Graduate Letter

Letter To Prospective Graduates

Dear Prospective May 2018 Graduate:

At their March meeting, the faculty vote to include your name on the tentative graduation list of students permitted to participate in the Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 12, 2018. Graduation Day, which seemed to be some long-distant goal, is just months away! We wish you the best as you complete your degree requirements and pursue your dreams.

Many events and activities are included in Senior Week (May 8-10) and Commencement Weekend (May 11-12) in this 203rd year of the College. Please read all information carefully. We hope you will take maximum advantage of everything offered and be sure to communicate and coordinate all plans and reservations with your family. All information regarding Commencement can be found on this website. There will be no additional mailings.


An email will be sent in February from the Registrar’s Office to your Allegheny email address with a link to a form that you must submit to ensure that you will be able to “walk” at graduation. If you do not receive this email, please contact the Registrar Office at 814-332-2357. All May graduates are expected to participate in the Commencement ceremony. President Mullen presents diplomas to graduates as each graduate’s name is announced to the audience. We want each graduate to receive the correct diploma so we must know who is present. In the event that you cannot attend the ceremony, you must indicate that on the form from the Registrar’s Office by March 23th.


All participants in Commencement (and Baccalaureate) must appear in cap and gown. Caps and gowns may be purchased from the College Bookstore. The cost of the cap and gown (including tassel) will be available in January. Payment must be made to the Allegheny College Bookstore when the cap and gown are picked up. PLEASE NOTE: There is no need to stop by the bookstore to be measured for your cap and gown. The caps are one size fits all and the gowns are bulk ordered by height.


Personalized College Announcements are available at Jostens. There are several different graduation announcement packages available to students and their families.


The details of Senior Week are being finalized by your Senior Class Officers with the assistance of their committee. Updates regarding Senior Week activities will be sent to you from the Senior Week committee or you can find Senior Week information at Student Involvement.


All prospective May graduates are asked to keep their Allegheny College ID card (Insta-Gator card) through May 12, as this card will be re-coded for meals during Senior Week. It will entitle you to eat most meals in McKinley’s Food Court (but it cannot be used for the on-campus Friday Evening Dinner or any Senior Week events). This meal card becomes effective at dinner Wednesday, May 9 through dinner on Friday, May 11 and it must be presented to the Allegheny Food Service staff to obtain meals.

All meals except the Friday Evening Dinner are scheduled in McKinley’s Food Court. The Friday Evening Dinner is by reservation only – see the Friday Dinner Form to make your reservations. From Wednesday’s dinner through Friday’s lunch, Allegheny College Dining Services will offer various specials and combo meals at McKinley’s; the atrium window will be open for breakfast.


Saturday, May 12, begins with Commencement rehearsal in Wise Center Performance Arena (rain or shine) at NOON sharp! Do NOT bring purses or cell phones as they cannot be carried during the procession and there is no place to store them. NO paraphernalia of any kind is permitted on caps or gowns.

Directly after rehearsal, the Commencement ceremony begins with a formal academic procession of graduates (you), faculty, and the “platform party,” which includes the honorary degree recipients and faculty presenters. Commencement exercises will be at the new Bicentennial Plaza on Bentley Lawn, weather permitting, or in the Wise Center Sports Forum. We do everything possible to have the ceremony outdoors so dress according to the weather. Tickets are required for the ceremony only if the weather forces us indoors to the Wise Center Sports Forum. If the ceremony is indoors, please note that Shafer Auditorium will be set up for closed circuit viewing of the ceremony to accommodate guests not holding tickets. Even if the ceremony is held on Bentley Lawn, a closed circuit broadcast will be available in nearby Schultz Banquet Hall for those who prefer to sit inside.

Immediately following the ceremony, plan to attend the All-College Departmental Reception and introduce your family and friends to your favorite faculty and staff. If we are outdoors, the Reception will be on Brooks Walk. If we are indoors, the Reception will be in the Campus Center. Please plan to meet your family at the Reception NOT at the ceremony site.


The College supports the wearing of honors cords, stoles, insignia and/or pins at Commencement ceremonies by students who have earned these privileges through the achievement of academic honors, completing honors programs, as recipients of designated academic scholarship funds, academic unit or departmental honors, military service, induction into Allegheny College-recognized honor societies, athletic distinction, or membership in good standing in College-recognized professional or service organizations.

Latin Honors will not be identified until voted on by the faculty during their final meeting of the semester. The requirements for Latin Honors include the following:

Required completion of 64 credit hours at Allegheny College on a letter-grade basis.

Cum laude requires a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.50
Magna Cum Laude requires a cumulative grade point average of at least a 3.70
Summa Cum Laude requires a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.90

Students must not have a record of an Honor Code violation resulting in probation, suspension, or expulsion from the College

Latin Honors will be indicated on diplomas by a Gold Seal, printed in the Commencement Program, and announced by the Provost when they walk across the stage.

All honors cords, stoles, pins and insignia must be approved by the Office of the Dean of Students via e-mail at at least two (2) weeks prior to Commencement. Most students will need to purchase their own honors cords, stoles, pins, and/or insignia, unless provided by the academic department. Approved cords, stoles, sashes, insignia and/or pins are worn in recognition of the student’s identity, cultural heritage, and membership in student organizations. Students may wear only one stole of their choice during official Commencement activities.


Commencement tickets will be given to seniors who have been approved by the faculty to participate in Commencement and must be picked up May 7 – 10, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. in the Office of Conference & Event Services, Schutlz Hall, Room 191. Each student is permitted four (4) tickets and you MUST have your ID card with you to get your tickets. Please remember to give your tickets to your family before rehearsal!

Your ID card (Insta-Gator card) entitles you to eat most meals at McKinley’s Food Court. A Senior Week ticket must be presented for admittance to Senior Week events, and a dinner reservation is required for admittance to the dinner Friday evening.


Your family will receive a postcard to notify them of Commencement and how to access this information on line. After reading the schedule for Commencement events and activities, be sure to call home and coordinate plans with your family. Your family is asked to include you in the number of tickets for the Friday Evening Dinner reservations. If you would like your family to be seated with a friend’s family, please make sure your family notes your friend’s name on the form. When you pick up your Commencement ceremony tickets, the meal tickets ordered by your family will also be available for pick-up.


A professional photographer will take photographs of all graduates receiving their diploma at Commencement (unless you have specified in advance that you do not want your picture taken). The photography firm will send proofs to your family within two weeks following Commencement Day. To ensure that you receive the proofs in a timely manner, please pre-register online with GradTrak Images. In addition, Graduation Nation will videotape all graduates during the ceremony and DVD’s can be ordered on their website.


Flowers for Commencement can be pre-ordered from Some flowers will be available for purchase on May 12, but pre-ordering is recommended.

We hope that this information is helpful to you as you make plans for your graduation. You can expect to hear from your Senior Class Officers soon with more details of Senior Week.

Finally, if you have any questions or want to help with preparations, contact the Office of Conference & Event Services at 332-3101 or one of your Senior Class Officers. Good luck to you as you complete your senior year!