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Graduate Student Commencement Guide

2018

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Commencement Preparations (January Through May 2018)

Commencement Office

Commencement Website Visitors to Boston College for Commencement 2018 will be able to get all the information they need at www.bc.edu/2018. 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 at www.bc.edu/2018.

Electronic Invitations In early spring, each student eligible to graduate will receive access to an electronic invitation which may 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 not tickets—they are not required for admission to any Commencement ceremony or activity.

Personalized Announcements Personalized announcements of graduation 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 Ordering rental caps and gowns online saves time and minimizes lines at the bookstore. Students renting Master or Certificate caps and gowns should visit https://buildagrad.com/bostoncollege. Students renting Doctoral caps and gowns should visit https://buildagrad.com/bostoncollegedoctoral. The deadline to rent caps and gowns online is Wednesday, May 2, 2018.

Students will need their Boston College ID, height, and approximate weight when ordering. In addition to hat size, Doctoral candidates will also need their suit coat or dress size when ordering. Master graduates renting academic regalia may keep the cap, hood, and tassel. Certificate and Doctor graduates renting academic regalia may keep the tassel only.

The rental price for caps and gowns is $31 for Master’s, $32 for Certificates, and $75 for the Deluxe Doctoral outfit.

Graduates may also choose to order rental caps and gowns in person at the bookstore located in McElroy Commons during normal business hours. If you choose to pay for your cap and gown using Eagle Bucks, you will need to order in person at the bookstore in McElroy Commons. The deadline to order rental caps and gowns in person is Wednesday, May 2, 2018.

Cap and Gown Headquarters will be in the lobby/bookstore in McElroy Commons. If you order and pay for your rental cap and gown online, you will need to come to the Boston College Bookstore on the days and times listed below. When picking up your order, please have your BC Eagle ID and the order confirmation number you received with you. Cap and Gown Headquarters will be open on the following days: 

  • Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 9:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 17, 2018, 9:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 18, 2018, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. (last day for cap and gown pickup)

Cap and gown distribution will not be available on Saturday or Sunday prior to Commencement. Emergency pickup is available on Monday, May 21, 2018 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the bookstore located in McElroy Commons. 

After May 2, caps and gowns can only be purchased in person at the bookstore. If you are interested in purchasing your regalia, please contact Tina Plotegher, Director of the Boston College Bookstores, at 617-552-2671 or via e-mail at tplotegher@follett.comfor pricing information. The deadline to purchase caps and gowns is Friday, May 18, 2018.

The rental outfit must be returned no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 21, 2018. Representatives of University Cap & Gown will be collecting rented academic regalia at McElroy Commons—Beacon Street entrance; The Hillside Shop in Maloney Hall; and Cadigan Alumni Center on the Brighton Campus. Any returns after 5:00 p.m. on Commencement Day must be made at the bookstore located in McElroy Commons. There will be a charge of $35 for rental outfits returned incomplete or without the appropriate receipt.

If you have any questions, please contact Tina Plotegher, Director of the Boston College Bookstores, at 617-552-2671 or via e-mail at tplotegher@follett.com.

Severe Weather Plan The 2018 Boston College Commencement main ceremony will be held rain or shine in Alumni Stadium. The Academic Procession will begin at 9:05 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 the event of severe weather, the diploma ceremony for the Connell School of Nursing—Graduate Programs will be held in McElroy Commons, Carney Dining Room. Severe weather tickets for the Connell School of Nursing—Graduate Programs (four per student) will be given to students when they pick up their academic regalia prior to Commencement. Severe weather is considered lightning, thunder, high winds, heavy, continuous rain.

Severe weather tickets will not be needed for the diploma ceremonies of the Boston College School of Social Work on Burns Lawn, the Carroll School of Management—Graduate Programs on Bapst Lawn, the Graduate School of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences in Robsham Theater, the Lynch School of Education—Graduate Programs on Campus Green (Stokes Lawn), the School of Theology and Ministry on Cadigan Alumni Center Lawn on the Brighton Campus, or the Woods College of Advancing Studies—Graduate Programs 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 71.2. If you decide to use an alternate viewing location, please choose the site that is either your diploma ceremony location or the site closest to it.

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

  • Cadigan Alumni Center—Atrium
  • Conte Forum
  • Devlin Hall—Room 008
  • Robsham Theater
  • Stokes Hall—Room 195S

In the event of severe weather (lightning, thunder, high winds, heavy, continuous rain), these additional sites will also be available:

  • Corcoran Commons—Heights Room, Boston Room, and Newton Room
  • Cushing Hall—Room 001
  • Devlin Hall—Rooms 010 and 110
  • Fulton Hall—Rooms 130, 150, 511
  • Higgins Hall—Rooms 300 and 310
  • McGuinn Hall—Room 121
  • Merkert Chemistry Center—Room 127
  • McElroy Commons—Eagle’s Nest Dining Room
  • Stokes Hall— Room 295S
  • Walsh Function Room

Photographs A professional photographer will take pictures of each graduate receiving his or her diploma. In early April you will receive information about placing orders from the photographer, Commencement Photos, Inc., Tewksbury, Massachusetts. In the event you do not receive an order form, you may call the photographer at (978) 851-5924. Please note: So that all guests may have an unobstructed view at individual school diploma ceremonies, those using cameras may not approach the stage during these ceremonies.

