Student Information

We regretfully share the news that Commencement, planned for Saturday, May 9, will be postponed.

This decision was based on the CDC recommendation that, during the next eight weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the U.S. We understand that this necessary postponement will come as a tremendous disappointment to our graduating seniors, and we are firmly committed to celebrating the Class of 2020 and their achievements at a later date.

Updated: March 17, 2020

Letter To Prospective Graduates

Dear Prospective May 2020 Graduate:

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. We look forward to joining in celebration with you at the Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 9, 2020.

Many events and activities are included in Senior Week (May 6-8) and Commencement Weekend (May 8-9) in this 205th 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

An email will be sent 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 Link 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 20th.  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 2020 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.

Students who are NOT studying on campus spring semester must call the bookstore at 814-332-5369 to order your cap and gown. Pre-ordering is certainly not necessary and students may save shipping cost by purchasing their caps/gown in the Bookstore.

Graduation Announcements

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

Senior Week Events: May 6-8

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.


Your ID card (All-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.

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 Brooks Dining Hall (weather permitting)/Wise Center Performance Arena (rain locations) 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.

Directly after rehearsal, the Commencement ceremony begins with a formal academic procession of graduates (you), Board of Trustees, faculty, and the “platform party,” which includes the honorary degree recipients, and faculty presenters. Commencement exercises will be in the Wise Center Sports Forum.  Tickets are required for the ceremony.  Please note that Shafer Auditorium will be set up for closed-circuit viewing of the ceremony to accommodate guests not holding tickets.

This year’s Commencement speaker will be announced in April.

Immediately following the ceremony, plan to attend the All-College Departmental Reception and introduce your family and friends to your favorite faculty and staff. Reception will be on Quade Walk (Murray Lawn) to Senior Circle.  In the event of inclement weather the Reception will be in the Campus Center. Please plan to meet your family at the Reception NOT at the ceremony site.

Cords, Stoles, Insignia and Pins

Commencement is a special ceremony, officiated by the President of the College, where faculty, staff, parents/families and alumni share the excitement and importance of student’s academic accomplishments. It is also a time for the College and Board of Trustees pay special tribute to students who have achieved the distinct honor of the Allegheny College degree. In addition to the traditional cap and gown regalia, students may wear academic honor cords and stoles.

The College supports the wearing of honors cords, medallions, stoles, insignia and/or pins at Commencement ceremonies by students who have earned these privileges through achieving academic honors, completing honors programs, as recipients of designated academic scholarship funds, academic unit or departmental honors, military service, induction into Allegheny College-recognized honors societies, athletic distinction, or membership in good standing in college-recognized professional or service organizations. All honor cords, medallions, stoles, pins and insignia must be in keeping with the nature of the Commencement ceremonies and the Allegheny College Statement of Community. Any items deemed to not meet these standards by the Office of the Registrar must be removed.

Approved cords, stoles, medallions, sashes, insignia and/or pins may also be worn in recognition of the student’s identity, cultural heritage and membership in student organizations. Students are advised to limit themselves to wearing only one stole of their choice during official commencement activities.

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.

Starting in 2017, the College will present a medal to the Valedictorian and honor cords to those who graduate summa cum laude. Students will be notified if they will be a recipient of these honors.

Commencement Tickets

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 – May 7, 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. in the Office of Conference & Event Services, Schultz Hall, Room 191. Each student is permitted six (6) 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!

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 preregister 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 Some flowers will be available for purchase on May 11, 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!