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Undergraduate Student Commencement Guide

2014

 

Commencement Preparations (January Through May 2014)

 

Office of the University Secretary

Commencement Information on the Go—Commencement Mobile Website Visitors to Boston College for Commencement 2014 will be able to get all the information they need in the palm of their hands! With the new Commencement Mobile Website, available for free at www.bc.edu/2014, guests can review the schedule of events, locate on-campus dining options, read speaker bios, consult interactive campus maps, and find information quickly and easily. In addition, any late-breaking information on ceremony locations or severe weather updates will be available to our guests through this handy app. The Commencement Mobile Website runs on both Apple and Android smart phones and tablets.

Users will NOT have to visit iTunes or the Android Marketplace to download it, visit www.bc.edu/2014 from your mobile device. It is important to have this app downloaded prior to Commencement Day.

Electronic Invitations In March, each student eligible to graduate will receive access to an electronic invitation which can be personalized and sent to family members and friends. There is no limit to the number of invitations each student may send. Please note that these are invitations and are not used as tickets. They are not required for admission to any Commencement ceremony or activity.

Personalized Announcements Personalized graduation announcements are available through the Boston College Bookstore for those who are interested. To order by phone, please contact CB Graduation Announcements at (800) 433-0296. To order online, visit www.cbgrad.com. For additional information, contact the BC Bookstore at (800) 978-0978 or (617) 552–0900.

Cap and Gown Information Online ordering for the rental or purchase of caps and gowns will be available beginning in April. At that time, each student eligible to graduate will receive an email that will direct him/her to the online ordering site of our vendor, University Cap & Gown. While all students will need to come to Conte Forum to pick up their caps and gowns, the online ordering will expedite the process and minimize waiting time.

Graduates must pick up academic regalia before the day of the Ceremony. Academic regalia will be available for pick up in Conte Forum, lower level near the Visitor’s Locker Room. Graduates should enter Conte Forum through the Conte Circle/Beacon Street side entrance with the red awning. Cap and Gown headquarters will be open as follows:

  • Wednesday May 14, 2014, from 12 Noon to 7:00 p.m.
  • Thursday May 15, 2014, from 12 Noon to 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday May 16, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

No caps and gowns will be available on Saturday or Sunday. Please bring your EagleOne card for identification. The rental price for a bachelor’s cap and gown, and souvenir hood and tassel is $18.00. Checks, cash, Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards will be accepted.

Students in the Woods College of Advancing Studies will pick up their caps and gowns in McGuinn 100.

The rental outfit must be returned no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 19. You may keep the hood and tassel. There will be a charge of $35.00 for outfits returned incomplete.

Representatives of University Cap & Gown will be collecting rented academic regalia at the main entrances of St. Ignatius Church, between Robsham Theater and Corcoran Commons; McElroy Commons–Beacon Street entrance; Bapst Library; Alumni Stadium Gate E near Shea Field entrance; Conte Forum, Gates B and C, on the concourse level; and 2101 Commonwealth Avenue on the Brighton Campus. Next day returns must be made at Heffernan House, 110 College Road.

In Case of Rain The 2014 Boston College Commencement main ceremony will be held rain or shine in Alumni Stadium. The Academic Procession will begin at 9:15 a.m., and the main Ceremony will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. Individual College/School diploma ceremonies will begin as soon as possible after the University Commencement Ceremony.

In case of rain, diploma ceremonies for the following schools will take place in these locations: the College of Arts and Sciences in Conte Forum, the Carroll School of Management in the Flynn Recreation Complex, North Wing, the Lynch School of Education in the Flynn Recreation Complex, East Wing, and the Connell School of Nursing in McElroy Commons.

Rain tickets for the College of Arts and Sciences (four per student), Carroll School of Management (four per student), and the Connell School of Nursing (three per student) diploma ceremonies will be given to students when they pick up their academic regalia during the week prior to Commencement. Rain tickets for the Lynch School of Education diploma ceremony will be distributed by the Undergraduate Office in Campion.

Rain tickets will not be needed for the diploma ceremonies of the Woods College of Advancing Studies in St. Ignatius Church.

