Information for Degree Candidates
Planning for Commencement
How do I know if I am eligible to graduate?
Please contact the
Office of the Registrar, your class dean, or the program manager.
If I am a current student who plans to complete my degree course work during the summer, may I walk in the May Commencement?
Yes, but you must complete the Walker form, which is available through the Undergraduate School Senior Class Dean or the Graduate School registrar.
I have international guests and need to provide them with a letter of invitation to get their visas. What do I do?
Guidance on invitation letters and a template letter can be found on the
ISSS home page under the heading "Requests & Forms."
What is the CCP?
In order to participate in Commencement, all degree candidates must log into the Babson Student Hub, where there will be a designated portlet for the Commencement Clearance Process (CCP). Here, candidates will view and complete the requirements necessary to pick up their cap and gown and participate in the ceremony, such as fulfilling financial obligations, completing surveys, and returning laptops. This site will be available to degree candidates approximately two weeks before Commencement.
Where do I pick up my tickets?
Tickets are required for ALL guests to gain entry to the Commencement tent. For Commencement 2017, each degree candidate will receive eight tickets for guest seating under the tent. For guaranteed seating under the tent, ticket holders must be at the Commencement tent on the Upper Athletic Fields by 9:50 a.m.
Tickets are to be picked up by prospective graduates beginning Wednesday, May 10, through Friday, May 12, and Monday, May 15, through Friday, May 19, in Cruickshank Alumni Hall. Candidates are welcome to bring as many guests as they wish to view the exercises from outside the tent or inside the Carling Sorenson Theater via live broadcast. There is ample room, and we have found that many people enjoy the freedom these options allow.
Tickets are not required for the master’s degree ceremony.
How do I get my cap and gown?
You must complete the Commencement Clearance Process (CCP) in order to pick up these items. Caps, gowns, and tassels will be available at the bookstore the week of May 15. Regalia is furnished by the College at no charge and may be kept as souvenirs of this memorable occasion.
What should I wear?
For women, appropriate attire might be a dress or skirt and blouse with low heels. The ground in and around the tent is uneven and it’s easy to stumble. For men, a shirt and tie are appropriate with dress slacks. If it’s a warm day, do not wear a jacket. The robe you will be wearing can get quite warm, and a jacket might become uncomfortable.
Caps should be worn straight and parallel to the ground. Bobby pins may be used to hold caps in place. Undergraduate tassels should be worn on the right front corner of your cap. Graduate tassels should be worn on the left front corner.
Where will my family and friends sit?
Family and friends will be seated in sections behind and beside the candidates. Degree candidates will occupy the left and right center sections of the tent. Please inform guests that it tends to be cool under the tent.
Undergraduate ceremony guests should go straight to the tent and should be seated by 9:30 a.m. to ensure they get a seat. The tent will open for seating at 8:30 a.m.
Graduate ceremony guests should go straight to the tent and should be seated by 2:30 p.m. to ensure they get a seat. The tent will open for seating at 1:45 p.m.
Are there provisions for individuals with orthopedic/mobility-related impairment?
If any member of your party has an orthopedic/mobility-related impairment, please have them ask public safety officers on campus to direct them to the designated drop-off point. A golf cart will be available to take your guests to the tent. The golf carts accommodate up to three people. Babson hosts will be on duty under the tent to assist in any way they can. Do not hesitate to ask them for assistance. There is a reserved section for wheelchair-bound users. One other guest will be allowed to sit with them in this location. To reserve seating in this section, you must
email the Events Management Office or call 781-239-5265 before April 21, 2017.
Am I allowed to bring baby carriages and other items?
Children are certainly welcome; however, accommodating carriages is difficult since the aisles cannot be blocked due to fire laws. There will be several rows of double width for carriages. If one of your guests plans to attend with a baby carriage, please instruct them to locate and sit in this wide row area. Hosts will be on site to help with seating, and we ask that you comply with their efforts to ensure that everyone is seated comfortably.
The following items are prohibited at Commencement:
- Unmanned aircraft systems
- Remote-controlled model aircraft
- Any type of portable chair or seat, other than those approved for persons with accessibility issues
- Laptop bags, backpacks, duffel bags, suitcases, large purses, and any other type of large carry item
- Any alcoholic beverages
- Weapons of any kind [including knives]
- Illegal drugs or substances
- Coolers or containers, including cans and bottles
- Fireworks or pyrotechnics
- Animals, except service animals assisting those with disabilities
- Folding and/or standalone chairs
- Noisemakers, bullhorns, or air horns
- Balloons or beach balls
Am I allowed to bring my children on stage when accepting my diploma?
Due to safety precautions, graduates are not permitted to carry, or be accompanied by, children on stage. However, children are welcome to attend the ceremony.
Will there be a photographer at the ceremony?
