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Commencement 2020

Commencement 2020

Department Overview

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Update

In light of the continued uncertainty of this still-expanding pandemic, Swarthmore College has come to the realization that Commencement cannot proceed as usual. Please know that we are committed to developing a creative virtual alternative to this year’s ceremony. Please hold the date — Sunday, May 24 — as we discuss those plans with Student Government Organization leaders and others. For updates and answers to frequently asked questions, visit the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Information page

 

Friday, May 22

10:30 a.m.–1 p.m. Senior Brunch 
(for graduating class only)

405 Elm Avenue
Reception hosted by James S. Terhune, Vice President and Dean of Students, for the graduation class only.

2–4 p.m. Commencement Rehearsal 
(required for seniors)

Scott Outdoor Amphitheater

4–7:30 p.m. Some Academic Department Receptions
Various locations (consult your department)
For seniors and their families.

8 p.m. Last Collection with Candle-Lighting Ceremony
Scott Outdoor Amphitheater​​​​
This tradition includes a talk by a faculty member and student chosen by the senior class. Families and friends are welcome to attend. 


Saturday, May 23

10 a.m.–1 p.m. Baccalaureate Brunch
Sharples Dining Hall
Complimentary buffet meal open to all seniors and guests.

1:30 p.m. Phi Beta Kappa
Lang Performing Arts Center (LPAC)
Initiation of new members of Phi Beta Kappa. All are welcome. (Students learn of their selection on Thursday evening, May 21.)

2:45 p.m. Baccalaureate procession forms
Wearing caps and gowns, seniors line up in front of Parrish Hall.

3 p.m. Baccalaureate
Scott Outdoor Amphitheater; no tickets required
Baccalaureate is intended to touch upon the moral and spiritual roots of the educational process and encourage commitment to a more just world. The ceremony includes a speaker, several moments of silence in observance of our Quaker tradition, and an inspirational reading. Baccalaureate is open to everyone.

Notes:  Simultaneous translation in at least two languages available. No strollers. Service animals only.

4–7:30 p.m. Some Academic Department Receptions
Various locations (consult your department)
For seniors and their families.

9:15 p.m. Fireworks
Parrish Beach


Sunday, May 24: Commencement Day

8–1:00 p.m. Information Tents 
Clothier Circle and Rose Garden Circle

8–9:30 a.m. Senior Breakfast
Sharples Dining Hall
Complimentary buffet open to all seniors and guests.

8:15–9:30 a.m. Rose Selection
Dean Bond Rose Garden
A Swarthmore tradition where Arboretum staff members assist seniors in selecting roses to wear on their gowns.

8:30 a.m.(Gates Open) Scott Outdoor Amphitheater, Lang Performing Arts Center (LPAC), Concert Hall in Lang Music, and Scheuer Room in Kohlberg Hall 
Tickets are required for the Amphitheater, LPAC, and the Concert Hall; each graduate is provided with four tickets for the Amphitheater and an additional two tickets for LPAC or Lang Music Hall (seating guaranteed with ticket up until 15 minutes prior to the start of Commencement.)  No tickets are required for the family-friendly location, Scheuer Room in Kohlberg Hall. Please note that seats fill quickly. Strollers, luggage, and balloons are prohibited. Service animals only. Simultaneous translations in Spanish and Mandarin will be available at the Amphitheater.

Note: LPAC, Lang Music Hall and the Scheuer Room in Kohlberg Hall offer excellent alternatives to seating in the Amphitheater in the case of overcrowding, inclement weather, or excessive heat, or to better accommodate guests with special needs. We strongly encourage the these air-conditioned venues. The simultaneous telecast is in high definition.

9:45 a.m. Commencement Procession Forms
Line up in pairs in front of Parrish
Seniors wear caps and gowns.

10 a.m. Commencement Exercises
Scott Outdoor Amphitheater (tickets required); additional seating: LPAC and Lang Music Hall (seating guaranteed with ticket up until 15 minutes prior to the start of Commencement) and the Scheuer Room (no tickets required.)

Commencement is held in the Scott Outdoor Amphitheater, rain or shine. Bring rain gear in case of inclement weather (umbrellas prohibited.) Sunscreen is recommended. Seating and parking may be prearranged for people with special needs. Tickets are required.

Note: LPAC, the Concert Hall, and the Scheuer Room in Kohlberg Hall offer excellent alternatives to seating in the amphitheater in the case of overcrowding, inclement weather, or excessive heat, or to better accommodate guests with special needs. We strongly encourage the use of this air-conditioned venue with convenient bathrooms. The simultaneous telecast is in high definition.

1 p.m. Commencement Reception
Parrish Beach; rain location: Upper Tarble in Clothier Hall
Light refreshments.


Monday, May 25

8 a.m. Residence halls close