The Main Ceremony may also be viewed on the Commencement website (www.bc.edu/commencement) or in the Residence Halls on Boston College Cable Channel 50. If you decide to use an alternate viewing location, please choose your Diploma Ceremony location or the site closest to it.

Alternate seating and viewing sites will be available via closed-circuit TV as follows:

  • Conte Forum
  • Devlin Hall—Room 008
  • Robsham Theater
  • Stokes Hall—Room 195S

In the event of severe weather, these additional sites will also be available:

  • 2101 Commonwealth Avenue
  • Corcoran Commons—Heights Room, Boston Room, and Newton Room
  • Cushing Hall—Room 001
  • Devlin Hall—Rooms 010, 026, and 101
  • Fulton Hall—Rooms 130, 150, 511
  • Higgins—Rooms 300 and 310
  • McGuinn—Room 121
  • Merkert—Rooms 127 and 130
  • McElroy—Eagle’s Nest Dining Room
  • Stokes Hall— Room 295S
  • Walsh Function Room

Photographs A professional photographer will take photographs of each undergraduate receiving his or her diploma. In early April you will receive information from the photographer, Commencement Photos, Inc., Tewksbury, MA, about placing orders. In the event that you do not receive an order form, call the photographer at (978) 851-5924.

Class of 2014 T-shirts The Commemorative Class of 2014 T-shirts, listing the names of all graduating students from Boston College will be available for purchase for $20.00 in the BC Bookstore and at various campus locations on Commencement day. To purchase T-shirts in advance of Commencement day, please contact the BC Bookstore at (800) 978-0978 or (617) 552–0900 or order online at www.bcbookstore.com.

Hometown News Release To send graduation news to hometown newspapers, visit the Commencement website for a sample template.

Disabled Access Any graduate whose parents or other guests are disabled may access reserved parking in the Beacon Street garage. Eligible persons include those with a state-issued handicapped license plate or handicapped placard. The license plate must be on the vehicle or the placard or special parking pass displayed from the rearview mirror and easily visible to the parking attendants when approaching campus and while parking on campus. The person to whom the plate or placard is issued must be in the vehicle and be able to provide identification. Please enter the garage through the Beacon Street entrance. Once parked, hosts and golf carts will be available to assist with transport to the Stadium. If you do not have a state-issued placard or license plate, you may apply for a special parking pass on the Handicapped Seating and Parking form available at www.bc.edu/commencement.

Handicapped Seating Covered seating for handicapped or elderly people needing assistance will be available in Alumni Stadium at both endzones on the Mezzanine Level. The handicapped area is covered but not enclosed, so guests should dress accordingly. The online application will be accessible at www.bc.edu/commencement between April 1, 2014, and May 16, 2014, and are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Access to the handicapped area will only be allowed to those who reserve it in advance. Each approved application will provide for seating for the handicapped person and one other person only. All other guests must be seated in the regular sections of the stadium. If you have any questions, please call 617-552-4330 or email us at commencement@bc.edu. As an alternative, indoor seating with Jumbotron viewing is available in Conte Forum.

Wheelchair accessible buses will be available outside of Conte Forum at Gate B after the Baccalaureate Mass on Sunday and outside of Alumni Stadium at Gate E after the University Commencement Ceremony on Monday to transport those who are disabled. All University buildings used for Commencement are wheelchair accessible.

Wheelchair Rental Guests can set up wheelchair rental directly through any of the medical supply companies listed below. Payment, pickup, and drop off should be arranged well in advance of Commencement Weekend to ensure availability as there are many local college and university commencements held the same weekend. The University is not equipped to provide wheelchairs.

Office of Student Services

Academic Services Emails are sent from February through April to prospective graduates who are missing degree requirements. If you have questions regarding your graduation status or if you have not resolved potential graduation clearance problems, contact your academic recorder immediately. Recorders for all schools and colleges are located in Lyons Hall. They are available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., with the exception of Tuesday May 13, through Friday, May 16, when they will be clearing degree candidates.

