Class of 2020 Commencement Details

The Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020
will be held on Saturday, July 31.

Please read all information below. • Commencement sign-up form deadline has passed.

Our Plan for Commencement

We plan to focus on the core, College-organized elements of the Commencement ceremony which are also the things that graduates mentioned repeatedly as being important to them. We know we cannot create a typical celebration, but we want to replicate, within public health guidelines, as much of the typical experience as possible.

Ceremony Details

  1. There is only one ceremony, for all graduates and their guests, at 11:00 am on Saturday, July 31, 2021.
  2. Graduates should report to the Wise Center Performance Arena promptly at 10:00 am for rehearsal. You will proceed directly to the Commencement Ceremony from rehearsal.
  3. Weather permitting, Commencement will be held outside on Bentley Lawn and Bicentennial Plaza and students will process through Bentley Hall. The Wise Center Blue Courts will be the location in case of rain. Please check the Commencement website on Saturday morning for the confirmed location.
  4. Bring your cap, gown, tassel, and cords or stoles to the rehearsal. If you bring anything else, you will need to carry it with you throughout the ceremony as we are unable to provide secure storage for your belongings.  You may pick up your cap, gown and tassel on the Concourse level of the Wise Center beginning at 8:30 am.

Baccalaureate: Baccalaureate for the Class of 2020 will feature remarks by President Hilary Link and Spiritual and Religious Life Staff, along with reflections, readings, and musical selections by members of the Class of 2020. If you signed up to attend Baccalaureate, please arrive at Shafer Auditorium prior to the 9:00 am start time. You are welcome to wear your cap and gown to this ceremony.


With a handful of exceptions, being eligible to “walk” in the 2020 Commencement Ceremony means you would have been eligible in May 2020.

Check-in: Cap & Gown pick up

Graduates will need to check-in individually on the morning of Saturday, July 31. The Check-in will be located at the Concourse level of the Wise Center and will be open from 8:30 am until rehearsal at 10 am. Graduates will receive their cap and gown, tassel, and the check for their accommodations (if eligible). Guests will check-in and receive their event tickets on Brooks Walk (if outdoors) or the Campus Center Box Office (if indoors).


Each graduate is permitted only two guests, whose names will have been provided to us in advance. No exceptions have been granted to this policy, so please do not put us in the position of turning your loved ones away from the ceremonies.

For your guests, doors will open one (1) hour before the Commencement ceremony. Tickets are required for both outdoor and indoor ceremonies, due to COVID capacity guidelines. All guests are expected to follow all public health and safety guidance in effect on the day of Commencement. Please see the linked “Community of Mutual Care” below.

Health and Safety

Allegheny College follows the guidance of the Allegheny College Health Agency, informed by the State of Pennsylvania, the Centers for Disease Control, and other applicable agencies. Vaccinated participants are not required to be masked inside or outside.  Participants in Commencement who are not yet vaccinated must wear masks at all times and maintain at least six feet of distance from other guests who are not a part of their household.  This is consistent with current College policy for students, employees and visitors to campus.
State guidance is subject to change, and so this information may change by the time of the Commencement ceremony.

UPDATE: 7/30/21

The CDC is recommending masks for indoor activities, even for vaccinated persons. Crawford County is an area with high COVID rates. Therefore Allegheny College strongly recommends masks for all. Masks will be available for those who did not pack their own. Those who choose not to mask will not be turned away, but again, masking is strongly recommended to protect the health and safety of all participants.

Please pass this information on to your guests.

Masks will not be required outdoors during the ceremony for vaccinated persons.


Baccalaureate will be held in Shafer auditorium at 9:00 am.  Rehearsal will be held at 10:00 am SHARP in the Wise Center performance arena.  We anticipate that the Commencement Ceremony will start at 11:00 am on Bicentennial Plaza.  The All Campus Reception will be held immediately following the ceremony on Brooks Walk.

Financial Accessibility

As previously promised, we plan to reimburse $100 for lodging (the night before Commencement, Friday, July 30) for all participating graduates who live at least 50 miles away from the College. We will also cover the cost of a cap and gown purchase for all graduates who want one whether or not they plan to attend the ceremony.

Gator Pledge

All participants and guests will be expected to adhere to the Commencement-specific version of the Gator Pledge.
This is a part of our Community of Mutual Care. All current students and employees are subject to their own versions of the Gator Pledge.

Graduate Celebration

Graduates participating in Commencement are invited to attend a gathering for the Class of 2020 on Friday, July 30, from 7 – 9 pm at the Voodoo Compound, located at 834 Bessemer St., Meadville. Hors d’oeuvres and 2 drink tickets will be provided to each graduate. Shuttle transportation will be available from Meadville area hotels to the Voodoo Compound from 6:30 – 8:30 pm, and then from Voodoo to a central stop in Meadville and also back to Meadville area hotels from 9:00 pm until midnight so that you can continue celebrating together at various locations in town. The buses will run continuously during this time. No RSVP required. You will need to follow the posted COVID guidelines for each establishment you frequent. We look forward to seeing you! If you have any questions about this gathering, please email Phil Foxman at


The Commencement ceremony will be held outside unless weather conditions are dire. This is to allow safe gatherings as per state guidance.  Please check the Commencement website on Saturday morning for the confirmed location.


We appreciate the input given us by the Class of 2020 officers.
Their feedback was important as we shaped plans for this ceremony.