Dear Senior:

It’s almost that time! I know the next several weeks will fly by quickly so I wanted to send all the details you need for the upcoming celebration of your achievements. This message contains important information so please bear with me and read all the way through. Commencement is on Saturday, May 23, 2020, a day I am sure you have marked in your calendar.

For Honors Thesis Students and their families, a ceremony will be held at 5:00 p.m. in Colton Chapel on Friday, May 22, 2020. Immediately following the ceremony a reception will be held in the Daniel P. O’Neil ‘06 Plaza, adjacent to the chapel, in the event of rain the reception will be held in the Bergethon Room of Marquis Hall.

For Posse Scholars and their families, a ceremony will be held Saturday, May 23, 2020, at 8:00 a.m. in the Wilson Room of Pfenning Alumni Center (located at 352 Hamilton Street).

The following information should answer most of your questions concerning this year’s Commencement Exercises.

1. Your attendance at the Commencement Exercises is expected. Ordinarily, degrees are not awarded in absentia.

2. Baccalaureate is a celebratory, interfaith event planned by the Chaplain’s Office featuring several members of the Class of 2020 as speakers and performers. This service will be held on Saturday, May 23, 2020, at 10:30 a.m in the Allan P. Kirby Sports Center and is open to the Class of 2020, all their relatives and guests, and all members of the Lafayette community. There is no senior processional for this service so that students and parents may be seated together. Caps and gowns are not worn at the Baccalaureate service. Attendance is highly encouraged, but not mandatory.

     A Roman Catholic Mass will be celebrated in Colton Chapel, the day following commencement, on Sunday, May 24, 2020, at 11:30 a.m.

3. A Complimentary Commencement Luncheon is planned for graduates and their immediate families between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in the Kamine Gymnasium. Please use the doors on Hamilton Street to access the Kirby Sports Center. Please RSVP letting us know how many in your family plan to attend.

4. Commencement Exercises will be held on Saturday, May 23rd, 2020 at 2:30 p.m. on the Fisher Field. In the event of rain, the Exercises will be held inside the Allan P. Kirby Sports Center. Due to limited seating capacity, Rain Site Tickets will be required. Each graduate will be entitled to four “rain site” tickets to the indoor ceremony for distribution to family members and guests. These will be available for pick up at the Grad Finale event being held at the College Store on April 23rd and 24th, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and at the Athletic Ticket Office in Kirby Sports Center 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. beginning Monday, April 27th and on Commencement Day 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Again, we strongly encourage the pick up of these tickets well in advance of Commencement Day to avoid lines at the Ticket Office on Saturday morning. These tickets will be needed only if the Commencement ceremony must be held indoors. Admission to the Kirby Sports Center by ticket will be between 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Lost tickets will not be replaced. A rain decision will be made early on the morning of May 23rd and communicated by recorded message at 610-330-5809 as well as by email to members of the 186th Graduating Class. Announcements will also be placed throughout campus that day.

Please note: Commencement is an important Lafayette tradition and one that we hope   you, your peers, and members of your family will reflect fondly on for many years to come. In order to celebrate this venerable tradition and to make the event as enjoyable as possible for everyone in attendance, alcoholic beverages are not permitted at any of the events on Commencement Day, with the exception of a champagne toast on The Quad immediately following Commencement.

5. Assembly for seniors (rain or shine) will begin promptly at 1:30 p.m. in the west end of the Kirby Sports Center (behind the Varsity basketball area). It is essential that you report on time at 1:30 p.m. so that you can receive instructions about the processional as well as to locate your proper seat in the processional.

6. Caps, gowns, hoods, and tassels must be worn during the Commencement Exercises. They will be available for $59 at the Grad Finale event being held at the College Store on April 23rd and 24th, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

A couple more notes on attire for Commencement Day: Please wear formal dress appropriate for this tradition, but keep in mind the weather forecast because the gowns can be warm when layered with heavy clothing. There will be stairs to the stage, which can be slick in wet weather. The mortarboard (cap) is worn on the level with the tassel on the right side. The hood is worn flat against your back. You can view a model in the bookstore or by viewing the following video: Video of Proper Hooding. As noted above, caps and gowns are not to be worn during the Baccalaureate Service.

7. The President’s Reception, to which all seniors and their families are invited, will be held on The Quad immediately following Commencement, approximately at 4:00 p.m. In the event of rain, the reception will be held inside Kamine Gymnasium.


1. Four complimentary commencement announcements will be given to you at the College Store Grad Finale Event held on April 23rd and 24th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Personalized announcements can be purchased separately by visiting:

2. Per federal regulations, graduates who receive federal loans through the Direct Student Loan Program at any time as a Lafayette student must complete Exit Loan Counseling. As the reminders to you stated, you should complete this requirement prior to graduation in preparation for repaying any federal student loans. You may access your Exit Loan Counseling at If you have questions regarding repayment or the exit counseling, do not hesitate to contact the Office of Financial Aid at (610) 330-5055, 107 Markle Hall, or by email at There will be both group and individual opportunities to discuss your loans during senior week.

3. Please review your student account balance on It is important that you pay all financial obligations including College Store balances, Deans’ Loans, Health Center fees, and fines from Public Safety, Facility Operations, and Skillman Library. Payments can be made at the Cashier’s window, the basement of Marquis Hall, open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. These financial obligations need to be cleared prior to May 1, 2020. There will be no release of records certifying graduation until all debts have been paid. Questions regarding student accounts should be directed to (610) 330-5145 or

4. The official photographer for Lafayette’s Commencement Ceremony, GradImagesTM will take photos of students at their moment of recognition (family and friends cannot approach the stage to take pictures). Proofs will be sent home and via email within three to five days after graduation. Pictures can be ordered online, by phone or by mail. For more information, call GradImagesTM, (800) 261-2576, or visit Registering with GradImages provides the information needed to deliver your graduation proofs promptly. You may also provide email addresses of up to six friends and family members to allow them to celebrate the accomplishment.

5. Roses are available for ordering in dozens, arranged in a gift box along with a gift card with a personal message. All proceeds benefit Crime Victims Council of the Lehigh Valley, a nonprofit victim-assistance agency. Roses may be picked up at the 1st-floor atrium in the Allan P. Kirby Sports Center from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Call (610) 437-6610 or

Once again, please accept my congratulations on this well-deserved honor.


Annette Diorio
Vice President for Campus Life