College of Arts and Sciences and Lynch School of Education
Mary McCrosson, Records Specialist
(617) 552-4974
mary.mccrosson.76@bc.edu

Woods College of Advancing Studies, Carroll School of Management, Connell School of Nursing
Terry Rezzuti, Records Specialist
(617) 552-4984
theresa.rezzuti@bc.edu

Grades will be available under the "Current Courses" link in your Agora Portal (portal.bc.edu). Latin honors are based on eight-semester cumulative averages and are awarded to the top 29 percent of the graduating seniors in each school. The cum cut-offs change from year to year. The 29 percent breaks down as follows: summa cum laude—top 4.5 percent, magna cum laude—next 9.5 percent, cum laude—next 15 percent. Honors are listed in the Commencement Program and on the diploma.

Your name will be listed in the Commencement Program if you were expected to complete degree requirements by the end of the second semester of the 2013–2014 academic year or if your degree was awarded since last May.

Financial Services All graduating students who have Perkins, Presidential, Nursing, and/or Stafford/Federal Direct student loans must complete an exit interview. Exit interviews are mandatory. Visit www.bc.edu/loanrepayment for the interview schedule.

Failure to complete an exit interview or to resolve any outstanding financial obligation to the University will result in a hold being placed on your diploma and transcript.

Transcript Requests Transcript requests received via the web are faster, easier, and more secure. For more information, visit www.bc.edu/transcripts.

Senior Week Celebrations (May 14 through May 17)

Dean of Students Advisory on Senior Week Activities Senior Week is a springtime rite of passage on the Heights. The week offers seniors a special opportunity to commemorate their time together and celebrate their status as rising alumni. The Dean of Student's Office reminds seniors that the University's Community Standards remain in effect throughout this period. As members of the Boston College community, students are expected to respect and adhere to all University policies throughout Senior Week. It is important to note that violations of University policy that occur during Senior Week may result in disciplinary action that could jeopardize a student's status at Boston College.

For information regarding Senior Week, visit their website at www.bc.edu/seniorweek.

Residence Hall Closing Information (Move-Out) The University residence halls will officially close at 8:00 p.m. on Commencement Day. To alleviate prolonged delays and heavy traffic congestion after the diploma ceremonies, we request your cooperation with the following recommendations and procedures:

  • Please review residence hall closing information at on the Residential Life website.
  • In advance of Commencement, pack and bring or send home items no longer needed, e.g., winter clothing.
  • Pack personal belongings and remove all non-BC furniture during Senior Week.
  • Please be prepared to move immediately after the ceremonies.
  • Lower Campus roadways are ONE WAY from the entrance at St. Ignatius Gate to the exit at Edmond's Gate.
  • On the day of Commencement, leave your car where it is parked until everything is ready for loading.
  • Honor the parking permit card given by the Boston College Police. This stipulates a 20-minute time limit for parking outside of residence halls during the loading of personal belongings.

Baccalaureate Mass (Sunday, May 18)

The Baccalaureate Mass will be held in Conte Forum at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 18. You and your guests should be seated by 11:45 a.m. Seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are not necessary. Please wear your gown, but not the cap or hood. Graduates may sit with family and friends during the Mass. Weather permitting, there will be a reception for graduates, family members, and friends on O'Neill Plaza after the Mass.

Commencement Day (Monday, May 19)

Participation All members of the Class of 2014 are permitted to participate in the University Commencement Ceremony in Alumni Stadium. However, anyone who is not receiving a degree due to failure or lack of courses is not permitted to participate in individual School diploma ceremonies without prior permission of the appropriate Dean's Office. Students who have graduated in August 2013 and December 2013 are also permitted to participiate in the University Commencement Ceremony.

Arrival and Assembly Graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences, Carroll School of Management, Connell School of Nursing, Lynch School of Education, and Woods College of Advancing Studies should assemble by 8:15 a.m. on Linden Lane, Middle Campus.

Relatives and guests should be seated by 9:15 a.m., when the academic procession is scheduled to begin.