Class of 2018 T-shirts The Commemorative Class of 2018 T-shirts, listing the names of all graduating students from Boston College, will be available 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.

Hometown News Release If you would like to send an announcement of your graduation to your local news outlet, please go to the Commencement website at www.bc.edu/commencement in mid-May 2018 for instructions along with a Hometown News Release template that you may find helpful when submitting your information.

Disabled Access—Parking On Commencement Day, reserved parking will be available in the Beacon Street Garage for guests with disabilities or limited mobility. To gain access, you must have a state-issued disabled license plate or disabled placard. If you do not have a state-issued disabled license plate or placard, you may request a special Commencement Day parking pass by completing the noted form at www.bc.edu/commencement. The license plate must be on the vehicle or, if you have a placard or a special Commencement Day parking pass, it should be displayed from the rearview mirror and easily visible to the parking attendants who will direct you to the Beacon Street Garage. Please enter the garage through the Beacon Street entrance. Once parked, Commencement hosts will be available to assist with golf cart transport to Alumni Stadium, if needed.

Disabled Access—Seating Seating for guests with disabilities or limited mobility will be available in Alumni Stadium at both end zones on the mezzanine level. To reserve accessible seating tickets, please complete the online application at www.bc.edu/commencement available in mid-April. Accessible seating tickets are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. To accommodate as many family members and guests with disabilities as possible in the reserved seating area, each individual with an accessible seating ticket may only be accompanied by one companion. The companion will also need to have an accessible seating ticket. Please note the reserved seating, like most of Alumni Stadium, are bench seats without backs. We recommend that you bring seat pads with backs for added comfort. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the University Commencement Office with any questions you may have at commencement@bc.edu or by calling 617-552-4330. As an alternative to Alumni Stadium seating, indoor seating with video telecast is available in Conte Forum.

Wheelchair Rental Guests can set up wheelchair rental directly through any of the medical supply companies listed below. The University does not provide personal use wheelchairs.

Office of Student Services

Academic Services 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 15, through Friday, May 18, when they will be clearing degree candidates.

Boston College School of Social Work, Carroll School of Management—Graduate Programs, Graduate School of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, Lynch School of Education—Graduate Programs, and the School of Theology and Ministry
Terry Lepore, Academic Records Specialist
617-552-4989
terrylynne.lepore@bc.edu

Connell School of Nursing—Graduate Programs and Woods College of Advancing Studies—Graduate Programs
Caitlin Walsh, Academic Records and Certification Specialist
617-552-4984
caitlin.walsh.3@bc.edu

Grades will be available under the "Current Courses and Grades" link after logging into www.bc.edu/myservices.

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 2017–2018 academic year or if your degree was awarded since last May.

Financial Services Exit interviews are mandatory for students graduating in May, August, or December who have borrowed Perkins, Law School, Nursing, Sharp and/or Federal Direct student loans. Exit interview instructions will be e-mailed to all graduating students in March. Mandatory group Exit Interview information sessions will be conducted during the month of April. 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.

Baccalaureate Mass (Sunday, May 20)

The Baccalaureate Mass will be held in Conte Forum at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 20. 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. There will be a reception for graduates, family members, and friends on O'Neill Plaza after the Mass. In the event of severe weather, this reception will be canceled.

Commencement Day (Monday, May 21)

Participation All members of the Class of 2018 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 2017 and December 2017 are also permitted to participate in the University Commencement ceremony.

Arrival and Assembly 

The following graduate schools will assemble at Alumni Stadium, Gate A, right-hand side by 8:15 a.m.:

  • Boston College Law School
  • Boston College School of Social Work
  • Connell School of Nursing—Graduate Programs
  • Graduate School of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences
  • Lynch School of Education—Graduate Programs
  • School of Theology and Ministry

The following graduate schools will assemble at Conte Forum, north stands (Flynn Recreation Complex side) by 8:15 a.m.:

  • Carroll School of Management—Graduate Programs
  • Woods College of Advancing Studies—Graduate Programs

Relatives and guests should be seated by 9:05 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 in the Commencement Program and Family Guide:

  • Boston College Law School:
    Between the 20 and 40 yard lines, Merkert Chemistry Center end
  • Boston College School of Social Work:
    Between the 20 and 40 yard lines, Merkert Chemistry Center end
  • Carroll School of Management—Graduate Programs:
    Between the 20 and 40 yard lines, Flynn Recreation Complex end
  • Connell School of Nursing—Graduate Programs:
    Between the 20 and 40 yard lines, Merkert Chemistry Center end
  • Graduate School of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences:
    Between the 20 and 40 yard lines, Merkert Chemistry Center end
  • Lynch School of Education—Graduate Programs:
    Between the 20 and 40 yard lines, Merkert Chemistry Center end
  • School of Theology and Ministry:
    Between the 20 and 40 yard lines, Merkert Chemistry Center end
  • Woods College of Advancing Studies—Graduate Programs:
    Between the 20 and 40 yard lines, Flynn Recreation Complex end

Academic Procession In the academic procession to Alumni Stadium, you must 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 both the south (Merkert Chemistry Center) and west (Conte Forum) ends of Alumni Stadium.

