April 19: Details about two Commencement ceremonies on May 27
I write to provide you with several important updates about Commencement 2021. Below you will find information on these Commencement topics:
- Commencement Location
- Commencement Day Schedule
- Guests and Ticket Update
- Weather, What to Bring, and What Not to Bring
- Watching the Ceremony
- Restrooms and Facilities
- Keeping You and Bates Safe
- Senior To-Dos
If you have any questions or need assistance, please email Commencement2021@groups.bates.edu.
As we announced in March, the 155th Commencement of Bates College will be held in-person on the Coram Library Terrace on the Historic Quad on Thursday, May 27, 2021. As exciting as an in-person Commencement is for us at Bates, we’re sure it’s doubly so for you and your family.
Commencement represents the largest on-campus gathering in almost two years. To celebrate safely — and following Maine regulations for large gatherings and ticketed events — Commencement will comprise two ceremonies, at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., each accommodating half the senior class, grouped by alphabetical last name.
Commencement Day Schedule
Morning Commencement: 9am (Seniors with last names A–K)
- Guest seating opens: 7am
- Senior Lineup on Alumni Walk: 7:45am
- Guest seating closes: 8:15am — no guests seated after 8:15am
- Procession Begins: 8:30am
- Ceremony starts: 9am
- Recessional 10:30am
- Boxed meal distribution: 10:30am–1:30pm (Muskie Archives, Olin Arts Center, Frye Street, Lane Hall parking lot). Seniors meet your guest(s) at the boxed meal location closest to your residence. Seniors returning for Commencement and December graduates can pick up meals at the location that’s convenient.
Afternoon Commencement: 3pm (Seniors with last names L–Z)
- Guest seating opens: 1pm
- Senior Lineup on Alumni Walk: 1:45pm
- Guest seating closes: 2:15pm — no guests seated after 2:15pm
- Procession Begins: 2:30pm
- Ceremony starts: 3pm
- Recessional 4:30pm
- Boxed meal distribution: 4:30pm–6:30pm (Muskie Archives, Olin Arts Center, Frye Street, Lane Hall parking lot). Seniors meet your guest(s) at the boxed meal location closest to your residence. Seniors returning for Commencement and December graduates can pick up meals at the location that’s convenie
Seniors will only be allowed access to the ceremony for which they are scheduled. Seniors may not change their ceremony time.
After their ceremony, seniors have until 7 p.m. to move out of their campus rooms — but we encourage all seniors to move out as soon as your ceremony is over.
Guests and Ticket Update
Each graduating senior who is on campus for Commencement and participating in-person may invite two guests to attend in person. Guests must have tickets in order to be admitted to the ceremony on May 27.
During the last week of April, seniors will be sent a communication with instructions on how to register their two in-person guests.
Guests will be expected to stay in their seats during the ceremony. As in the past, a professional photographer will take pictures of each senior as they cross the Coram Terrace, and the seniors receive a link to access their photo.
Weather, What to Bring, and What Not to Bring
Commencement 2021 will be outdoors, rain or shine. Guests should be prepared for inclement — hot, cold, or wet — weather.
No water stations will be available, so guests should bring water.
While Bates cannot welcome pets to the ceremony this year, guests may be accompanied by their assistance, service, and/or emotional support animals.
Watching the Ceremony
We will broadcast both Commencement ceremonies on bates.edu/live and Facebook for families and friends to join the celebration remotely
Restrooms and Facilities
Guests may not enter campus buildings except for restroom access in six buildings: Carnegie Science Hall, Chase Hall, Gomes Chapel, the Mays Center, Merrill Gymnasium, and the Ronj.
Keeping You and Bates Safe
All participants and guests at Commencement 2021 will observe the public-health guidelines and follow the Guest and Returning Senior Testing and Vaccination Policy.
At time of ticketing, guests will attest that they will not attend Commencement if:
- They are experiencing any symptoms such as a fever (100 degrees or more), chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue , headache, vomiting or diarrhea.
- They have had close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not completed the required quarantine period.
- They are currently required to self-isolate or quarantine by their doctor or a public health official.
At this time seniors should have completed their cap and gown order, and their updated contact survey.
- In mid-May, seniors will be sent a detailed communication that will include rehearsal times, COVID testing information, and Commencement day schedule as well as other important time-sensitive information.
- Seniors will have until 7 p.m. on May 27, 2021, to move out of their campus rooms — but we encourage you to move out as soon as your ceremony is over.
- Rehearsals will take place on Wednesday, May 26, at which time seniors will be issued their cap, gown, and Class of 2021 face covering.
Assistant Vice President for Dining, Conferences and Campus Events