Information for 2023 Graduates

Commencement Ceremony May 13, 2023

Academic Regalia

Caps and Gowns

Regalia pre-ordering is now closed. Graduates will be able to purchase regalia in-person at the Bookstore starting April 24.

Stoles of Gratitude

The Stole of Gratitude is a gift from the Gettysburg College Alumni Association to the Class of 2023. 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 departmental receptions following Commencement, graduates may present the stole to someone to demonstrate their gratitude for that individual’s role in their success.

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 the Ballroom during lineup. If your academic department gives departmental honor cords, they will be distributed as directed by each academic department administrator.

Ceremony Instructions


Baccalaureate is an inclusive service uniting the campus community in thanksgiving. All are encouraged to attend.

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 4:00 p.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. 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 lineup in the CUB Ballroom:

  • Please arrive at CUB 126 at 9:45 a.m. to check in and receive seating instructions. You should be wearing your regalia (cap, gown, tassel, and academic hood), as well as your Class of 2023 Stole of Gratitude if you have not yet presented it. Please go immediately to your seat after check-in. You will be given instructions on how everything works once you arrive.
  • No food or drinks will be permitted in the CUB Ballroom.
  • Please plan to use the restrooms before entering the CUB Ballroom. Once you are inside, you must remain inside.
  • Remember to take ALL belongings with you when you leave the CUB Ballroom in the Commencement procession.

Diplomas and Diploma Cover

Diplomas are presented to the graduates during the ceremony. At the direction of the student marshals, seniors will rise a row at a time, beginning with Bachelor of Arts candidates. Be sure caps are replaced and proceed to the platform in order as directed. When the Provost announces your name, proceed across the platform to the President, receive your diploma in your left hand, shake hands with the President, and process across and off the platform. Following receipt of the degree and a photograph with your new diploma, ushers will direct you back to your seat. Please remain standing until your entire row is in place and be seated at the signal from the student marshal. Caps may be removed when seated. The Class Valedictorian and Salutatorian will receive their degrees last. As a courtesy to all graduates, guests are asked to please remain in their seats until every graduate has received their diploma.

2023 Student Commencement Speaker

Information regarding the selection process is forthcoming from class officers and OSAGL.

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.

If you need assistance with clothing for Commencement Weekend, please look into these campus resources: Hera's Closet and Career Clothing Closet.

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.


Commencement takes place at the Beachem Portico, on the north side of Pennsylvania Hall, rain or shine. In the event of severe weather forecasted for most of the day, a decision may be made to hold the ceremony indoors for the graduates only, with alternate viewing sites available for guests.

  • It is possible that Commencement might be delayed or cancelled due to dangerous weather. If so, notification will be provided as follows:
  • In the event of a delay, we will email all seniors and senior parents and updates will be posted on the homepage of the College’s website, the Commencement webpage, and the College’s social media channels.
  • Additional (indoor) areas are available for viewing the Commencement Ceremony:
    • Mara and adjacent classrooms
    • Science Center 200
    • Bowen Auditorium, McCreary Hall
    • CUB Ballroom
  • In the event of a move indoors for graduates, we will email all seniors and parents; update the homepage of the College’s website, the Commencement webpage, and the College’s social media channels; and Public Safety will text all senior students.
  • 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 Campus Safety officers will be on duty to answer questions and direct attendees into campus buildings.
  • Ponchos will be provided to graduates and faculty, if necessary. We advise guests to be prepared with rain gear and warm clothing. If it is raining, Commencement will continue outdoors as planned.
  • Please see the Commencement homepage for weather updates (Baccalaureate lineup, Departmental Receptions, etc.).
  • Local weather forecast.

Spring Honors Day

Spring Honors Day is an award ceremony recognizing outstanding achievements by students, faculty, and alumni. All are encouraged to attend. Students receiving an award will be notified in advance of Spring Honors Day.

Departmental Receptions

Departmental Receptions are an excellent opportunity for all graduates, their families, and guests to connect with faculty and staff from each academic department. All are encouraged to attend. List of departments and reception venues.

Residence Hall Move-Out

Graduating seniors may remain on campus through Commencement, but must vacate their residence hall by 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 14, 2023 (the day after Commencement). Additional information can be found on the Residential Education website.

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: #gburg2023

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: #gburg2023

Stay connected and involved after Commencement

Commencement Questions?

Answers to most questions can be found on these web pages. Questions about degree requirements and diplomas may be directed to the Office of the Registrar. Please contact the Bookstore directly for questions about regalia.

Other questions? Contact the Commencement Committee at