Plan your visit

Commencement Ceremony May 13, 2023

Photo of the Gettysburg Hotel on the square of Gettysburg, PA

Travel Information

Hotels, dining, transportation, and local attractions in historic Gettysburg, PA.

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Gettysburg College graduates walking past the Janet Morgan Riggs student center

Campus Information

Alternate viewing locations, parking, facilities, campus policies, and more.

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Travel Information

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.



Around Town: rabbittransit offers public transportation around Gettysburg (it is free with a Gettysburg College ID only). See the rabbittransit website for details and schedules.

Battlefield Tours

Licensed Battlefield Guide Car Tour

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:

Licensed Battlefield Guide Reservations Desk: 717-337-1709 (cash payment only)
Gettysburg Foundation: 877-874-2478 (cash and credit; an additional booking fee applies)

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 devices.

Campus Information


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 9:00 a.m. 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 Pennsylvania 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.

Alternate Viewing


Baccalaureate will take place in-person at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 17, in Christ Chapel.

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 p.m. on Friday, May 17.


The 11 a.m. Commencement Ceremony will take place, rain or shine, on Saturday, May 18, on the north side of Pennsylvania Hall.

Livestreaming of Commencement will begin at 10 a.m.

On campus: Livestreaming coverage of Commencement will be available in the following buildings:

  • Masters Hall (rain or shine)
  • College Union Building (CUB) on the video screens in The Junction, The Bullet Hole, and the seating area at the top of The Bullet Hole staircase


Parking is available in lots throughout campus. For detailed accessible parking information, please see the Campus Parking Map below or visit the Accessibility webpage.

View the interactive campus map

The Gettysburg Parking Department has notified the Campus Safety Office that meter parking will be enforced throughout Commencement Weekend which includes Sundays from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., 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

View restrooms on the interactive campus map


Tips for the Commencement ceremony

  • Set up a predetermined location to meet your graduate after the ceremony for family photographs, to meet friends, etc.
  • Bring rain gear.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Bring binoculars.
  • Wear sensible shoes. High heels may sink into the grass.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Wear layers. It could get hot; it could cool down very quickly.
  • Give yourself a full hour to find a seat and get settled. It's exciting to watch the preparations.
  • The seating for Commencement is on flat ground. Please don’t expect to get great photographs. Three photographers will capture the awarding of your student's diploma from different angles. We encourage you to sit back and enjoy the moment.
  • Most of all, celebrate and enjoy this achievement with your graduate -- congratulations!


Animal Policy

Due to the number of guests expected, only service animals are permitted at the Baccalaureate and Commencement site.

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 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, 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 listed below.
  • 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.
  • 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 Campus 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, 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.
  • Please see the Commencement homepage for weather updates (Baccalaureate lineup, Departmental Receptions, etc.).
  • Local weather forecast.

Gifts for your Grad

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.

Gift ideas

  • Parents and Family
    We invite families to honor your graduate by making a gift to the Gettysburg Fund. Find out more.
  • Seniors
    Have you contributed to the Senior Class Gift? Your donation to the Gettysburg Fund can help the Class of 2023 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.
  • Everyone
    Display and wear your Gettysburg College pride! From diploma frames to sweatshirts, find graduation gift ideas at the College Bookstore.

    Recognize a graduating senior and help support Musselman Library through the Honor with Books program.