Alumni Stadium Seating Graduates will be seated in Alumni Stadium according to School. These areas are listed below and are also marked on the Alumni Stadium seating plan:

College of Arts and Sciences:
Between the 40 yard lines
Woods College of Advancing Studies:
Between the 20 and 40 yard lines, Rec Plex end
Lynch School of Education:
Between the 20 and 40 yard lines, Merkert end
Carroll School of Management:
Between the 20 and 40 yard lines, Rec Plex end
Connell School of Nursing:
Between the 20 and 40 yard lines, Merkert end

Academic Procession In the academic procession to Alumni Stadium, you should wear your cap and gown and carry your hood over your left arm. Gowns should be closed in front. Decorative jewelry and flowers should never be worn on the academic gown.

The academic procession enters from the south (Merkert) and the west (Conte Forum) sides of Alumni Stadium. The Woods College of Advancing Studies and the Carroll School of Management process in front of the West and North Stands (Rec Plex end) and into the side aisle to their assigned seats. The College of Arts and Sciences processes in front of the West Stands and into the center aisle. The Connell School of Nursing and the Lynch School of Education process in front of the West and South Stands (Merkert end) and down the side aisle to their assigned seats.

The President and dignitaries process in front of the West Stands and down the center aisle. The ceremony begins when all members of the President's party have reached the stage.

When you reach your place on the field, be seated until the President's entrance is announced. Everyone will stand and men must remove their caps. Sit only after the President sits.

IMPORTANT! Once you file onto the field and take your seats you will not be permitted to leave your seats until the procession is complete and the dignitaries are on the stage.  If you need to use the restrooms or get food, do so before entering the field.

Hooding of Graduates When the representative of a particular division goes to the stage to receive the degree, everyone from that division will stand. If the degree representative is a male, he will remove his cap as he reaches the top step. All males of that division will then remove their caps and place them on their seats. If the representative is a female, she will not remove her cap, but male students of that division will remove their caps as she reaches the top step.

After receiving the degree, the representative is hooded by the President. Candidates from that division will then put on their hoods. Male students will then replace their caps. Graduates receiving a Bachelor's degree will move the tassel from right to left when the representative does and sit when the representative has returned and is seated. For the closing Benediction and Alma Mater, all will stand and men will remove their caps. All remain in their places until the Platform Party has processed from the stadium.

Valuables Please do not leave any valuables, personal belongings, or cap and gown bags in Alumni Stadium, Conte Forum, or the Recreation Complex. The University assumes no responsibility for valuables or personal belongings left behind.

Restrictions Smoking is not permitted in any Boston College buildings. No alcoholic beverages are allowed in Alumni Stadium, Conte Forum, or the Recreation Complex. Since spiked heels will damage the Stadium turf, women are requested to wear another type of shoe at the University Commencement Ceremony.

Cell Phones Guests and graduates are asked not to use cell phones during the ceremonies and the procession across campus. Use of cell phones during the ceremonies is disruptive to guests, graduates, and ceremony participants.

Shuttle Buses Following the Baccalaureate Mass on Sunday, shuttle buses will be available outside Gate B of Conte Forum to bring guests to the Reception for Parents, Graduates, and Guests on O'Neill Plaza.

Following the University Commencement Ceremony on Monday, shuttle buses will be available outside of Gate E of Alumni Stadium to bring guests to the individual school diploma ceremonies.

Shuttle bus stops are shown on the campus map in the Commencement Program. Shuttle transportation will be provided from 6:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Shuttle Bus Routes:

Before and During Main Ceremony

  • Chestnut Hill Mall to Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E
  • Brighton Garage/129 Lake St. to Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E
  • Newton Campus Alumni House to College Road/Commonwealth Avenue intersection
  • Marriott Hotel (2345 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, MA) to Alumni Stadium Gate E

After Main Ceremony

  • Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E to Stops 1-7 (around campus) ending at 3:30 p.m.
  • Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E to Brighton Garage/129 Lake St.
  • Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E to Chestnut Hill Mall
  • Newton Campus Alumni House to College Road/Commonwealth Avenue intersection
  • Marriott Hotel (2345 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, MA) to Alumni Stadium Gate E

After Individual Ceremonies

  • Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E to Chestnut Hill Mall
  • Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E to Brighton Garage/129 Lake St.
  • STM Ceremony to Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E
  • College Road/Commonwealth Avenue intersection to Newton Campus Alumni House
  • Marriott Hotel (2345 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, MA) to Alumni Stadium Gate E

