Celebrating the Class of 2020

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The Ceremony

The Marist College 2020 Commencement Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 28, at 11:00 a.m. in the McCann Center. There will be one ceremony for all 2020 graduates. Graduates will line up in the McCann Recreation Gymnasium, at 9:45 a.m. The academic procession is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. The ceremony is expected to last approximately two hours. A reception will follow.

Indoor Live Viewing

Commencement Live Feed Locations in air conditioned indoor viewing areas located in the following buildings:

  • Student Center (if a location is full, please find another viewing area)
    • Hudson River Rooms (3101, 3102, 3103, 3104, 3105)
    • Nelly Goletti Theater
    • Cabaret
    • Fusco Recital Hall (3201)
    • Symphonic Hall (4101)
    • Music classrooms (3202, 3203, 3204)
    • Dining Hall
  • Lowell Thomas – All Classrooms
  • Donnelly – 2nd-floor Classrooms only

Cap and Gown (Regalia)

One set of regalia (cap, gown, hood, tassel) will be purchased by the College for graduates who register to attend the 2020 Commencement Ceremony. As most 2020 graduates received regalia already, Marist will offer complimentary regalia to those graduates who will be attending Commencement and never received a previous set. Graduates who previously received a set but need another can order replacements at a discounted rate of $40.

Marist’s regalia is an eco-friendly product made from 100% recycled materials. All parts of the regalia may be kept by the graduate as keepsakes. Graduates who do not wish to keep their regalia are encouraged to deposit them in collection boxes after the ceremony so they may be recycled.

Cap and Gown Distribution:

  • Thursday, May 26 - Friday, May 27

    10:00am - 7:00pm

    Donnelly Hall

  • Saturday, May 28

    8:30am - 10:30am

    McCann Center

How to Properly Wear Regalia:

To see how to wear your regalia properly, watch this tutorial video here.

Lineup Card

All graduates must have a lineup card to participate in the commencement ceremony. Graduates must pick up their lineup card in person and will be required to show a photo ID.

Only graduates with lineup cards will be permitted to cross the stage. The Registrar’s office should be contacted immediately if the lineup card is lost.

Lineup Card Distribution:

  • Thursday, May 26

4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Donnelly Hall
(Photo ID Required)

  • Friday, May 27

10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Donnelly Hall
(Photo ID Required)

  • Saturday, May 28

8:30 – 9:15 a.m.
McCann Center
(Photo ID Required)



Rehearsal for all 2020 graduates will take place on Friday, May 27, at 2:00 p.m. on the Campus Green (rain or shine). Graduates will gather on the Lowell Thomas Quad between the Hancock and Dyson Centers and line up alphabetically according to school. School banners will be prominently displayed. Lineup cards are required for rehearsal, which is expected to last approximately one hour. If you are unable to attend rehearsal in person, there will be a virtual rehearsal found on our commencement website for your viewing.

Commencement Day

Graduates and faculty will assemble for the academic procession at 9:45 a.m. in the McCann Center Recreational Gymnasium. Lineup cards are required to participate in the ceremony. The procession is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Candidates and faculty will march together, led by their marshal, and will be seated by school. Graduates will be called to receive their diploma covers in alphabetical order by school. Lineup cards will be collected from graduates as they approach the platform. There is space on the lineup card to provide contact information to the event photographer.

Family and guests are encouraged to arrive before 9:45 a.m. However, no guests will be permitted to enter the actual ceremony site before 8:30 a.m. The ceremony is expected to last approximately two hours. Immediately following the ceremony, all graduates and their guests are invited to a reception in the Student Center.

Parking Information

Family and guests are encouraged to arrive before 9:45 a.m. to better ensure a parking space. Parking will be available on the east and west campuses. Lots reserved for handicapped parking are for vehicles with handicapped license plates or placards issued by a municipality, or guests with a disabled parking pass. Guests with handicapped permits should enter the north entrance only and be prepared to show their permits to the security guard, who will direct them to the appropriate parking area. There is no access to handicapped parking from the south entrance.

For a complete list of parking sites and instructions, please see the campus map.

General Seating

Admittance to the ceremony requires a severe weather ticket; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Graduates are allowed up to three guests each and each guest must have a severe weather ticket. No saving of seats is allowed. All guests are asked to follow the directives of ushers and security staff. All persons must stay within the roped areas to allow the best visibility for everyone. Please do not block the view of others by standing on chairs or in the aisles.

Disabled Guests

There will be a designated seating section to accommodate disabled guests. Graduates may request up to two disabled seating tickets and one disabled parking permit by completing the online request before Wednesday, May 4.  The ceremony will be interpreted in sign language for the hearing impaired. For information on handicapped parking, please see Parking Information, above. For information on disabled seating during an indoor ceremony, please see Weather Policy below.


