November 15, 2021
Dear Families and Friends of the Class of 2022,
As the school year begins, many Williams family members and guests are looking forward to celebrating their senior’s college graduation in June. It is my pleasure to invite you to attend the 233rd Commencement of Williams College. My colleagues and I congratulate you on your senior’s accomplishments while at Williams.
Over the coming months, we will work out the details of Commencement Weekend 2022. Our current plans are outlined below; please note that exact venues may change. Check commencement.williams.edu for updates.
Ivy Exercises, Saturday, June 4, 1:10 p.m.
Baccalaureate, Saturday, June 4, 5:00 p.m.
Commencement, Sunday, June 5, 10:00 a.m.
President’s Reception, Sunday, June 5, 12:15 p.m.
An overview of the weekend follows. You will receive a more detailed calendar in March. As events develop, we will post updated information on our Commencement website.
If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact Carrie Greene (413-597-2347) or me by email at [email protected].
We look forward to seeing you at Commencement,
William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Chemistry
Williams College Commencement Weekend
Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5, 2022
Ivy Exercises, 1:10–2:40 p.m., Saturday. Ivy Exercises, held outdoors on the Library Quad (by Stetson Hall), is an informal event presented by the Officers of the Senior Class. Members of the Class plant ivy, read the Class Poem and the Class History, perform music, and sing the College Song. The Dean of the College announces more than 100 student awards. The event ends with the 100-year-old tradition of dropping a watch from the top of Thompson Memorial Chapel. If the watch breaks, the Class will have good luck! Tickets are not required.
Baccalaureate, 5–6:15 p.m., Saturday. Baccalaureate is a service of gratitude and remembrance, using the languages of many religions to celebrate the transformation of learning into wisdom. Seniors process in cap and gown to Chapin Hall. Because seating is limited and the service’s principal focus is on seniors as a group, we limit each senior to two guest tickets. Other family members and guests are welcome to view a live stream of the service next door in Brooks-Rogers Recital Hall or in the Paresky Center. Tickets for the live stream are not required. If you plan on dinner out following the ceremony, we recommend making reservations for after 6:30 p.m.
Commencement, 10 a.m.–12:15 p.m., Sunday. This is the main event! Commencement is held outdoors weather permitting. It begins with a formal academic procession at 9:30 a.m. During the ceremony, three members of the Senior Class give brief speeches, honorary degrees are awarded, one of the honorary degree recipients gives the Commencement Address, and President Mandel awards each student their diploma. The High Sheriff of Berkshire County brings the ceremony to a close and leads a formal academic recessional. Tickets are not required for outdoor Commencement. Please plan to occupy only six seats per graduate in our outdoor venue. If additional guests plan to attend, we invite them to sit in Chapin Hall, immediately adjacent to the Library Quad, where the ceremony will be live-streamed. This venue is fully air-conditioned, offers comfortable seating, and is fully accessible.
President’s Reception, immediately after Commencement on Sunday. President Mandel invites the graduates and their guests to a buffet lunch on Chapin Lawn. Tickets are not required.
Tickets: All of the official events of Commencement weekend are free of charge. As noted above, tickets are not required for Ivy Exercises, outdoor Commencement, or the President’s Reception. In case severe weather forces us to hold Commencement indoors in the Lansing Chapman Rink, each senior will receive four guest tickets for the Ice Rink when they pick up their cap and gown. Unlimited overflow seating will be available in Chandler Gymnasium and other venues, where the ceremony will be live-streamed on a large screen.
For family members and friends who are unable to attend Commencement Weekend events, Williams College will live-stream the Commencement ceremony. We will also videotape Baccalaureate and post the recording online.
Accommodations: Information on hotels, motels, and B&B’s in and around Williamstown can be found here. Graduating seniors with significant financial need—as dictated by the amount of financial aid they receive—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 $20 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.
Caps and Gowns: The College provides Greenweaver caps and gowns (made from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles) at no charge to students. Seniors who did not pick up cap and gown at Convocation may pick them up Wednesday, June 3 through Saturday, June 6 at the college Bookstore. Seniors who need to exchange their cap and gown for a different size may do so at no cost at this time.
Accessibility: Every effort is made to anticipate the needs of all our guests who will be gathering for this occasion. The online Williams Commencement map (available in March) will include information about accessible parking. Please contact us if you have any specific accessibility needs while on campus. Although we cannot provide wheelchairs, we encourage you to contact Surgimed at least one week in advance if you need such services (Surgimed, 109 Eagle Street, North Adams, MA, 413-663-8655).
Pictures: During the Commencement ceremony, a professional photographer will take pictures of each graduate receiving their diploma. You may order photographs from www.gradimages.com.
Rain Plan: Every effort is made to hold Ivy Exercises and Commencement outdoors. In the event of severe weather, Ivy Exercises and Commencement will be moved inside to the Lansing Chapman Rink. Admission to Lansing Chapman Rink for Commencement is by ticket only. Each senior will receive four guest tickets for the rink when they pick up their cap and gown. Unlimited overflow seating will be available in Chandler Gymnasium, where the ceremony will be live-streamed on a large screen. Chapel bells will toll at 9:00 a.m. Sunday morning to signal indoor Commencement. Graduates and families will also be notified by email, prior to 9:00 a.m.
Yearbooks: The Gulielmensian will contact families and students about ordering yearbooks.