Information for Graduates


Academic Regalia

Caps and Gowns
Since Baccalaureate and Commencement events are formal, academic attire is required. The regalia package includes a black gown, cap and 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. If you have not purchased your regalia already, please go to the Bookstore to purchase at your earliest convenience. Cost is $65 and size cannot be guaranteed.

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 a gift from the Gettysburg College Alumni Association to the Class of 2016. 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 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 15, 2016) 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.


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.

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.

Miscellaneous Helpful Information

Yearbook Orders
There are three ways to order your yearbook:

  • Online:  Visit, 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.

2016 Commencement Student Speaker
Peter Rosenberger '16 has been selected to be the 2016 Commencement Student Speaker.

Textbook Rentals
To avoid additional fees, Textbook Rentals are due back to the Gettysburg College Bookstore on or before Saturday, May 7, at 6:00 p.m. 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 and gown ready to go? Share your Commencement moments, photos, and memories on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: #gburg2016

Stay connected and involved after Commencement