Get Ready for Williams Commencement 2019

Dear Families of the Class of 2019

We greatly look forward to welcoming you on campus June 1 and 2 to celebrate your students’ graduation from Williams. Here are suggestions and links to help ensure the experience is comfortable and relaxing, as well as exciting and inspiring.

More detailed information can be found here—including driving directions and airport transportation, local lodging and dining options, a parking and location mapand special parking and seating options for guests with disabilities.

When to Arrive
If you can get to Williamstown Friday night, you’ll be able to attend the full range of Commencement Weekend events. Learn more about Saturday’s Phi Beta Kappa Induction,Sigma Xi Induction, and Ivy Exercises. (Students are notified of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi selections in late May; the Commencement Office does not receive advance notice of these selections.)

Commencement Central
Printed maps and additional instructions will be available at Commencement Central inParesky Student Center on the Friday and Saturday of Commencement Weekend, 10 am – 6 pm.

Honorary Degree Conversation
Join us in the MainStage of the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance at 3:15 Saturday afternoon for a conversation with Kevin Roosevelt Moore, professionally known as Keb’ Mo’. (No tickets required.)

Tickets for Baccalaureate
Due to the limited seating capacity of Chapin Hall, we are unable to seat all family members in Chapin. Using an online form, each senior may request up to two guest tickets for Chapin while the supply lasts. (Seniors themselves don’t need tickets.) Other family members and guests are invited to view a simulcast of the Baccalaureate ceremony in the adjacent Bernhard Music Center’s Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall or in the ’62 Center’s MainStage; no tickets are necessary for these simulcast venues. Encourage your student to reserve tickets now for Baccalaureate!

Tickets for Indoor Commencement
Weather permitting, Commencement will be held outdoors on the Library Quad where no tickets will be required. In case of extreme weather conditions, the ceremony will be held in the Lansing Chapman Ice Rink. Each senior will receive four (4) guest tickets for the ice rink in their Paresky Center mailbox. Additional seating will be available in Chandler Gymnasium where the ceremony will be broadcast on a large screen. (Commencement is also live-streamed for viewing on laptops, tablets, and smartphones.) Tickets are not required for seating in Chandler. We favor an outdoor ceremony even under threatening skies and/or light rain.

What to Expect During Commencement Exercises
Outdoor Commencement takes place on the Library Quad. There are few shaded seats, and temperatures can range from the high 60s to the low 90s. Please pay close attention to the weather forecast, and bring a hat, sunscreen, water, and sunglasses. The ceremony lasts approximately two hours. The location of family seating will allow you to get up, stretch, and walk around without interrupting the proceedings. The ceremony is also simulcast into nearby Chapin Hall and the Bernhard Music Center’s Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall, which are both air-conditioned. Coffee and light snacks will be available for purchase in nearby Paresky Center. For those who cannot join us in Williamstown, the entire Commencement ceremony will be live-streamed from this webpage.

Again, we look forward to seeing you on campus for what will be a moving and joyous occasion. Please feel free to contact us if you have further questions.


Jay Thoman
College Marshal and J. Hodge Markgraf Professor of Chemistry