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For Graduating Students & Their Families

Family at Commencement

Save the Date! Commencement is on Sunday, May 19, 2024. Several other local colleges are holding their commencement ceremonies the same weekend this year—we strongly encourage booking lodging as soon as possible.

Event Locations & Seating

Ivy Day and Commencement will be held outside on the Quadrangle except in the case of inclement weather. The signal that Ivy Day or Commencement will be held indoors at the Track and Tennis Facility will be the ringing of the college bells at 8 a.m.; the doors of the ITT will also open at that time. Ceremonies will be streamed live to Facebook. No account is required to watch. For further information, contact smithevents@smith.edu.

If Commencement is Held Outdoors on the Quad

  • Tickets are not required.
  • The Quad accommodates up to 7,200 guests.
  • Guests are welcome to arrive starting at 8 a.m. to secure seating.
  • Seats may not be saved; items left on chairs to reserve them will be removed.
  • If the Northampton Fire Department determines the Quad has reached its capacity, they have the obligation to close the space to ensure the safety of our guests.

 

If the Ceremony is Held Indoors in the ITT Due to Inclement Weather

  • Tickets are not required
  • Guests are welcome to arrive starting at 8 a.m. to secure seating.
  • Seats may not be saved; items left on chairs to reserve them will be removed.
  • If the Northampton Fire Department determines the ITT has reached its capacity, they have the obligation to close the space to ensure the safety of our guests.

Senior To-Do List Before Graduation

  • Due April 12: Deadline for all J-Grads to request Commencement housing via the online form.
  • Due April 12: Record name in Name Coach to be read at Commencement. Information will be sent after Spring break. 
  • Due April 12: Complete questionnaire in your Workday inbox, only available after your adviser has approved your 64 credits outside your major. If you do not complete the questionnaire, the College will assume you are attending Commencement and you will march with the last house you were assigned to in Workday.
  • Due April 19: Fill out the Translation Needs form should your family need services at Commencement.
  • Due April 19: Fill out the Special Accommodation Needs form for family members for Ivy Day and Commencement ceremonies.
  • Purchase ALL regalia needed to march in Commencement from the Smith Bookstore starting April 15, 2024 ($64.29/set).
  • Register and purchase meals for your guests and family members during Commencement weekend. 
  • Make sure your personal contact information and address after graduation are on file with the College should they need to reach you.
  • Review house closing information for seniors from Residence Life. All houses close for seniors at noon on Monday, May 20.
  • Purchase tickets for Senior Ball, taking place April 27, 2024 and Senior Week Activities, May 11–17, 2024.
  • Read all email that has “Commencement” in the subject line and respond if needed.

  • Attend Mandatory Commencement Rehearsal on Friday, May 17 at 9 a.m. in the ITT.
  • Attend Ivy Day Ceremony on Saturday, May 18, and wear white.
  • Attend Commencement on Sunday, May 19, and wear full regalia.

NameCoach

In order for us to ensure that we pronounce your name correctly during Commencement activities, all graduating students will receive an email from NameCoach with a unique link that will allow you to log in and record your name. It is important that you do this in advance to assist us in reading names correctly during the ceremony. If you need technical assistance with NameCoach, please send an email to support@name-coach.com.

Academic Regalia

Following Smith College tradition, graduating students wear academic regalia for the first time at Rally Day, three months before Commencement. For Commencement, graduating seniors should come dressed in their full regalia.

Caps and gowns will be available for preorder online and can be picked up at the Smith College Bookstore.

Those receiving financial aid have the option of participating in the Regalia Loan Program lottery offered through the Student Government Association. All students will be invited to enter the lottery in January and will be notified in early February as to whether they can receive regalia through this program.

Only students who receive Smith aid and are verified through Student Financial Services are eligible to enter the lottery. Questions regarding this program should be directed to the SGA office at sga@smith.edu.

Yearbook

The Madeleine is published in the fall and a copy will be mailed to graduates at their parent’s home address in mid-October. Additional copies of the book or past books may be purchased through the Office of Student Engagement for $50 each.

