Dear Senior Class,

Greetings! As the Spring weather sets upon the campus, it is a pleasure to begin as your Dean of Students. While our paths are crossing for only a few, short weeks, this time may be among the most memorable as you celebrate your achievements over the past four years and bid farewell to faculty mentors and fellow seniors bound to excel across the world. I’m honored to join you in the final weeks of the semester and, to start, plan to share some critical information about Commencement. You are receiving this email as a remote student OR a recent graduate who will be participating in Commencement and therefore several bullet points are even more critical to be aware of in your preparation. Congratulations on your accomplishments and in becoming a member of Lafayette College’s 186th graduating class.

For comprehensive and up-to-date information regarding the Commencement Ceremony, please visit the College’s Commencement page. Below are several highlights of note.

Return to Campus
Students returning to campus for Commencement due to previous remote status or recent graduates will need to participate in COVID-19 testing, unless students received the vaccine prior to arrival. More details to follow on both testing procedures and/or record.

Assembly for Commencement
Members of the Class of 2021 will be expected to assemble, fully-robed no later than 9:15 a.m. on Sunday, May 30. Assembly location will be in the Kirby Sports Center arena. Students will arrive and sit in alphabetical order at their labeled seat.

*If you will not be attending Commencement, please indicate so here, no later than May 1. Students who will not be attending Commencement will still have their names read, in absentia.

Order Caps/Gowns at the Bookstore
While you may be currently away from campus, you may order your graduation regalia through this bookstore.

Senior Photos for the Yearbook
If you did not have the opportunity to take a senior portrait on campus with Lors Photography, but you would still like to have your portrait in the yearbook, there will be an online submission process starting in May. Students who have not taken a senior portrait on campus will receive an email from the company called Balfour. The email will contain a person-specific link with instructions on how to submit a portrait to the yearbook.

Attire
Please wear formal dress appropriate for this tradition. Be mindful of your footwear since you will be walking across an artificial turf surface, which will feel warmer than air temperature. Flatter shoes might be a good option. The mortarboard (cap) is worn on the level with the tassel on the right side. The hood is worn flat against your back and you can learn by viewing this video. In addition, Campus Life staff members will be there tomorrow to assist you with putting on your regalia.

Special Ceremonies & Receptions
Baccalaureate
Sunday, May 23, 7:30 p.m., virtual
Baccalaureate is a non-denominational celebration to honor the College’s graduating senior class. Unlike the larger Commencement exercises, the service offers a quieter, more intimate opportunity to pause and reflect on this rite of passage, hear faculty members, classmates, and others offer advice to the graduating class, and enjoy students’ musical talents. Organized by the College Chaplain, Baccalaureate is designed to be an inspirational, interfaith celebration. Viewing link will be available Sunday, May 23

Honors Convocation and Departmental Honors
Sunday, May 23, virtual/pre-recorded visible on website on this date
Honors Convocation is an annual celebration of student academic and community achievement where approximately 100+ endowed and department awards are presented to students.

Departmental Honors and honors in interdisciplinary majors are awarded for outstanding performance in writing a senior thesis or in conducting senior research.

Posse Graduation – Tuesday, May 25, 7:30-9:00 p.m. virtual; live streamed
A special ceremony dedicated to honoring the graduating Posse Scholars. Video link will be emailed to Class of 2021

Accessibility
For individuals requiring accessible seating or other accommodations, please contact Accessibility Services at 610-330-3513 or Marty Sullivan, by Friday, April 30 to help us to ensure availability.

Federal Student Loan Exit Counseling
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 www.studentloans.gov. 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 financialaid@lafayette.edu.

Account Balances
Please review your student account balance on my.lafayette.edu. 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, 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, 2021. 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 studentbilling@lafayette.edu.

Development Office
“Be sure to make your Senior Class Gift and earn your Class of 2021 pin to wear at Commencement! When you make a gift of any amount to any area on campus, you will receive your class pin. A gift of $20.21 will earn you the class pin and a Class of 2021 pint glass. Visit https://crowdfunding.lafayette.edu/campaigns/class-of-2021-senior-class-gift-campaign#/ to make your gift!”

Alumni Relations
Alumni Relations congratulates the Class of 2021 and invites you to stay connected with our 30,000 alumni and the College. Learn about events, volunteering, and more at  Leopardlink.lafayette.edu

Very best,

Dean Samble

Brian Samble, Ph.D.

Dean of Students
Lafayette College
Pronouns: he/him/his