Information for Graduates


The Commencement pages are presently undergoing revision for the Class of 2016 Commencement - please revisit often for updates.

  • Don’t forget to check out the Commencement Prep Day page to make sure you have everything you need for the big day!  
  • 2016 Commencement Student Speaker:  TBD
  • Yearbook Orders:  There are three ways to order your yearbook -

    Online:  Visit, select your school, and follow the ordering instructions.

    Mail:  Just fill out the form and mail payment to:

    Balfour Yearbooks
    PO Box 650549
    Dallas, TX 75265

    Phone:  To order by phone, please call 1-800-853-1337.

  • Textbook Rentals
    To avoid additional fees, Textbook Rentals are due back to the Gettysburg College Bookstore on or before Saturday, May 7 @ 6:00 pm.  Rental books have a white "Rental Return by 5/7/2016" sticker in the upper right corner of the book.

  • Social Media: #gburg2016
    Want to send congrats to your classmates?  Have a great photo of your cap & gown, ready to go?  Share your Commencement moments, photos & memories on Facebook, Twitter  & Instagram: #gburg2016

Academic Regalia

Caps and Gowns
Since Baccalaureate and Commencement events are formal, academic attire is required. The regalia package includes a black gown, cap & tassel as well as an academic hood with the appropriate degree colors. In addition, graduates will also receive a Stole of Gratitude (see details below). If the purchase of regalia poses a financial hardship, please contact the Commencement Coordinator. The President's Office maintains a fund to provide assistance in certain cases.

The deadline for pre-ordering regalia through the Bookstore has passed. Students who did not order their regalia online will need to order it on April 24th during Commencement Prep Day. Price is $65. Sizes are not guaranteed.

For students who pre-ordered regalia through the Bookstore: After ordering regalia, you will obtain it in person in the CUB Ballroom on Commencement Preparation Day, Friday, April 24, 2015. If you will not be available on April 24, please contact the College Bookstore to make alternative arrangements.

Gowns should be pressed before being worn. Please wear the cap properly with the tassel on the right side until the degree has been conferred. An academic hood will come with your regalia and should be worn properly - Please refer to the instruction sheet which comes with the hood.

Stoles of Gratitude
The Stole of Gratitude is in part a gift from the Gettysburg College Alumni Association and the Class. Graduates will wear the stoles throughout the Commencement Exercises as a symbol of their appreciation for all of the individuals whose support was instrumental in bringing them to this day. At the reception following Commencement, graduates may present the stole to someone to demonstrate their gratitude for that individual's role in their success.  Students have the option of purchasing additional stoles from the Bookstore if they want (supplies are limited.)

Honor Cords
After Senior Week, please check your campus email if you think you have earned an honor cord (summa, magna or cum laude). Notification will be sent via email on the Friday before Commencement, and honor cords will be distributed on Commencement morning in Bream Gym during line-up. If your academic department gives departmental honor cords, they will be distributed at the Departmental Receptions on Saturday afternoon or as directed by each academic department administrator.

Ceremony Policies

All ceremonies will start promptly. Please be at the appointed place in good time. If for any reason the planned procedure is interrupted, look to the president, college marshal, the dean or the student marshals for direction.

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.

Since Baccalaureate and Commencement events are formal, academic attire (i.e. "cap & gown") is required.  Casual attire is not appropriate dress for Baccalaureate or Commencement.  Sensible shoes are recommended as high heels may sink into the grass during outdoor events.

Smoking and Alcohol
Smoking is not permitted once you have entered the academic procession. Please remember that no alcohol is allowed at the graduation site.

Ceremony Instructions


You will receive more detailed instructions for Commencement during the line-up in Bream Gym:

  • Please arrive at Bream Gym NO LATER than 9:45 a.m. on Commencement morning (Sunday, May 17, 2015) in your regalia (cap, gown & stole).   Check in at the registration tables at the entrance for seating instructions (and to pick up an honor cord if applicable).  Please go immediately to your seat after check-in. You will be given instructions on how everything works when you arrive.
  • No food or drinks will be permitted in Bream Gym.
  • Please plan to use the restrooms before entering Bream Gym.  Once you are inside, you must remain inside.
  • Remember to take ALL belongings with you when you leave Bream Gym in the Commencement procession.
  • More ceremony information.

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.