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Undergraduate Commencement, 10 a.m., May 20, 2017

Friday, May 19

Commencement rehearsal

By 9:45 a.m., assemble on the walkway behind Alumnae Hall, where you will be lined up in the order of the procession. Rehearsal will begin promptly at 10 a.m. with a practice processional to the residential quadrangle. Attendance at the rehearsal is mandatory. The rehearsal will take approximately one hour.

A Baccalaureate rehearsal will be held in Coffman Chapel immediately following the Commencement rehearsal.

President’s reception

A president’s reception for graduating students and their families will be held in the Coblentz Hall Dining Room at 4:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served. Please RSVP for the president’s reception online at www.hood.edu/reception by May 17.

Baccalaureate service

The Baccalaureate service will be held in Coffman Chapel at 6 p.m. All graduating students and their families are encouraged to attend this service of celebration and farewell. We ask that students assemble in the basement of Coffman Chapel, Room 5, at 5:30 p.m. to line up for the service.

The Baccalaureate service comes to us from the medieval European custom of presenting the candidates for the degree of bachelor (Latin - bacca) with laurels (lauri) in the form of words or oration. The Baccalaureate ceremony is a service of worship and thanksgiving for lives dedicated to learning and wisdom. It is believed to have originated at Oxford University in 1432 when each bachelor was required to deliver a sermon in Latin as part of the fulfillment of one’s academic requirements. While the roots of this service come from the Christian tradition, the Anglican Church of England, Hood’s service has evolved to an interfaith celebration, in recognition of the many religious and spiritual traditions of our student body.

Dress code for the Baccalaureate ceremony

Robes are required for the Baccalaureate ceremony; women should also wear the white collar.

The robe should be closed. For women, the length should be below the knees. Under the robe, graduates should wear clothing appropriate for this special occasion. Jeans, t-shirts, flip-flops, etc. are not appropriate attire for the Baccalaureate ceremony.

Saturday, May 20

Strawberry breakfast

The strawberry breakfast will be held in Coblentz Hall Dining Room from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. The breakfast is a Hood tradition dating back to 1928, when it was held in conjunction with the College May Day Celebration. Martha Carson, the College dietician and dining room supervisor from 1914-48, started the tradition. The College continues this tradition, serving a breakfast buffet that includes such specialties as strawberries, ice cream and sticky buns on the morning of Commencement.

A ticket is required for all attendees, including the graduating students; each graduating senior is entitled to four complimentary meal tickets for use at either the strawberry breakfast or the post-Commencement luncheon. Additional tickets for the breakfast may be purchased online at a cost of $12.75 for adults and $6 for children ages six to 12; there is no cost for children ages five and younger. The form for ordering the complimentary tickets and additional tickets may be accessed at www.hood.edu/Commencement beginning April 1. Please purchase your tickets by May 17. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

Commencement ceremony

Commencement is the formal ceremony at which President Chapdelaine officially confers your degree. The Commencement ceremony will be held on the residential quadrangle. It will begin promptly at 10 a.m. and will last approximately two and a half hours. We ask that graduates arrive promptly at 9:30 a.m. and line up behind Alumnae Hall. Your guests may take their seats beginning at 9 a.m.

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 the Commencement ceremony. Students who wish to be excused from the Commencement ceremony must secure permission from the registrar by May 17.

Commencement seating on the residential quadrangle

There will be ample seating available for the Commencement ceremony. You do not need a ticket for family members and guests. Guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis and should arrive by 9:45 a.m.

Severe weather

In the event of severe weather, the Commencement ceremony will be moved to the Ronald J. Volpe Athletic Center, and graduating seniors will receive four tickets for their guests.  Graduates will receive their four tickets during the Commencement rehearsal on Friday, May 19. Please check the Commencement website for important weather related information.

Handicapped seating requests

Reserved seating is limited to handicapped guests and to those requiring special assistance. An interpreter for the hearing impaired will be available for both Baccalaureate and Commencement. Please contact Julie Chalk at 301-696-3623 or chalk@hood.edu no later than May 12 to make arrangements for special reserved seating or hearing impaired needs.

Dress code for Commencement

At Commencement, graduates and faculty wear academic regalia. All candidates wear a cap, tassel, robe and hood. Under the robe, graduates 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.

The mortarboard should be worn flat, parallel to the ground, secured with bobby pins if necessary. May undergraduate candidates should wear the tassel on the right and move it to the left after receiving diplomas. September and January undergraduate candidates should wear the tassel on the left throughout the ceremony.

Academic honor ribbons should be worn to Baccalaureate and Commencement.

Guest parking

All parking spaces on campus will be available the day of the ceremony and additional parking will be available 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 graduating students in the academic procession and during the ceremony. Graduates who do not cooperate with this policy will not be allowed to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

Post-Commencement luncheon

The post-Commencement luncheon will be held in the Coblentz Hall Dining Room immediately following the Commencement program. A ticket is required for all attendees, including the graduating students; each graduating senior is entitled to four complimentary meal tickets for use at either the strawberry breakfast or the post-Commencement picnic luncheon. Tickets for the luncheon may be purchased online at a cost of $13 for adults and $6 for children ages six to 12; there is no cost for children ages five and younger. The form for ordering the complimentary tickets and additional tickets may be accessed at www.hood.edu/Commencement beginning April 1. Tickets will also be sold at the door.