Information for Graduates

Class of 2020 Commencement postponed to May 7–8, 2021

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, and academic hood with the appropriate degree color. 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.

In addition, graduates will receive a Class of 2020 Stole of Gratitude (see details below) with their regalia package. 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.

Graduates who will be attending the postponed ceremony and and have not yet purchased regalia will have an opportunity to do so at a later date. The College Bookstore is working with our vendor, Oak Hall, to launch the Ship-to-Home ordering site and a communication will be shared once the site is launched.

Stoles of Gratitude

The Stole of Gratitude is a gift from the Gettysburg College Alumni Association to the Class of 2020. Graduates are encouraged to wear their 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. However, due to the postponement of the Commencement ceremony, Class of 2020 graduates may present their stoles prior to the rescheduled ceremony if they wish. 

Graduates who purchased regalia by May 1 should have already received their regalia, and a 2020 Stole of Gratitude was included. A Stole of Gratitude will be mailed by July 17 to graduates who did not order regalia. 

Honor Cords

Study abroad flag patches and some departmental Honor Cords were mailed to graduates from the Office of the President in May. Some departments have sent, or will be sending, honor cords also. If you are expecting a cord have not received it, please check with your Academic Department. 

Latin Honor Cords were mailed from the Office of the President in June. Students receiving Latin Honors were notified by the Office of the President via email. 

Diplomas and Diploma Cover

Diplomas were mailed on June 15.

Ceremony Instructions


The Class will meet in graduation regalia (cap, gown, tassel on the right side of cap, and academic hood) at the West Quad near Rice, Paul, and Stine Halls at 8:30 a.m. to form the academic procession to the location. The ceremony will be held outside, rain or shine. Ponchos will be provided in the event of rain.

Please form a line for the procession, keeping a 6' 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 at 9:45 a.m. on Commencement morning (or immediately after Baccalaureate if you participate in that service) in your regalia (cap, gown, tassel, and academic hood). Please wear your Class of 2020 Stole of Gratitude if you have not yet presented it. Check in at the registration tables at the entrance for seating instructions. 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.

2020 Commencement Speaker

The 2020 Student Commencement Speaker audition process was interrupted when the campus was closed. Candidates will be notified when the audition process resumes.

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. 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.

Miscellaneous Helpful Information

Yearbook Orders

Seniors may order yearbooks in several ways:

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

Phone: Call 1-800-853-1337.

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