SEATING: No tickets are needed for the Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 15, at 11:00 a.m. Entry to the seating area begins at 9:00 a.m. and seating is first-come, first-served. We ask that you PLEASE DO NOT RESERVE SEATS. Please be prepared for a security bag check. The ceremony takes place at the Beachem Portico, North side of Pennsylvania Hall, rain or shine. Indoor viewing locations with live-streaming video will be available in several campus locations (see Alternate Viewing below).
The ceremony begins with the Platform Party processing from Musselman Library down the center aisle and up the steps to their seats on Beachem Portico. They are followed by the faculty procession. When announced, the Class of 2016 will process up the steps on the south side of Penn Hall, through the building to Beachem Portico on the north side, and down the steps to their seats. On their first day on campus in August 2012, at the end of Convocation, the Class of 2016 processed as a class for the first time up the north steps of Penn Hall and down the south steps to symbolize their entry to the College. At Commencement, they will process in the opposite direction, symbolizing the completion of their time as a student at Gettysburg College.
To get an idea of approximately where your graduate may be seated during the Commencement ceremony, please view the Graduates Seating Chart.
- Answers to most questions can be found on these web pages.
- Questions about degree requirements and diplomas may be directed to the Office of the Registrar.
- Please contact the Bookstore directly for questions about regalia.
Other questions? Contact Katie Barako, Commencement Coordinator.
General Information A - Z
Hotels and lodging
Photography and videography
Stay connected and involved
Tips for an enjoyable weekend
Please see the Accessibility section.
Baccalaureate (Saturday, May 14):
LIVESTREAM LINK - please check back later
Seating in the Chapel is VERY LIMITED and the building is not air-conditioned. Unfortunately, not everyone who wants a seat will be able to get one; therefore, we have arranged for two remote viewing areas that are both comfortable and close to parking areas. While we are aware that this is not an ideal solution, we encourage you to consider these two options for a more pleasant experience.
On campus: Air-conditioned alternate viewing locations with live video streaming will be available in the following locations:
- Mara Auditorium, Masters Hall 110
- Kline Theater, Brua Hall 200
On the web: This event will be offered to virtual guests via the web as a live video stream beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 14. A link to the live video stream will be posted on the Commencement home page
Commencement (Sunday, May 15):
Outside, rain or shine, on the north side of Penn Hall
LIVESTREAM LINK - please check back later
On campus: Live video streaming coverage of the commencement exercises will be available rain or shine in the following buildings:
- Mara Auditorium, Masters Hall 110
- Kline Theater, Brua Hall 200
- CUB room 260
In the case of heavy rain, additional live video streaming coverage of the commencement exercises will be available in the following building:
- College Union Building, Ballroom
On the web: This event will be offered to virtual guests via the web as a live video stream beginning at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 15. A link to the live video stream will be posted on the Commencement home page.
Custom graduation announcements are available through the College Bookstore. Information and order forms are sent directly home to the senior's parents in February. Please contact the College Bookstore at 800-337-6367 for any additional information or questions after receiving the mailing.
To have a graduation announcement about your student's graduation sent to your hometown newspaper, please complete the request form at:
When you click "Submit," the form will go to the College's Communications office which will verify the information and place the announcement.
Due to the number of guests expected, only service animals are permitted at the Commencement site.
With courtesy and respect to all graduates and families, please refrain from disrupting the weekend's formal ceremonies with the use of noisemakers (such as air horns, cowbells, and bullhorns), shouting or chanting, and high-volume mobile phone ringtones and conversations.
- Several weekend events will serve light refreshments. Please see the Commencement home page for details.
- Please see the Campus Services section below for Commencement Weekend Bullet Hole and Commons Café hours.
- Send celebration cookies to a senior during finals (or anytime) with a Souvenir Cookie Tin from Dining Service's Spoil 'Em Long Distance program.
- Visit the Restaurants page for a listing of local restaurants.
- Other special Commencement Weekend dining options are available:
- The Majestic Theater is hosting a Commencement Dinner on Saturday, May 14, catered by the Altland House. A buffet dinner, consisting of a Salad/Bread station, 3 entrees (Prime Rib, Bourbon Glazed Salmon, and Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast) with roasted red skin potatoes and vegetables and a Coffee/Tea/Dessert station will be served from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The price per person including tax and service charge is $36 and a cash bar will also be offered. Call (717) 259-9535 or email Nicole Suski for information and reservations.
- Expanded dining options are available during Commencement weekend at the historic Gettysburg Hotel in downtown Gettysburg. Call (717) 338-5455 or visit their website for information and reservations.
- Flats Café, located inside the Majestic Theater, will be offering expanded seating during their normal hours of operation (Daily from 11 a.m.-8 p.m.). Reservations are not required.
- Parents and Family
We invite the families of the Class of 2016 to Honor Your Graduate and to show appreciation for a special member of the Gettysburg College community by making a gift to the Gettysburg Fund. Find out more.
