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The Ceremony

The Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2019 will take place on Sunday, May 19, 2019 starting at 11 a.m.

To those that cannot attend in person, the ceremony will be livestreamed online. The stream will appear an hour or two before the ceremony begins.

Ticket and Seating Arrangements

No tickets are required for seniors, parents, and guests for either the Baccalaureate service or the Commencement exercises. Adequate seating will be provided for Commencement guests, and offered on a first come first serve basis. Please refrain from sitting on the mounds located on Middle College lawn.

 If the ceremony is moved inside to the Flood Arena of the Sports Center due to weather, limited seating is available. Additional seating will be located in the Sanger Center for the Sciences.


Outdoors, assuming good weather

The procession for Commencement will form PROMPTLY AT 10:30 a.m. (Those wearing honors cords should arrive at 10:15 a.m.), on the sidewalk along College Street in front of the World Affairs Center and Godfrey Anthropology Building. Class marshals will line up the graduating class in one long line alphabetically within degree categories: B.A. candidates first, B.S. candidates second. Signs will help you locate the proper place for your degree and name. Once you are in the proper place, PLEASE STAY THERE!

Once the class has lined up, the marshals will divide the line in half to form two files (a double line) that will be led and followed by the marshals. The procession begins! When the leading marshals reach a point on the sidewalk opposite Middle College, the files will stop and open, facing inward; then the faculty/staff — in a traditional gesture of respect — will pass between the opened files. When the faculty/staff have passed, the class members should again close ranks and proceed to their seats as directed by the marshals. The right file will be seated in the section on the right of the center aisle, the left file will be seated on the left. Please remain in the proper order so you can move to the platform at the correct time. The tassel should be on the right side of your cap at this time.

Weather Delay

We will make every reasonable effort to hold the ceremony outside and may delay the start of the ceremony if inclement weather is predicted to pass. Should we need to delay, this information will be posted on the college website and social media by 8:00am. We won't delay the ceremony start for more than 2 hours beyond the scheduled start time. Please check the website and social media for any weather updates.   


In case of inclement weather, you will be notified if the ceremony will be held in the Flood Arena of the Sports Center the morning of Commencement. Please arrive by 10:20 a.m. and line up in the old Field House. The class marshals are responsible for getting you where you need to be at the proper time. Please respect the marshals' requests. Even though inside, after you form two lines, the faculty/staff will pass between your opened files and then lead the procession up the stairs to the Sports Center Arena. Just follow the lead of those in front of you.

Please consult this map for alternative locations and parking. Accessible parking will be reserved for those who need it in the Sports Center parking lot on Pleasant Avenue. The picnic afterwards would be held in the Science Center Atrium with overflow seating available in Pearsons Hall.

During Ceremony

During the degree presentation ceremony, candidates in each degree category should rise as a group at the request of the chief academic officer and proceed to the platform as directed by the class marshals. The president makes a statement formally conferring the degree on all eligible candidates.

Honorary hoods are awarded to the top-ranking B.A. and B.S. graduates. The B.A. hood and degrees will be awarded first, the B.S. hood and degrees second.

Each candidate should pause on the ramp until his/her name is announced. The candidate then ascends the ramp, receives the diploma folder from the president, and shakes his hand before proceeding across the platform. Candidates should shift the cap tassel to the left side after receiving the diploma folder. As you leave the platform, the class marshals will direct you back to your seat.


The platform party, trustees, faculty/staff ranks, and graduates will formally recess. Class members should remain in their seats until the platform party and faculty/staff have recessed via the central aisle and then join the recessional at the direction of the class marshals. As the double file of graduates leaves, you will pass through the separated lines of the faculty and administrators—as a final formal salute and farewell to each other. During this last gesture, please keep moving so those behind you are able to finish the ceremony and then get to their friends and family.

Additional Information

Pet Policy

Please leave pets at home unless they are a service animal.


Whether the Commencement ceremony is indoors or outdoors, it is a smoke-free event. Smoking is only allowed in a designated area. (For outdoor ceremony, a smoking area is located at the corner of Chapin and College Streets. For the indoor ceremony, it is located 15 feet outside the building entrance.)

Parents Hospitality Room and Lodging Accommodations

The main dining room and annex of Pearsons Hall will be open as a hospitality area for parents and other guests of seniors Sunday, May 19, from 8:30-10 a.m. No guest housing is available on the campus during Commencement weekend, and those needing overnight housing during Commencement are urged to confirm reservations with area motels or hotels as soon as possible. For a listing of local accommodations click here.

Accessible Parking

Accessible parking will be available for those with disabilities or special needs on the 600 block of College St. A drop-off area is designated on the corner of Chapin and College St. for those wishing to drop off elderly or special needs individuals who do not require accessible parking.

If the ceremony is moved to the  Sports Center Flood Arena due to poor weather, there will be reserved accessible parking in the Sports Center parking lot on Pleasant Avenue.

If you have any special guest needs, please contact Communications & Marketing at 608-363-2625 to make arrangements.

Hearing Impaired

Signers will be available during the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies for your convenience. Assistive listening devices will be available inside Eaton Chapel. If you have a guest with a hearing impairment, please contact Communications & Marketing at 608-363-2625 to make seating arrangements.

Commencement Picnic

Box lunches are available for purchase on Commencement day at the picnic tent on the lawn of Pearsons Hall. Boxed lunch tickets that have been pre-ordered can be picked up at the white picnic tent on the lawn of Pearsons Hall. Signage will direct you to the appropriate table. In the event of inclement weather, lunch tickets and pre-ordered lunch tickets will be picked up in the Atrium of the Sanger Center for the Sciences. Seating is limited and overflow of seating is available in Pearsons Hall. Boxed lunch pre-orders are available until Friday, May 10.

Photographs of Graduates

Arrangements have been made with GradImages for a professional photographer to record the moment you are awarded your diploma. You will receive a free passport-sized, full color proof in the mail approximately one week after the ceremony. There is no obligation to purchase. You have the option of ordering from a variety of packages. You can pre-register on the GradImages site to have your proofs will be sent directly to you within 72 hours.


The Beloit College Mortar Board Society will be selling flowers at Commencement for your convenience. Rose bouquets are $20 for a half-dozen, $30 for full dozen, and $20 for graduation bears, and will be available prior to Commencement exercises. Thirty-percent of all proceeds go to the Mortar Board Society. Mortar Board is the premier national honor society recognizing college seniors for superior achievement in scholarship, leadership, and service.

Honors Programs

The annual Academic Honors Program will be held May 8, 2019. The ceremony will include the presentation of departmental prizes and awards to students and an address to the honorees by a professor of the college.