  • Carroll School of Management—Graduate Programs and Woods College of Advancing Studies—Graduate Programs
    Students process in front of the west (Conte Forum) stands on the Flynn Recreation Complex end and down the side aisle to their assigned seats. For these schools the procession is best viewed from Alumni Stadium sections B, BB, C, CC, D, and DD.
  • Boston College Law School, Boston College School of Social Work, Connell School of Nursing—Graduate Programs, Graduate School of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, Lynch School of Education—Graduate Programs, and School of Theology and Ministry
    Students process in front of the west and south stands (Merkert Chemistry Center end) and down the side aisle to their assigned seats. For these schools the procession is best viewed from Alumni Stadium sections G, H, and J.

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.

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.

Hooding of Graduates When the representative of a particular division goes to the stage to receive the degree, everyone from that division will stand.  

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. 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 Flynn 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 Flynn 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 to silence their phones during the ceremonies. The use of cell phones during the ceremonies, including the procession across campus, is disruptive to guests, graduates, and ceremony participants.

Satellite Parking Due to the very large number of people attending the University Commencement ceremony, there will be a shortage of parking spaces on campus. Once all campus lots are filled, parents and guests will be directed to the following satellite parking locations. Shuttle transportation will be provided throughout the day, from 6:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., to and from satellite parking sites.

Shuttle Buses Following the Baccalaureate Mass on Sunday, shuttle buses will be available outside Gate B of Conte Forum to bring parents, graduates, and guests to the reception 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 and Family Guide. Shuttle transportation will be provided from 6:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. on Commencement Day.

Shuttle Bus Routes:

Before and During Main Ceremony

  • Chestnut Hill Mall to Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E
  • 300 Hammond Pond Parkway to Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E
  • Brighton Garage/129 Lake St. to Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E
  • 825 Centre Street (Newton Campus) 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
  • Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E to 300 Hammond Pond Parkway
  • 825 Centre Street (Newton Campus) 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 300 Hammond Pond Parkway
  • Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E to Brighton Garage/129 Lake St.
  • STM Ceremony to Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E
  • Commonwealth Avenue intersection to 825 Centre Street (Newton Campus) to College Road
  • Marriott Hotel (2345 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, MA) to Alumni Stadium Gate E

On Campus Shuttle Bus Stops:

  1. Alumni Stadium Gate E—Newton Marriott, Campus Shuttles, Satellite Parking Shuttles, Main Ceremony, CSOM
  2. Campus Green/Stokes/McElroy—LSOE and LSOEGP (Campus Green)
  3. College Road Stop—CGSOM (Bapst Lawn), CSON, and CSONGP (O'Neill Plaza)
  4. Main Gate—BCSSW (Burns Lawn)
  5. St. Ignatius Gate—Woods College (St. Ignatius Church)
  6. Robsham—GSMCAS (Robsham Theater)
  7. Alumni Stadium Gate D—MCAS (Alumni Stadium)
  8. Cadigan 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 guests with disabilities or limited mobility, a small number of golf carts are available. Service will be first-come, first-served, and we encourage you to walk 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 the Commonwealth Garage roof elevators and drop off at Main Gate
  • Pick up at the Commonwealth Garage roof and drop off at O'Neill Plaza
  • 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

After Individual Ceremonies

  • Pick up at Commonwealth Garage roof 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 elevators
  • Pick up at the Commonwealth Garage elevators on ground level and drop off at Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E

Airport Transportation Following the school diploma ceremonies, free bus transportation from Gate E at 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. The University residence halls officially close at 8:00 p.m. on Commencement Day, Monday, May 21. Students are urged to book airline transportation as early as possible.

Rideshare Services Designated taxi, livery car, and rideshare service providers are to drop off at the following locations only:

  • In front of St. Ignatius Church at Fr. Herlihy Dr., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
  • Adjacent to the St. Thomas More Apartments on Commonwealth Avenue at  2150 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02135
  • At the McGuinn Gate at 140 Beacon St., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Rideshare service drop off locations are shown on the campus map in the Commencement Program and Family Guide

Lyft is providing discounted rides to Boston College friends and family. New Lyft users can enter coupon code BCGRAD18 for $5 off each of their first two rides.

Important Phone Numbers and Websites

Commencement Office—617-552-4330
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

Boston College Bookstore—617-552-0900
For information about personalized graduation announcements, diploma frames, and the 2018 Commencement T-shirts
www.bcbookstore.com

Boston College Police Department
Emergencies—617-552-4444
Non-emergencies—617-552-4440
www.bc.edu/bcpd