Photography & News Media

Commencement Photography

  • A photographer from GradImages will be at the Commencement ceremony to take photographs of each graduate. Graduates will receive a free passport-sized digital proof of this photo on an order card within 5-7 days following the ceremony.
  • Questions may be emailed to service@gradimages.com.
  • After the ceremony you may order online at www.gradimages.com or call 800-261-2576.
  • Prior to the ceremony: To pre-register your permanent email address, please visit www.gradimages.com and click on Pre-Event Registration. You may add contact information for up to six additional relatives and/or friends.
  • GradImages never has and never will sell or share the address/email information provided to us.

News Reporters & Photographers

Media representatives must have Smith-issued credentials, worn in full view, to enter the roped-off areas of the campus on Saturday and Sunday.

We understand that international students who hope to have family members attend graduation may need documentation about their travels. Please see the International Students & Scholars Office's travel page for more information about how to obtain a personal letter of invitation.

Family at Commencement 2018
Family at Commencement 2018
Graduating student in their regalia holds a young child wearing their graduation cap

General Information & Guidelines

COVID-19 Guidelines

Visit the COVID-19 information page to stay up-to-date on Smith's COVID-19 policies.

Lost & Found

Inquiries about articles lost on campus may be made Thursday through Sunday at the Campus Center information desk, 413-585-4801.

Men’s Restrooms

Men’s restrooms can be found in the Ainsworth/Scott Gymnasium complex, Alumnae House, the Campus Center, Mendenhall Center for the Performing Arts, the Museum of Art, Neilson Library, Seelye Hall and Wright Hall. Portable restrooms will be available at the Commencement ceremony.

No Pets

Please leave all pets at home. Animals and pets, with the exception of trained service animals assisting individuals with disabilities, are not allowed on campus.

Emergencies

Any emergency, including one that may require an ambulance or the Northampton Fire Department, should be reported to the campus safety, extension 5555 (for emergencies) or 413-585-5555 from a cell phone.

Anyone who is injured or becomes ill while on campus should seek medical attention at the Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 30 Locust Street, at 413-582-2000. If the illness or injury appears life threatening, call Smith extension 5555 (or 413-585-5555 from a cell phone) for ambulance service.

During Commencement, emergency medical personnel will be on site.

Smoking

Smoking is prohibited in all campus buildings, including campus houses, meeting rooms, auditoriums and students’ private rooms.

Dining Services

Families may order tote lunches on Saturday, May 18 and may also make reservations for Commencement Brunch in the houses on Sunday, May 19. Check back soon for a reservation form. The Café will also be open for retail business during the weekend. Please use the GrubHub app to order at the Café. For more information about the Café, please visit Café website.

Parties

No private parties may be held in any spaces or areas on campus.

Clothing

New England weather can be volatile and evenings may be quite cool; you may want to dress in layers and be prepared for rain.

Sustainability/Hydration Stations

Hydration stations will be available at Commencement for guests. We ask that you help Smith College in their sustainability efforts and encourage you to bring a reusable water bottle to fill at the stations.

WiFi

Wireless internet access is available in all academic buildings. Visit the ITS website for instructions.

Weather

The Senior Candle-Lighting Ceremony, Sophomore Push/Senior Step Sing and Illumination could be canceled in extreme weather conditions, such as lightning, hail or severe winds. For further information about rain on Commencement Day, call 413-585-4636 (the college information line) after 7:30 a.m. that day. The signal that Commencement or Ivy Day will be held indoors at the Track and Tennis Facility, will be the ringing of the college bells at 8 a.m.; the doors of the ITT will also open at that time. Ivy Day and the Commencement ceremonies will be streamed live to Facebook. No account is required to watch.

Accessibility Accommodations

Smith College is committed to providing an inclusive and accessible experience for all graduates and their guests during Commencement weekend. Should guests have any accommodation requests such as accessible seating, assistive listening devices, sign language interpreters, etc., please complete the Disability Accommodations Request Form for each guest requesting accommodations.

Parking

Information on parking for those with physical disabilities can be found under Commencement Parking.

Transportation

On-campus shuttle service is wheelchair accessible and available by calling 413-585-2400. No Shuttles will be available to the Quad area after 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Building Accessibility

Please use the Interactive Campus Map for more information regarding building accessibility.

Service Animals

Trained Service dogs, who are tethered and under the control of their handler, are welcome at all commencement events.

Translation Devices

Check back soon to use the Translation Device Reservation Form if a guest or member of your family requires the Commencement exercises to be translated into Mandarin or Spanish.