+ 2021 Information for Graduating Seniors – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \

Letter to Degree Candidates

The Hobart College One Hundred and Ninety-Sixth Commencement and William Smith College One Hundred and Tenth Commencement will be held on Sunday, May 16, 2021. Students are recommended for a degree upon completion of requirements pertaining to their class. Candidates are personally responsible for satisfactorily completing all degree requirements, academic and financial requirements. (See "Clearance for Graduation"). A student who has no more than two courses outstanding toward degree requirements may participate in commencement exercises.

As you approach the completion of your degree program, you will need information regarding senior week, which begins May 10, with particular emphasis on the May 16 Commencement Exercises. (See "Senior Week Schedule").

Please read the following checklist and retain for guidance and continued reference throughout the graduation process.

This is an occasion where the Colleges take great pride in their students’ accomplishments and honor you along with your families, friends and loved ones who also take pride in your achievements. Let this be an honorable and dignified celebration, a memorable and festive day for all of us to enjoy.

To the Classes of 2021, we applaud your efforts in completing degree requirements and wish you continued success in your future endeavors. See you at rehearsal!

With best wishes,
Peter Sarratori


Commencement Exercises

Commencement exercises are held annually at the end of spring semester. Students are recommended for a degree once they have completed requirements pertaining to their class. A student who has a minimum 2.000 GPA and who is within two courses of completing all outstanding degree requirements is allowed to participate in Commencement exercises, once voted “upon completion” by the faculty. By long-standing institutional policy, practice, and consensus, there are NO exceptions to this rule. If a student completes all remaining degree requirements prior to October 1 of the same calendar year, the student will receive his or her degree dated May of that year. Notification of outstanding requirements is sent via student senior letters, and to the students’ HWS email accounts throughout the spring semester of their senior year. Degree candidates are recommended to the President and Board of Trustees for approval by faculty vote. Contact the Student Accounts Office at (315) 781-3343 to check on financial requirements.

Federal Stafford Loan and Federal Perkins Loan borrowers are required by the US Department of Education to complete Exit Counseling prior to graduation. All borrowers of Stafford and/or Perkins loans should receive an email with instructions for completing Exit Counseling online. Please contact the Financial Aid Office at (315) 781-3315 with any questions.

Should a student have questions concerning the Commencement Exercises or this correspondence, please do not hesitate to call the Registrar’s Office at (315) 781-3651.

Time and Place

Commencement Exercises will be held on the Hobart Quadrangle, Sunday, May 16, 2021. The academic procession begins at 10:00 a.m.


Commencement Rehearsal is Friday, May 14, 2021 at 3 p.m. on the Hobart Quadrangle. More information on rehearsal coming soon.

How to robe and wear the commencement regalia

Commencement Robing Video

Broadcast Arrangements

The Commencement exercise will be simulcast in a location to be announced. WHWS 105.7FM (webcast at www.whws.fm) plans to broadcast commencement, beginning at 10:15 a.m. Should weather be inclement, rain plan announcements will also be broadcast between 7 and 9 a.m.

Video and Photography 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. Personalized videotapes and DVDs of Commencement Exercises will be available through IT Services. Contact IT Services to place an order by phone at 315-781-4357, or by email at helpdesk@hws.edu.

SPECIAL NOTE TO STUDENTS WHO ARE NOT PLANNING TO ATTEND: Those who are not planning to attend Commencement, please contact Amy Homhouane at homhouane@hws.edu ASAP.