FAQ's for Parents of Traditional Undergraduate Students

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Who participates in the ceremony?
All candidates who have completed the Application for Graduation form, notifying the Registrar's office of their attendance, will participate in the ceremony. The ceremony is outdoors, rain or shine, in order to accommodate the more than 12,000 friends and family members who wish to attend.

What is the date and time of Commencement?
Commencement will take place on the Campus Green on Saturday, May 19 at 11:00 a.m. The graduates will begin lining up at 9:15 a.m. and the procession will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m.

How long does the ceremony last?
The ceremony is expected to last approximately two hours. Following the ceremony you are invited to join graduates and their families at a reception under the tent located at St. Peter's Meadow.

Do you know who the speaker will be?
This information is usually made in mid-April.

Will my son/daughter be individually recognized?
Yes, each graduate's name will be announced as he or she crosses the stage as long as the ceremony is held outdoors. 

What is the Baccalaureate Award Ceremony and when/where will it be held?
The College sponsors a Baccalaureate Awards Ceremony to recognize the special achievements of graduating students in academic and community affairs. Award recipients will be notified at least one week prior to the ceremony. The ceremony will be held Friday, May 18 at 4:00 p.m. in Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel. In order to allow as many people as possible to attend Baccalaureate and to comply with seating requirements for the chapel, each award recipient will receive four tickets. Since seating is limited, award recipients are asked to arrive no later than 3:30 p.m. and guests no later than 3:45 p.m. After 3:45 p.m. anyone wishing to attend the awards ceremony will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis. The ceremony will last one hour.

Are there announcements available that may be sent to relatives and friends?
Orders for personalized announcements can be placed online at https://collegegrad.herffjones.com.

Are tickets required and is there a limit to how many guests can be invited?
Tickets are NOT required for the outdoor ceremony. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Students are asked to limit their party to six guests out of consideration for their fellow graduates. No saving of seats will be allowed. 

What is the suggested guest attire?
Weather conditions have varied from picture perfect to extreme rain or heat. Graduates and guests are advised to dress comfortably and be prepared for the weather. If it is raining you may want to bring umbrellas, appropriate rain gear, and a covering for your chair. Bring sunblock and hats for sunny conditions. Wear shoes appropriate for grassy areas.

When should guests plan on arriving?
Family and guests are encouraged to arrive early to better ensure a parking space and seating. However, no guests will be permitted to enter the actual ceremony site before 8:30 a.m.

Is there reserved seating for Commencement?
No. Seats are reserved only for the graduates and special Commencement guests.

Are there any special arrangements needed for guests with physical disabilities?
The College has made arrangements to have the ceremony interpreted in sign for the hearing impaired. There will be a designated seating section to accommodate disabled guests. Requests for disabled seating tickets and parking permits can be made to the Registrar's office by the graduating senior starting Wednesday, May 2. A limit of one disabled parking permit and two disabled seating tickets per graduate will be issued. As guests enter the campus, please be prepared to show your disabled parking permit to the security guard, who will direct you to the appropriate parking area. Lots are reserved for vehicles with handicapped license plates, handicapped parking placards issued by a municipality, or special parking permits issued by the Registrar's office. Guests with handicapped permits should enter at the north entrance. There is no access to the handicapped parking areas from the south entrance.

Is indoor seating available in the event of rain or extreme heat?
In addition to the outdoor seating area, the College offers live-broadcasting on posted campus locations. These locations offer air-conditioned venues for guests who prefer to be out of the "elements."

What about parking?
Family and guests are encouraged to arrive early to better ensure a parking space. Vehicular access to the campus will become increasingly difficult as the parking lots fill. The south entrance of the campus will be the first to close. The Beck, Lower West Cedar, Upper West Cedar, and Fulton Street lots will be available for guest parking. The Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital of Westchester Medical Center Parking Garage will also be available for parking at no cost. A shuttle bus will be available to transport guests to and from the graduation site. The last shuttle back to the Medical Center Parking Garage will be at 2:45 p.m.

What happens if it rains?
Unless weather conditions are severe, Commencement will take place rain or shine on the Campus Green. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony may be delayed from its scheduled start if clearing is anticipated within a reasonable period. Announcement of a delayed ceremony will be made by 10:30 a.m. Commencement morning. Please check www.marist.edu for updates or call the Weather Hotline (845) 575-5500.

Will I be able to take pictures during the ceremony?
The College has hired Island Photography to photograph all graduates as they shake hands with President David Yellen. Proofs and order forms will be mailed to the student's permanent address during the summer. As a courtesy to the graduates and all in attendance, we ask that you remain in your seats during the Commencement exercises. Our staff is instructed 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 videotape. However, there will be a designated area for family to take pictures following the ceremony. The Commencement program, which you will receive on Commencement day, will show this location. Please be considerate of the families around you. 

Are there additional campus weekend activities?
Various campus organizations conduct special celebrations with students, families, and friends. Students will receive separate invitations, with reservations required, for these events.

What if my guests need overnight accommodations?
For those guests who will need overnight accommodations, a list of local hotels/bed and breakfasts/motels, as well as an area restaurant listing, is available on our Commencement website at www.marist.edu/registrar/commencement

Is there a lost-and-found on campus?
Lost items will be turned in at the Security Office in Donnelly Hall. Inquiries about lost articles can be made in person or by calling (845) 575-3000, ext. 2282.

Is medical assistance available?
In the event of a medical emergency, please see medical personnel located in the Murray Student Center. The Commencement program, which you will receive on Commencement day, will show this location.

When do the residence halls close?
All residence halls will close at 5:00 p.m. Commencement day, Saturday, May 19.