Professional photographers from Island Photography ( will photograph all graduates as they both cross and exit the stage. To receive proofs online, please provide an email address on the back of your lineup card, and you will be notified when they are available for viewing. Graduates will receive two complimentary proofs and an order form by mail.

Due to the large number of people attending Commencement, it is necessary to restrict access to the platform and the graduates’ seating area. Guests will not be able to walk or stand in the aisles to take photographs or video. However, there will be designated areas for families to take pictures following the ceremony. The commencement program, which you will receive on commencement day, will show these locations.

Remote Viewing

Family and friends of graduates who are unable to attend the event can view the ceremony streaming live by visiting Marist’s homepage at and clicking on the commencement link. Depending on prevailing public health concerns, Marist may also offer live broadcasting of the ceremony in classrooms and other indoor locations on campus. A list of these spaces will be available prior to the event. Please consider using academic buildings for closed-circuit viewing to prevent overcrowding in the Murray Student Center. When spread out across campus, there are enough indoor seats available for every guest. See indoor viewing options.

Weather Policy

We understand the importance of Commencement to our graduates and their families and strive to accommodate every graduate and their guests to the extent possible. Due to the size of our Saturday ceremony the preferred site is outdoors, rain or shine, on the Campus Green. In the case of inclement weather, Marist cannot simply move the ceremony indoors or under a tent. The College’s McCann Center arena is the largest venue in the area and yet cannot contain all Saturday graduates and their guests at the same time.

If dangerous weather is forecast, Marist will make alternate arrangements to the best of our ability based on the type of weather condition. This may include an abbreviated ceremony, delayed ceremony, and/or, if COVID policies permit, an indoor ceremony with limited, ticketed seating.

Delayed or Indoor Ceremony

The ceremony may be delayed up to three hours if clearing is anticipated within a reasonable period. If dangerous weather is predicted, the ceremony may move indoors to the McCann Arena. An indoor ceremony in McCann will be a ticketed event. Along with their line-up card, graduates will receive three severe weather tickets for three guests to attend the indoor ceremony. Additional guests should plan to view the ceremony in one of Marist’s several alternate live-feed locations. To sit in disabled seating in the arena, guests must have both a severe weather ticket and disabled seating ticket. Severe weather tickets are for guests; graduates only need their line-up card to participate in Commencement indoors. 

Listen for Announcements

Announcements about severe weather will be made on the Marist website (, on the Marist weather hotline (845) 575-5500, and on Guidebook. Instructions will be given to graduates informing them where to report for line up. Please check these sources before traveling to campus.

McCann Arena

Much of the guest seating in the McCann arena is on bleachers. Some individuals may find the climb to the upper seats difficult and may prefer to view the ceremony in areas designated for live broadcast. Parking at McCann will be severely limited.

Alcohol Policy

Alcohol is not permitted before or during the commencement exercises and will be confiscated if brought to the ceremony. Please advise all guests of this policy. During lineup card distribution, graduates will be required to sign a statement to acknowledge that they understand the College’s alcohol policy. Also, please remember that the campus green is a smoke free zone.

Personalized Announcements

Graduates may wish to order announcements to alert family and friends about their upcoming graduation. Orders for personalized announcements can be placed online at

Area Accommodations

A block of hotel rooms has been reserved at the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton, 2361 South Rd., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601. Call (845) 463-7500 and mention the group name “Marist Class of 2020” group code “M20.” The deadline is April 27, 2022.

For more options of local Hudson Valley hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and restaurants, please click on the links.

Helpful Tips

Cords, Tassels, and Other Attire:

  • Your tassel should be worn on the right until all graduates have crossed the stage and President Weinman confers all degrees.
  • Only one honor cord or sash should be worn with regalia. One medal and one pin are also permitted.
  • Remember the ground and stage can get wet, even if it’s not raining. Please wear sensible shoes.
  • The weather can be unpredictable, so remember both your umbrella and your sunblock.
  • Graduates should be cautious of the clothes they wear underneath their gowns. Neither the College nor the manufacturer guarantees that they are colorfast.

Important Dates and Deadlines:

Thursday, May 26 –
Friday, May 27
10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.


Cap and Gown distribution in Donnelly Hall (photo ID required)
Thursday, May 26
4:30 – 7:00 p.m. 


Lineup card distribution in Donnelly Hall (photo ID required)

Friday, May 27
10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Continued lineup card distribution in Donnelly Hall (photo ID required)

Friday, May 27
2:00 p.m. 

Mandatory rehearsal.  Line up on Lowell Thomas Quad (lineup card required)


Commencement Day: Saturday, May 28

8:00 - 9:15 a.m. Final cap and gown and lineup card distribution in McCann Center (photo ID required)
8:30 a.m. Guests allowed to enter ceremony site
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Bookstore open
9:45 a.m. Graduates line up in McCann Center Recreation Gymnasium
10:30 a.m. Procession begins (guests should be seated)
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Commencement Ceremony - Reception follows immediately after the ceremony in the Student Center