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. Seniors do not march in a processional or wear caps and gowns for this event. Family members and the campus community are invited to attend.
In the event of inclement weather, the Baccalaureate Service or Commencement will move indoors. That information will be available in a recorded message on the Lafayette Weather Information Hotline (610-330-5809) as soon as it is known.
A luncheon will be available for graduates and their families to dine informally in the air conditioned Allan P. Kirby Sports Center, Kamine Gymnasium immediately before the Commencement ceremonies. Please use the Hamilton Street entrance of the Kirby Sports Center. Graduates will receive three complimentary luncheon tickets at the Athletic Ticket Office in the Kirby Sports Center; one for the graduate plus two for his/her guests. Additional tickets may be obtained in advance from the Ticket Office or on Commencement Day. Complimentary tickets will be available for pick up only at the Athletic Ticket Office in the Kirby Sports Center 10 a.m.-4 p.m. beginning Monday, May 1 and on Commencement from 9-11:30 a.m. Tickets can also be purchased at the luncheon.
We strongly encourage students to pick up their complimentary tickets and any additionally purchased tickets well in advance of Commencement so as to avoid long lines at Will Call on Commencement Day. Also, replacement tickets will not be issued. We appreciate your understanding.
Assembly for seniors will be at 1:30 p.m. in Kirby Sports Center, west end of the arena. It is imperative that candidates meet promptly. Please turn off all cell phones. Caps, gowns, and hoods are to be worn at the Commencement ceremony. They are purchased from the College Store beginning April 27 for $59. To be comfortable, you do not wear a jacket underneath your academic robe. Women are advised to leave purses with guests or at home. Caps, gowns, and hoods are yours to keep after the ceremony.
Families, friends, and members of the faculty and administrative staff are invited to join the graduates at 2:30 p.m. for the Commencement Exercises on the Quad. Guests should plan to arrive and be seated no later than 2 p.m. to prevent traffic delays. Tickets are not required for Commencement held outside on the Quad. Audience seating for Commencement at the outdoor site will be on a first-come, first-served basis. We will not be able to reserve seats or control access to these areas; only occupying them can hold seats. Special seating arrangements can be made for those with medical problems or physical disabilities by contacting the President’s Office, (610) 330-5200, before May 1. Note that the outdoor ceremony is held in an unshaded area.
In case of rain, Commencement will be held in Kirby Sports Center Arena. Indoor seating is limited. Each graduate will receive up 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 Athletic Ticket Office in Kirby Sports Center 10 a.m.-4 p.m. beginning Monday, May 1 and on Commencement day from 9-11:30 a.m. Any tickets not picked up will be brought to the luncheon at the Kamine Gymnasium and can be picked up through the end of the luncheon at 1:30 p.m. These tickets will be needed only if the Commencement ceremony must be held indoors. Admission to the Kirby Sports Center Arena by ticket will be between 1-2:15 p.m. At the conclusion of the indoor program and as a courtesy to other graduates and their families, guests should remain seated until the entire procession (graduates, faculty and platform party) has departed the Arena. PLEASE NOTE: Rain or shine, the ceremony will also be broadcasted into Colton Chapel (which is air conditioned) – no tickets required for Colton Chapel seating.
Information about Commencement (restroom locations, special seating, etc.) will be available at two areas on the Quad prior to and during the ceremony. A professional photographer will take individual photos of the graduates receiving their diplomas. Details will be provided by mail directly from GradImages. For the safety and security of all of our guests, pets will not be allowed on the Quad.
Following Commencement, President Alison Byerly will host a reception for graduates, parents, families, and friends at the President’s House Garden. No tickets are required. In case of rain, the reception will be held in Kamine Gymnasium, Allan P. Kirby Sports Center.
A Roman Catholic Mass for graduates, their relatives, and guests will be held 11:30 a.m. Sunday, May 21, in Colton Chapel.