Caps and GownsIf you have not yet purchased your regalia, you may do so in the Bookstore until Saturday, May 16 (the Bookstore will close at 4pm that day.)
Since Baccalaureate and Commencement events are formal, academic attire is required. The regalia package includes a black gown, cap, tassel, and academic hood with the appropriate degree colors. In addition, graduates will also receive a Class of 2020 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.
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 2020. Graduates will wear the stoles throughout the Commencement ceremony 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 may purchase additional Stoles from the Bookstore if they wish while supplies last.
Please check your campus email at the end of Senior Week 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.
The Class will meet in graduation regalia (cap, gown, tassel on the right side of cap, hood, and Stole of Gratitude) at the West Quad near Rice, Paul, and Stine Halls at 3:15 p.m. to form the academic procession to the location. In case of rain, the class will meet and line up in the basement of Christ Chapel. Check the website for weather-related site change information. Note: The basement is not accessible without going down stairs. If you are unable to get to the basement if lineup is moved inside, please see an usher. You will be able to wait upstairs and fall into line at the appropriate time.
Please form a double line for the procession, keeping an arm's length interval from the person ahead of you. The President and Vice President of the class, acting as student marshals, will assist in the lining up. Seating details will follow at lineup.
The Provost will remove his cap, which is the signal for students to remove caps as well. The service will be enhanced by your enthusiastic participation in the liturgy and singing. After the final hymn has been sung, caps will be replaced at the signal from the College Marshal. Please remain in your place until the faculty has recessed.
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) in your regalia (cap, gown, tassel, hood, and 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.
SEATING: No tickets are needed for guests at the Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 17, 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 2020 will process out of Pennsylvania Hall to their seats. On their first day on campus in August 2016, at the end of Convocation, the Class of 2020 processed as a class for the first time up the north steps of Pennsylvania 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.
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.
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 give each graduate your attention during the diploma presentation until the final diplomas are given out to the Valedictorian and Salutatorian.
Since Baccalaureate and Commencement events are formal, academic attire (i.e. cap and 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.
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 Commencement Prep Day and during Commencement Weekend.
2020 Student Commencement Speaker
The 2020 Student Commencement Speaker will be selected through an audition process. Please watch the Senior Digest in February for information.
To avoid additional fees, Textbook Rentals are due back to the Gettysburg College Bookstore on or before Saturday, May 9, at 6:00 p.m. Rental books have a white "Rental Return by 5/9/2020" sticker in the upper right corner of the book.
Social Media: #gburg2020
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: #gburg2020
Stay connected and involved after Commencement
- Find ways to connect, volunteer, and give.
- Check out Career Services for Alumni.
- Keep up with other young alumni via Burgians of the Last Decade (BOLD).