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Frequently Asked Questions

COMMENCEMENT FAQ:

General Questions:
For Students:
 
For Families and Friends:

 

 

Are tickets required?
Tickets are not required. Commencement is held outdoors, rain or shine. We ask that guests be seated by 8:45 a.m. as the academic procession begins at 9 a.m. Commencement exercises will begin at 9:30 a.m. All seats on the College Green have favorable sightlines to the large video screen with open captions. Seating will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis. Remote viewing will be provided in several indoor locations for those guests wishing to avoid heat, sun, or rain. 

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What time will the ceremony begin?
The Commencement procession begins at 9 am. The Commencement ceremony begins at 9:30 am. 

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What time will the ceremony end?
Commencement usually concludes between 12:15 and 12:30 pm. Note: In the case of dangerously high winds, lightning, or other severe weather, the ceremony will be delayed or a severe weather plan implemented.

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What is the order of the processional?
Seniors march in alphabetical order. March order lists, with the number assigned to each graduate, will be posted in Baker Main Hall, Baker-Berry Library the Friday before Commencement.
At a signal from the undergraduate dean, the class marshals and the bagpiper will lead the seniors from Leede Arena to the Green. Once on the Green, the seniors will form two lines through which the Academic Procession will advance toward the platform, providing an opportunity for acknowledgment of the accomplishments of the seniors and the support of faculty and administrators. The seniors and graduate and professional school students then march to their seats in the front sections.

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What should I wear and what should I bring?
Hanover weather can vary widely from sunny and hot to cold and rainy in mid-June. Since Dartmouth's Commencement ceremony is located outdoors, please dress comfortably, keeping in mind the weather. Guests may be most comfortable in shoes with low or flat heels due to uneven ground. Please bring hats, sunscreen, raincoats, etc. as necessary.  Business Casual is appropriate for most of the receptions and other events. 

What happens if it rains?
Commencement exercises will be held, rain or shine. Please bring raincoats and umbrellas, if appropriate. In the case of dangerously high winds, lightning, or other severe weather, the ceremony will be delayed. Only in the highly unlikely event that such weather persists would the ceremony be canceled. Information about a delay or cancellation may be obtained on Commencement morning by accessing the following resources: the Commencement web site, www.dartmouth.edu/commence/; the individual web sites of the graduate and professional schools; a recorded message at (603) 646-8181; or channel 99.3 FM.
The web sites and phone number listed above will be updated throughout Commencement weekend with any venue changes, delays, or cancellations.

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May I use an umbrella?
Umbrellas are ONLY permitted when there is heavy rain. We ask that you be considerate of those sitting behind you and use an umbrella only when necessary.
Umbrellas are not permitted as sun shades. Please arrive prepared for the weather; remember your hat, sunscreen, raincoat, etc. 

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Are pets allowed at Commencement?
If you bring a pet to the Commencement ceremony, please be aware that the animal must remain on a leash at all times. Pets are not permitted in seating areas. 

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Is smoking permitted?
The seating areas at Commencement are designated as smoke-free.

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What is the President's Reception and who attends?
President Phil Hanlon and Gail Gentes host a reception for all graduating students and their guests. It is held at the President's House. (weather permitting)
Appropriate attire is business casual.

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What is Class Day and who attends?
Immediately following the commencement rehearsal, seniors will process to the Bema for class day (Leverone Field House in case of rain), entering the Bema at approximately 10:00 am. The program will include speeches by seniors and faculty, as well as an awards ceremony. Guests are invited to join the graduates at this event. The Bema is located at the end of a wide gravel path that branches off of Observatory Road behind North Fayerweather. Parking is very limited near the Bema, so guests should plan to walk to the event. The space is an outdoor amphitheater with a limited number of chairs, available on a first come, first served basis. Since many guests will need to sit on the ground, family and friends are encouraged to bring blankets to sit on. Seniors will sit together on the grass in an area in front of the stage. The space is wheelchair accessible but we recommend guests with mobility disabilities arrive by 9:30 a.m., as the final path to the Bema is unpaved.

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What is Baccalaureate and who attends?
Baccalaureate is a multifaith service of thanksgiving and celebration for the completion of the undergraduate and graduate careers of Dartmouth students. The service is conducted by the Tucker Foundation. This event is open to the public.

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Where and when do the graduating students line up?
Seniors assemble at 8:15 am and must be in their assigned seats by 8:30 am. The doors will be locked at 8:30 am sharp so that diplomas may be arranged in final march order. Seniors will not be admitted to the Commencement procession after 8:30 am. Only graduating seniors are permitted in the assembly area; family and guests should go directly to the Commencement seating area.
Graduate and professional school students gather at their designated assembly sites (contact your department directly for details).

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How do I get my diploma?
Information about diploma distribution is forthcoming.

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How can I order a yearbook?
The Aegis, Dartmouth's award-winning yearbook, has a quick reminder for parents and families.  The final deadline to order a 2021-22 yearbook is May 27th.  Please follow this link to find out more:  http://dartmouthyearbook.com.

Where do guests sit during the Commencement Exercises?
A seating chart for the Commencement Exercises can be found here

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Where can I find overnight accommodations for Commencement weekend?
Off Campus Lodging options can be found on our Families and Guests - Off Campus Lodging page. Please note that lodging fills up very early and the Hanover Inn is reserved for Trustees, honorary degree recipients, and the 50-year reunion class.

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Where can I take photos/video of my graduate?
There is no location beyond your own seat where guests may take photos of graduates. If you need to stand to get your shot, we ask that you do so briefly so as not to block others' view of the ceremony. Commencement guests will be prohibited from taking pictures or videotaping from locations near the platform.
Arrangements have been made for GradImages, a professional photography company, to take a picture as each graduate crosses the stage. Graduate and professional school students and families of undergraduates will receive an order packet from GradImages with details in May. 

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Can I watch the Commencement ceremony from an indoor location?
A live video webcast of the ceremony will be available at 9:30 am. Please visit the Dartmouth Homepage to watch. A recorded video of the ceremony will be available the Tuesday after the ceremony on Dartmouth's YouTube Channel.

If you are on campus, the live video webcast of the ceremony will be streamed to the Moore Theater at the Hopkins Center, Collis Common Grounds and the First Floor Classrooms in Reed Hall.

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Are strollers allowed in the seating areas?
Due to safety regulations, strollers are not allowed in the aisles or seated areas. Guests attempting to park strollers in these areas will be required to move them.

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Where do I meet my graduate after the ceremony?
Due to the large crowd at Commencement, we strongly urge families to designate a building or location OFF the Green at which to meet their graduate after the ceremony.

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Where can I find a translation of the undergraduate diplomas?
English translation of Bachelor of Arts degree awarded by Dartmouth College:

By the authority of the Trustees of Dartmouth College

To all who read this document, greetings:

Let it be known that we have decided to honor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 
and in accord with his/her merits to decorate him/her with the title and rank of Bachelor of Arts
and that we have bestowed upon him/her the fullest power of enjoying all the privileges and
immunities and honors which everywhere on earth pertain to this same rank. Of which act let our
official seal and names be a witness.

Conferred from the halls of the College in Hanover, New Hampshire on the . . . . . day
of the month of . . . . . . . . . . . . . . in the year . . . . . . .

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