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Graduate Commencement, 3 p.m., May 20, 2017

Commencement ceremony

Commencement at Hood College is the formal ceremony at which President Chapdelaine officially confers your degree. The Commencement exercises will be held outdoors on the residential quadrangle on May 20. The Commencement ceremony for master’s degree recipients will begin promptly at 3 p.m. We ask that graduates arrive no later than 2:30 p.m. Please assemble on the walkway behind Alumnae Hall where you will be lined up in alphabetical order by degree by graduate school staff members

An interpreter for the hearing impaired will be available at Commencement. Please contact Susan Kowalski at 301-696-3602 or no later than May 6 if you need this service.

Commencement seating on the residential quadrangle

There will be ample seating available for the ceremony. Tickets will not be distributed for graduate school Commencement. Seating on the quadrangle will begin at 2:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis.

Severe weather

In the event of severe weather, the Commencement ceremony will be moved to the Ronald J. Volpe Athletic Center. Please check the website for a weather update.

Handicapped seating

Reserved seating is limited to handicapped guests and to those requiring special assistance. Handicapped parking will be available in the Chapel parking lot. Members of Hood's safety and security team will be available to assist you. Please contact Susan Kowalski at 301-696-3602 or no later than May 12 to make arrangements for special reserved seating.

Commencement ceremony procedures
Degrees are awarded in this order: master of arts, master of business administration, master of fine arts and master of science. The dean of the graduate school asks the candidates to rise by degree. Students process across the stage, and the president presents each candidate with her or his degree. A photographer will take a photo of each candidate with the president. The student then shakes hands with the chair of the board of trustees and the dean of the graduate school, then promptly returns to her or his seat, remaining seated until all candidates have been awarded their degrees.

Please keep in mind Hood's policy that only those who have fulfilled all academic requirements and have met all of their financial obligations to the College may participate in Commencement, unless the student has petitioned the provost for special permission to participate.

Dress code for the Commencement ceremony
At Commencement, candidates and faculty wear academic regalia. All candidates wear a cap, tassel, robe and hood. Students should contact the Hood College bookstore to order academic regalia at 301-696-3480 or

Under the robe, students should wear clothing appropriate for this special occasion. Jeans, t-shirts, flip-flops, etc. are not appropriate attire for the Commencement ceremony.

The hood should be worn velvet side out with the velvet binding flipped to show the colors; secure the hood so that it does not fall off your shoulders. You should purchase the hood that is specific to your degree program (M.A., M.S., MBA, MFA).

The mortarboard should be worn flat (parallel to the ground), secured with bobby pins if necessary.

May graduate candidates should wear the tassel on the right and switch after receiving diplomas. September and January graduate candidates should wear the tassel on the left throughout the ceremony.

Guest parking
All parking spaces on campus will be available the day of the ceremony, and additional parking will be available in the Frederick Memorial Hospital parking deck as well as on the residential streets surrounding the campus. Campus safety will assist with parking.

An important note
Please be aware that beverages, alcoholic or nonalcoholic, and smoking are prohibited for graduates in the academic procession and during the ceremony. Candidates who do not cooperate with this policy will not be allowed to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

Master's degree recipient reception
Hosted by the dean of the graduate school, this event for master’s degree recipients and their guests is scheduled for May 17 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ronald J. Volpe Athletic Center, BB&T Arena. The reception will include the presentation of graduate student awards and the announcement of the recipients of the graduate teaching excellence awards. Attendance is by invitation only, and RSVPs are required. Invitations to this event will be mailed separately from the graduate school to graduate candidates in mid-April.