Letter to Families, Class of 2020

Dear Families of the Class of 2020:

I look forward to welcoming you to campus for Colby’s 199th Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 24, 2020, at 10 a.m. on Miller Library lawn. A schedule of events for the weekend is available on the commencement website.

As commencement draws near I wanted to provide some details about the weekend that may be helpful as you make plans with your graduate and family. First, following the end of the spring semester and before the Commencement Weekend activities begin, seniors are invited to participate in Senior Week activities with their classmates from Monday, May 18, through Thursday, May 21.

Senior Week is coordinated by the Office of Campus Life, and seniors must register for those events using their Colby login and password through the MyColby portal. There is also a Class of 2020 tab in the MyColby portal for students that provides helpful information specific to graduating seniors including a senior checklist, schedules, etc. This portal is only available to current Colby students. The senior class officers will communicate directly with the class about events, registrations, etc. via email.

The best source of information for parents and families regarding Commencement Weekend is the commencement website, where you can find a schedule of activities, make meal reservations (Note: The meal reservation site will go live on March 15), and consult a list of frequently asked questions that addresses inclement weather plans, road closures, parking, rain site tickets, moving out of residence halls, etc. Please note that tickets are not required for the commencement ceremony this year if it is held outside as planned.

While we hope for a clear, warm weekend and we will make every effort to hold the commencement ceremony on Miller Library lawn, inclement weather is possible. In the event of rain we will move the ceremony to the Harold Alfond Athletic Center, where the seating capacity is limited. Each graduate will receive three tickets for seating in Wadsworth Gymnasium. Additional, non-ticketed seating will be available in the adjacent field house, where the ceremony will be streamed live. Inclement weather tickets will be distributed to your senior during senior week.

The baccalaureate ceremony on Saturday morning is held in Lorimer Chapel. Members of the graduating class and the faculty are seated inside the chapel. Seating for families and guests is available on the lawn outside of the chapel, where the ceremony is streamed live on a large video screen. Members of the senior class and faculty will process and recess to and from the chapel along either side of the chapel lawn, so there will be ample opportunity to see your graduate on Saturday morning. In the event of rain on Saturday, the baccalaureate ceremony will be streamed live to the classrooms in the Lovejoy building, where families may watch.

There are several opportunities throughout the weekend for families and graduates to gather for meals and celebrations on campus. Following the commencement ceremony, on Sunday afternoon there is a graduate luncheon available to all guests at no charge. While tickets are not required for the graduate luncheon, for planning purposes we ask that families fill out the reservation form with a number of expected guests. On Friday and Saturday evenings there are meals on campus including the Friday evening lobster bake on the Colby Green and the Saturday evening commencement banquet in Dana Dining Hall. Tickets may be purchased for the Friday lobster bake using the Make Reservations link or the Meal Menus and Reservations link in the dropdown menu in the upper right corner of the commencement site. Payment for the Saturday evening banquet will be collected at the door. Graduating seniors do not need to be included in your meal reservation numbers or paid ticket purchases, as they will make their meal requests through the MyColby portal and their tickets are provided at no cost. All meal tickets purchased through the online reservation system will be available for your senior to pick up during senior week. The deadline for meal reservations is May 11.

Seniors will receive an email notifying them of the times and location of ticket distribution during Senior Week. Tickets for the two a cappella concerts, on Friday and Saturday evenings, will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the same location where seniors pick up their meal and/or rain site tickets.

To allow parents and families the opportunity to enjoy the ceremony uninterrupted and to keep the area around the stage clear, each graduate will be professionally photographed at the moment they receive their diploma on commencement day. You will receive information directly from the photographer about purchasing those photos.

Commencement Weekend is a time of much-deserved celebration on campus and we look forward to sharing in the festivities with you and your family. If you have questions or concerns regarding commencement or special accommodations/needs during the weekend, please contact my colleague, Karen Farrar Ledger, director of campus events. You can reach her at krledger@colby.edu or 207-859-4736.

I look forward to welcoming you and your family to campus shortly.


C. Andrew McGadney P’21
Vice President and Dean of Student Advancement


Commencement Contact

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