Professional photographers will take pictures of each graduate: first, when the graduate crosses the stage; and then, as the graduate leaves the stage with diploma in hand. We ask guests to remain in their seats. Within approximately two weeks after Commencement, you will receive photo proofs and an order form from Grad Images. Babson College serves only in the capacity of providing the photographer. All questions regarding photographs should be directed to the studio at the Grad Images website.
What if it rains on Commencement day?
Commencement will be held under the tent, rain or shine, in order to accommodate a larger audience. Participants and guests should come prepared if inclement weather is expected. In the event of an extreme weather emergency, please refer to the Commencement home page, or call the Babson College Information Line, 781-239-INFO (4636). Regardless of weather conditions, Babson will provide a live broadcast of the ceremony in Carling-Sorenson Theater for guest viewing. In addition, the ceremony may be viewed online. Please visit the home page for more information.
Where do I go on Commencement day?
All degree candidate class photos will be taken in the Staake Gymnasium in the Webster Center by Panfoto. The undergraduate photo will be taken at 8:30 a.m., and the graduate photo will be taken at 1:30 p.m., just prior to assembling on the track for the procession.
Undergraduate degree candidates must assemble on the track in the Webster Center no later than 8:45 a.m.
Master’s degree candidates must assemble on the track in the Webster Center no later than 1:45 p.m.
Signs will be placed around the track indicating your position in line. Candidates will form a double line behind the appropriate sign and will be checked in by marshals. Candidates MUST be in appropriate order. You will then be led out of the Webster Center by the chief marshal, members of governance, and faculty and staff to the tent on the Upper Athletic Fields.
Do I have to check in for lineup?
You will be checked in on the track by your section’s marshal. There is no other check-in required for Commencement.
When and where do I get my honors tassels?
Honors tassels will be distributed on Commencement day at the tassel table in the Webster Center. Please bring your student ID with you.
Will I be able to store my purse or personal items in the gym?
Personal items cannot be stored in Webster. There is no safe place to store personal items, and other people will be in the building throughout the day.
What is a Special Goodbye?
The Special Goodbye is a Babson tradition that allows faculty, staff, students, parents, and friends to send congratulatory notes and cards to undergraduate degree candidates at the ceremony. All messages should be in a sealed envelope, with the first and last name of the candidate, and clearly marked Undergraduate School. The Events staff will place the Special Goodbyes on the candidate’s chair before the start of the ceremony. The deadline to submit cards and notes is Friday, April 21, 2017.
Is there a program following the ceremony?
Bachelor’s degree graduates and their guests are cordially invited to attend a light reception in the Reynolds Campus Center immediately following the undergraduate ceremony. Students will recess through the front of the tent to Webster. We instruct guests to meet their graduates at the Reynolds Campus Center.
Master’s degree graduates and their guests are invited to a reception in the Staake Gymnasium in the Webster Center following the graduate ceremony.
Is the bookstore open on Commencement day?
The Babson College bookstore, located in the Reynolds Campus Center, will be open on Commencement day. Please check the
bookstore website for hours of operation. There also will be an annex on the Upper Athletic Fields selling diploma frames and Babson merchandise until 3:30 p.m.
Will I receive my diploma at the Commencement ceremony?
Yes, if you are a May graduate. And the diploma cases are yours to keep.
If you graduated in August 2016 or December 2016, you should have received your diploma already, but we will issue you a diploma case with which you can walk across the stage.*
If you are an August 2017 graduate and are walking in the May ceremony, we will issue you a diploma case with which you can walk across the stage. Your diploma will be mailed to you in September.*
*For August 2016, December 2016, and August 2017 graduates, as part of Babson’s going green initiatives, we kindly ask that you return the diploma case to the designated drop boxes on the lower level of Reynolds (undergraduate ceremony) or the upper level of the Webster Center (graduate ceremony) so we can reuse it for next year’s Commencement ceremony. You are more than welcome to take pictures with family and friends prior to returning.
Will the Commencement be sustainable?
Babson’s initiatives in sustainability bring Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® to the forefront of global energy and environmental issues. We began our energy-efficiency efforts more than 20 years ago, and today the College is a leader in the field of corporate social entrepreneurship and environmental sustainability.
We are excited to share the following ways that we practice sustainability at Commencement:
- All degree candidates will be wearing caps and gowns made from 100 percent post-consumer, recycled plastic bottles. The fabric is spun from molten plastic pellets, and it takes about 23 bottles to make each gown.
- Babson diplomas are printed on cotton parchment, which is 100 percent cotton rag paper made from recovered tree-free fibers through cotton ginning waste and textile cuttings. The manufacturing plant is located in Massachusetts.
- Every attempt is made to use recycled paper for our printed programs, booklets, tickets, and other materials.
- We have greatly decreased our paper usage by using e-communications for the majority of our communications regarding Commencement.
- The plastic cups and cutlery are recyclable in the blue bins, and the paper napkins and plates are compostable in the green bins.
- We offer recyclable cups at water stations around the Commencement tent to decrease the number of water bottles.