Campus Shuttle Bus Stops:

  1. Alumni Stadium Gate E—Newton Marriott, Campus Shuttles, Brighton and Chestnut Hill Mall Satellite parking shuttles, Main Ceremony, CSOM
  2. Campus Green/Stokes/McElroy—LSOE and LGSOE (Campus Green) There is no Chestnut Hill Mall service from this stop
  3. College Road Stop—Newton Satellite parking shuttle, AHANA Reception (72 College Road), CGSOM (Bapst Lawn), CSON and CGSON (O'Neill Plaza)
  4. Main Gate—GSSW (Burns Lawn)
  5. St. Ignatius Gate—Woods College (St. Ignatius Church)
  6. Robsham—GA&S (Robsham Theater)
  7. Alumni Stadium Gate D—A&S (Alumni Stadium)
  8. 2101 Comm Ave Lawn, Brighton—STM Ceremony
  9. Newton Campus to College Road/Commonwealth Avenue intersection

Golf Carts Boston College is a large campus. Walking from place to place on Commencement Day can be challenging for some of our guests. To assist those who are handicapped or those who have limited mobility, a small number of golf carts are available. Service will be first-come, first-served. We encourage you to plan extra time getting to your destination, walk and use the campus shuttles as much as possible.

Golf Cart Routes:

Before Main Ceremony

  • Pick up at Main Gate and drop off at Commonwealth Garage elevators
  • Pick up at the Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate A and drop off at Gate E through Garage
  • Pick up at the Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E and drop off at Gate A through Garage
  • Pick up at the Commonwealth Garage (ground level elevators) and drop off at Alumni Stadium Gate D

After Main Ceremony

  • Pick up at Commonwealth Garage elevators and drop off at Main Gate
  • Pick up at the Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E and drop off at Commonwealth Garage bottom level elevators
  • Pick up at the Alumni Stadium Gate D and drop off at Commonwealth Garage bottom level elevators
  • Pick up at the Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate A and drop off at Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E through Beacon Garage
  • Pick up at the Commonwealth Garage Roof and drop off at O'Neill Plaza

After Individual Ceremonies

  • Pick up at Commonwealth Garage elevators and drop off at Main Gate
  • Pick up at the O'Neill Plaza (at the rear of St. Mary's Hall) and drop off at Commonwealth Garage Roof
  • Pick up at the Commonwealth Garage Elevators on ground level and drop off at Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E

Satellite Parking Due to the very large number of people attending the University Commencement Ceremony, there will be a shortage of parking space on campus. Shuttle transportation will be provided throughout the day, from 6:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., to and from satellite parking sites which are located at the Chestnut Hill Mall, the Brighton Campus at Boston College, and on the Newton Campus (proceed south on Centre Street from the Mass Pike Exit 17 and turn right onto Colby Road to access parking).

Airport Transportation The University residence halls will officially close at 8:00 p.m. on Commencement Day, Monday, May 19. Following the School diploma ceremonies, free bus transportation from Gate E of Alumni Stadium to Logan Airport will be available for graduates, their families, and guests. Starting at 2:00 p.m., buses will depart every hour on the hour. The last bus leaves at 6:00 p.m. Seniors are urged to book airline transportation as early as possible.

Important Phone Numbers and Websites

Commencement Office—617-552-4330
University Secretary's Office
For the most up-to-date information regarding Commencement.
www.bc.edu/commencement

Office of Student Services—617-552-3300
For information about student's graduation or financial status.
www.bc.edu/studentservices

Office of Residential Life—617-552-3060
For Residence Hall closing information
www.bc.edu/reslife

Boston College Bookstore—617-552-0900 and 800-978-0978
For information about personalized graduation announcements, diploma frames, and the 2014 Commencement T-shirts
www.bc.edu/bookstore

Boston College Police Department
Emergencies—617-552-4444
General Information and Lost and Found—617-552-4440
www.bc.edu/bcpd

Senior Week Hotline—617-552-3492
For information about Senior Week activities
www.bc.edu/seniorweek