Information for Families & Guests

The Commencement pages are updated frequently - please revisit often for the latest information.

CommencementFamilies&Friends - Minick Photography

Please continue to revisit this page for the latest updates.

General Information A - Z


Please see the Accessibility section.

Alternate Viewing

Baccalaureate (Saturday, May 16):
Christ Chapel
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, and 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 16.  A link to the live video stream will be posted on the Commencement home page

Commencement (Sunday, May 17):
Outside, rain or shine, on the north side of Penn Hall

On campus: Live video streaming coverage of the commencement exercises will be available rain or shine in the following buildings:  

  • College Union Building: Room 260 and the Junction
  • Breidenbaugh Hall: Joseph Theater 
  • Masters Hall: Mara Auditorium
  • Pennsylvania Hall: Lyceum

    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 17 - A link to the live video stream will be posted on the Commencement home page.


    Custom 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.

    Animal Policy

    Due to the number of guests expected, only service animals are permitted at the Commencement site.

    Ceremony Courtesy

    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 16th, 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 pm.  The price per person including tax and service charge is $32 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 11am-8pm).  Reservations are not required.

    Gift Ideas
    • Parents & Family

    We invite the families of the Class of 2015 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.

    • Seniors

    Have you contributed to the Senior Class Gift? Your donation to the Gettysburg Fund can help the Class of 2015 leave a mark on Gettysburg College that no class before you has left! Find out more.

    • Everyone

    Display & 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.

    Hotels & Lodging
    • 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 to inquire and arrange.


    Parking is available in lots throughout campus.  For detailed Accessibility Parking information, please see below.
    Campus Map (PDF)
    Campus Parking Map (PDF)



    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

    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.


    During Commencement exercises, guests may find restrooms in the surrounding campus buildings, including:

    • Weidensall Hall
    • The 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 ADA compliant outdoor portable restrooms will be available adjacent to the commencement site for guests with limited mobility—Located along the sidewalk at the east end of Musselman Library, near Weidensall Hall.

      Campus Map (PDF)
      For Accessibility information, please see the section below.


      Social Media

        Share Commencement moments, photos and memories on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; details to follow.

          Stay connected & involved


          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.

          Tips on planning an enjoyable weekend


          To Campus: Reservations for transportation to campus from local airports & train stations must be made and paid for by May 6, 2015.  Click here for more information or call 717-337-6923.

          Around Town: Freedom Transit offers free public transportation around Gettysburg. See the Freedom Transit website for details and schedules.

          • DVDs of Commencement may be ordered; details to follow.
          • For info on live streaming video via the web, please see "Alternate Viewing".


            Commencement takes place at the Beachem Portico, North side of Pennsylvania Hall rain or shine.

            • Sometimes it rains on Commencement and we need to be prepared.  This means providing ponchos for graduates and faculty, and advising 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 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, only inconvenient 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.

            Yearbook (Spectrum)

            Seniors may order yearbooks in person at Commencement Prep Day or on-line; details to follow.