Note: Commencement information is subject to change due to COVID-19. The College is monitoring conditions and will adjust the Commencement schedules as needed due to changing circumstances.
Information about hotels, dining, transportation, and local attractions in historic Gettysburg, PA.
Information about viewing locations for Commencement, parking on campus, facilities, and campus policies.
Hotels and 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.
- Several weekend events will serve complimentary light refreshments. Please see the Commencement homepage for details.
- Please see the Campus Services section for Commencement Weekend Bullet Hole and Commons Café hours.
Around Town: Freedom Transit offers free public transportation around Gettysburg. See the Freedom Transit website for details and schedules.
A Licensed Battlefield Guide will meet you at the Visitor Center and drive your car for a private, two-hour tour of the battlefield. Guides are available daily, but to avoid disappointment, advance reservations for Licensed Battlefield Guide tours are strongly recommended. Please reserve your tour at least three days before your scheduled visit.
Please call the one of the following numbers to make a reservation:
You may also request a Licensed Battlefield Tour Guide in person at the Visitor Center complex, but same-day requests are subject to Guide availability.
Licensed Battlefield Guides spend years studying the Battle of Gettysburg so they can offer visitors quality, informative tours. It is customary to extend a gratuity if you’re satisfied with your experience.
Campus Walking Tour
The Gettysburg College: Witness to History historical app is a 1.2-mile walking tour that takes you through the Gettysburg College campus and the town of Gettysburg. Download the free app for Apple and Android devices.
Commencement Site (between Pennsylvania Hall and Musselman Library)
The Baccalaureate Service will be livestreamed.
Guests who wish to view the ceremony from the comfort of an indoor, air-conditioned venue with live video streaming have two options, both of which are accessible:
- Mara Auditorium, Masters Hall 110
- Chamberlin Room, Admissions Building (please note this site is adjacent to the accessible parking lot)
For those guests who are unable to attend in person, this event will be offered to guests via the web as a live video stream beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 16. View the livestream.
Outside, rain or shine, on the north side of Penn Hall
The Commencement Ceremony will be livestreamed beginning at 11:00 a.m.
On campus: Livestreaming coverage of the commencement exercises will be available rain or shine in the following buildings:
- Masters Hall
- Kline Theater, Brua Hall 200
In the case of heavy rain, additional livestreaming coverage of the Commencement exercises will be available in the following building:
- College Union Building, Ballroom
Parking is available in lots throughout campus. For detailed Accessibility Parking information, please see the Campus Parking Map below.
The Gettysburg Parking Department has notified the Public Safety Office that meter parking will be enforced throughout Commencement Weekend which includes Sundays from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm, as per the notification on the meters. Please be sure to feed parking meters in accordance with the days/hours posted on them, to avoid receiving a citation. For additional information, please visit the Borough Parking Department's website.
During Commencement, guests may find restrooms in the surrounding campus buildings, including:
- Weidensall Hall
- Glatfelter 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 portable restrooms and ADA-compliant portable restrooms will be available adjacent to the Commencement site for guests with limited mobility and are located along the sidewalk at the east end of Musselman Library, near Weidensall Hall.
Find a restroom
No tickets are needed for the Baccalaureate or Commencement exercises. 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 8:00 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. Food and drinks are allowed at the site and we encourage you to enjoy a complimentary lunch immediately following the ceremony in the Dining Center and CUB Ballroom.
Due to the number of guests expected, only service animals are permitted at the BcCommencement 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.
Please remain seated and respectful to all graduates for all diploma presentations until the Valedictorian and Salutatorian receive their diplomas at the end of the diploma presentations.
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.).
- Local weather forecast.
Commemorate Your Visit
Photography and Videography
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 online registration.
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.
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.
Gettysburg College uses Merit to celebrate student accomplishments. Graduates and their families do not need to do anything. A graduation notice will be sent automatically to each graduate's hometown newspaper.
- Parents and Family
We invite families to Honor Your Graduate by making a gift to the Gettysburg Fund. If you make your gift online, please honor your graduate in the appropriate section.
Have you contributed to the Senior Class Gift? Your donation to the Gettysburg Fund can help the Class of 2020 leave a mark on Gettysburg College that no class before you has left! How to give. For additional information, please contact Annual Giving - Student Programs at 717-337-6334.
Display and wear your Gettysburg College pride! From diploma frames to sweatshirts, find graduation gift ideas at the Gettysburg College Bookstore.
Recognize a graduating senior and help support Musselman Library through the Honor with Books program.