Commencement at Williams is a moving and joyous occasion for families and friends 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. If you or your guests have accessibility needs, please visit our Accessibility for Guests page or reach out to us with any questions or concerns.
Note: Commencement will be outdoors even if there is light to moderate rain. A live stream will be available in Chapin Hall if you prefer to view the ceremony indoors. No tickets required.
And please share your experiences on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media using the hashtag #Williams2023.
Getting to Williamstown
Various approaches–by trains, planes, automobiles, and buses–follow. If you’re flying into Albany or Hartford, keep in mind that ground transportation from those airports to Williamstown means renting a car or hiring a driver.
- Car: Driving directions (Google)
- Plane: Albany International Airport or Bradley International Airport
- Bus: Peter Pan/Bonanza Bus
- Train: Amtrak or MetroNorth
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
Graduating seniors receiving financial aid from Williams are welcome to reserve on-campus housing for their guests over Commencement Weekend. These rooms are in vacated student residence halls with shared bathrooms and no air-conditioning. Each senior may reserve up to four rooms, with one bed per room, for a maximum of four guests. Williams will charge your student account $30 for each room, in advance and non-refundable, for the entire weekend (both Friday and Saturday nights). Williams will reach out to all eligible seniors in February with instructions on how to reserve campus guest rooms.
Nearby Dining Options
Suggestions from Berkshire Menus
The Baccalaureate Service is the only event for which you need tickets. Seniors whose families wish to attend may request up to two tickets in April. Indoor Commencement only happens in the case of extreme weather. If the ceremony is forced indoors, guests will be asked to view a life stream of the ceremony from a campus or off-campus venue.