.m.


PAST COVERAGE

Virtual Commencement 2020
Commencement 2019
Commencement 2018
Commencement 2017
Commencement 2016
Commencement 2015
Commencement 2014