Commencement at Williams is a moving and joyous occasion for families as well as for graduating seniors. Here are resources and suggestions to help ensure the experience is comfortable and relaxing, as well as exciting, for all.
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Maps and additional instructions will be available at Commencement Central in Paresky Student Center on the Friday and Saturday of Commencement Weekend, 10 am – 4 pm.
Getting to Williamstown
Various approaches–by trains, plains, automobiles, and buses–follow. Families flying into Albany or Hartford should keep in mind that ground transportation from those airports to Williamstown means renting a car or hiring a driver.
Driving directions (Google)
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 morning’s Phi Beta Kappa Induction, Sigma Xi Induction, and Ivy Exercises. (Students are notified of PBK and Sigma XI selections in late May. The Commencement Office does not receive advance notice of these selections.)
Where to Stay
While Williamstown and nearby communities offer a wide range of lodging, venues closest to campus get booked early, so make your reservations as early as possible. It’s very difficult to cancel hotel/motel rooms and receive a refund for this weekend, so if for some reason you don’t need a reserved room, you can try offering it on Williams Switchboard.
- Area hotels, motels, inns
- Visitor’s Guide: Where to Stay in the Berkshires
- Airbnb resource
- Destination Williamstown
- Seniors receiving financial aid from the college may request beds in Mission Park for their families on Friday and Saturday nights of Commencement Weekend. The charge is $20 per bed for the entire weekend. Eligible seniors will be invited to reserve campus housing in April.
Nearby Dining Options
Suggestions from Berkshire Menus
Saturday Afternoon Conversations with Honorary Degree Recipients
Honorary Degree Recipients will participate in conversations with faculty members in the ’62 Center. Ticketing information will be available closer to the event. We ask that you arrive ten minutes early in order to secure a seat at your preferred conversation.
Seniors are each given four indoor Commencement tickets when they pick up their cap and gown. Only seniors can pick up tickets. These tickets are only required in case of rain, in which case Sunday’s Commencement Exercises will be held in the Field House, which has limited seating capacity. Seniors are the only ones who can pick up tickets, and there is a limit of 3 guest tickets per senior. Make sure your student picks up those 3 tickets and gives them to you in case of rain! More information here.