Letter To Prospective Graduates
Dear Prospective May 2015 Graduate:
At their March meeting, the faculty will vote on the tentative list of students who will be permitted to participate in the Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 9, 2015. 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 5 – 7) and Commencement Weekend (May 8 – 9) in this 200th year of the College. 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.
GRADUATE PARTICIPATION IN COMMENCEMENT
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 come in to Schultz Hall, Room 191 in the spring of 2015 to make arrangements for the mailing of your diploma.
A procession of the graduating class in academic regalia opens the first of the official Commencement Weekend ceremonies. Historically a religious service, the Baccalaureate service at Allegheny is a celebration of this milestone in all of our students’ lives and features readings from various faith traditions represented in the class, reflections by Chaplain Jane Ellen Nickell, and choral, brass, and organ music. A highlight is a slide show of the graduating class in volunteer and other activities.
CAP AND GOWN PURCHASE
All participants in Commencement (and Baccalaureate) must appear in cap and gown. We will sell caps/gowns in the Bookstore in April and continue until the start of the Commencement ceremony! Cap/gown set includes black gown, black mortar board and black tassel with gold 2015 medallion. 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.
Online ordering of caps and gowns is available as a convenience only to students who are NOT studying on campus spring semester and standard shipping rates apply. Online cap/gown orders are only available for shipping to locations outside of Meadville, PA and shipping to college post office boxes or store pickup is not available. Online cap/gown orders can be shipped; dates to be announced. Pre-ordering is certainly not necessary and students may save shipping cost by purchasing their caps/gown in the Bookstore.
Personalized College Announcements are available at Balfour. There are several different graduation announcement packages available to students and their families.
SENIOR WEEK EVENTS: MAY 5-7
The details of Senior Week are being finalized by your Senior Class Officers with the assistance of their committee. The week begins Tuesday evening, after your LAST round of finals at Allegheny. Bus transportation will be provided for all events. In fact, only those who show proof that they have taken the bus will be admitted to the Senior Week events listed in this mailing. This policy will be in force all week. 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 will need to pick up meal tickets, along with their Commencement tickets, May 4 – 7, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. in the Office of Conference and Event Services, Schultz Hall, Room 191. You will get dinner tickets for Wednesday and Thursday (Friday dinner is on your own); lunch tickets for Thursday and Friday (Saturday’s lunch will be given to you at rehearsal), and breakfast tickets for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided in McKinley’s; dinner on Wednesday and Thursday will be in Brooks Pine Lounge.
COMMENCEMENT REHEARSAL AND CEREMONY
Saturday, May 9, 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, including cords and colors, 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 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 at the Bicentennial Plaza, a closed circuit broadcast will be available in nearby Schultz Banquet Hall for those who prefer to sit inside.
This year’s Commencement speaker will be Honorary Degree recipient Mark Shields, a PBS political analyst and author. Additional Honorary Degree recipients are Dan and Patricia Rooney, owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Herb Niles, Allegheny College Trustee.
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.
Commencement tickets will be given to seniors who have been approved by the faculty to participate in Commencement and must be picked up May 4 – 7, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. in the Office of Conference and Event Services, Schultz 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.
MAILING TO FAMILIES
Your family will receive a postcard to notify them of Commencement events 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 so that the correct number of reservations are made. 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.
PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
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 photo 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. DVDs can be ordered on line at the Graduation Nation site.
Flowers for Commencement can be pre-ordered from CommencementFlowers.com. Some flowers will be available for purchase on May 9, 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 and Event Services at 332-3101 or one of your Senior Class Officers. Good luck to you as you complete your senior year!