Have you contributed to the Senior Class Gift? Your donation to the Gettysburg Fund can help the Class of 2016 leave a mark on Gettysburg College that no class before you has left! Find out more.
Display and wear your Gettysburg College pride! From diploma frames to sweatshirts, find graduation gift ideas at the Gettysburg College Bookstore.
Send tasty treats to a senior during finals (or anytime!) from Dining Service's Spoil 'Em Long Distance program.
Recognize a graduating senior and help support Musselman Library through the Honor with Books program.
- Visit the Hotel Accommodations page for a listing of local hotels.
- Some area hotels may have a Commencement Weekend rate. Please call them for details.
GradImages is the official photographer for our Commencement. Proofs will be sent to your home and via email within three to five days after graduation. Pictures can be ordered online, by phone or by mail. GradImages can be contacted at 800-261-2576 or via email at www.gradimages.com.
Registering your graduate with GradImages provides them with the information they need to deliver your graduation proofs to you in a timely manner. Giving them an accurate mailing address and email address will allow them to get your proofs to you on the first try. You may also provide them with email addresses of up to six friends and family members to allow them to celebrate in the accomplishment.
Order DVDs of Commencement Ceremony here.
During Commencement, guests may find restrooms in the surrounding campus buildings, including:
- Weidensall Hall
- Science Center
- Masters Hall
- Breidenbaugh Hall
- College Union Building
- Musselman Library (Please note that Musselman Library has limited facilities and will be used as a staging area for faculty during Commencement.)
Additional outdoor portable restrooms (including several that are ADA compliant) will be available adjacent to the Commencement site along the sidewalk at the east end of Musselman Library near Weidensall Hall, and a restroom trailer will be available in front of the Dining Center on West Lincoln Avenue.
Campus Map (PDF)
For Accessibility information, please see the link above.
- Read the latest news and subscribe to news feeds via the Gettysburg College News Center.
- Update your contact information.
No tickets are needed for the Commencement exercises on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. Seating is first-come, first-served and we ask that you PLEASE DO NOT RESERVE SEATS. The ceremony takes place at the Beachem Portico, North side of Pennsylvania Hall, rain or shine. Entry to the seating area begins at 9 a.m. Please be prepared for a security bag check. Indoor viewing locations with live-streaming video will be available in several campus locations.
Unfortunately, the College does not have an indoor space large enough to accommodate everyone in the event of rain or excessive heat, and the many large trees around Penn Hall prevent us from placing tents at the Commencement site. Ponchos will be provided to graduates, faculty, and all guests, if necessary. Please bring any gear that you wish to have if there is inclement weather on Commencement Day.
To Campus: Reservations for transportation to campus from local airports and train stations must be made and paid for by May 4, 2016. Click here for Gettysburg College Transportation Services or call 717-337-6923.
Around Town: Freedom Transit offers free public transportation around Gettysburg. See the Freedom Transit website for details and schedules.
- To pre-order DVD or Blu-ray copies of the 2016 Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies from the College Bookstore, please click here. Cost is $34.99.
- For info on live streaming video via the web, please see Alternate viewing above.
Commencement takes place at the Beachem Portico, North side of Pennsylvania Hall, rain or shine. Unfortunately, the College does not have an indoor space large enough to accommodate everyone in the event of rain, and the many large trees around Penn Hall prevent us from placing tents at the Commencement site.
- Ponchos will be provided to graduates, faculty, and all guests, if necessary. Please bring any other rain gear you wish to have if there is inclement weather on Commencement Day. We advise guests to be prepared with rain gear and warm clothing. If it is raining, Commencement will continue outdoors as planned. It is possible that Commencement might be delayed or cancelled due to dangerous weather. If so, notification will be provided as follows:
- A message will be posted on the College phone number 717.337.6896.
- A message will be posted on the College's home page as first news item and to Facebook and Twitter.
- An all-campus email will be sent.
- An all-campus voice mail message will be sent to College phones.
- Dangerous weather is defined as lightning and strong winds. Rain alone does not constitute dangerous weather. Should the weather turn dangerous once the ceremony has begun, an emergency weather plan will be put into place. All degrees will be conferred, and graduates will receive instructions regarding diploma pick up. Ushers and DPS officers will be on duty to answer questions and direct attendees into campus buildings.
- Please see the Commencement homepage for weather-related site change information for other events (Baccalaureate line-up, Departmental Receptions, etc.).
- See the Commencement Tips page for tips on how to be prepared for any weather.
- Local weather forecast.
Seniors may order yearbooks in several ways:
Online: Visit www.balfour.com, select your school, and follow the ordering instructions.
Phone: Call 1-800-853-1337.
In person on campus: The Spectrum will be available for purchase at Senior Prep Day and during Commencement Weekend.