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Undergraduate Student Commencement Guide

2017

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Commencement Preparations (January Through May 2017)

 

Office of the University Secretary

Commencement Information On the Go—Commencement Mobile Website Visitors to Boston College for Commencement 2017 will be able to get all the information they need in the palm of their hands! With the Commencement mobile website, available at www.bc.edu/2017, 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 site. Simply visit www.bc.edu/2017 from any mobile device.

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 are not used as 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 Caps and gowns may be ordered online or in person but must be picked up before the day of the Ceremony.

The rental price for caps and gowns are as follows:

  • Bachelor's—$29.00

Students need their Boston College ID and height and approximate weight when ordering. Bachelor Graduates may keep their cap, hood and tassel.

If you are interested in purchasing your regalia, please contact Bob Stewart, Director of the Boston College Bookstores, at 617-552-2671 or via e-mail at bstewart@follett.com for pricing information.

If you order and pay for your regalia online, you will need to come to the Boston College bookstore located in McElroy Commons on the days and times listed below to pick them up, as well as to obtain your rain location tickets. Ordering online will save time and minimize wait times when you arrive at the Bookstore in McElroy Commons. To order online, visit https://buildagrad.com/bostoncollege. The deadline to order online is Sunday, April 30, 2017.

If you choose to order in person, please visit the bookstore in McElroy Commons on the days and times listed below. You will be able to place your order, make payment, and pick up your regalia and rain location tickets. If you choose to pay for your cap and gown using your Eagle Bucks, you will need to order in person at the bookstore in McElroy Commons.

Cap and Gown Headquarters will be in the lobby/bookstore in McElroy Commons. The Cap and Gown Headquarters will be open on the following days:

  • Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 9:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 18, 2017, 9:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 19, 2017, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Cap and gown distribution will not be available on Saturday or Sunday prior to Commencement.

Emergency pick-up is available on Monday, May 22, 2017 from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the bookstore located in McElroy Commons.

The rental outfit must be returned no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, May 22, 2017. There will be a charge of $35 for outfits returned incomplete or without the appropriate receipt.

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. Next day returns must be made at the bookstore located in McElroy Commons.

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

In Case of Rain The 2017 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 case of rain, diploma ceremonies for the following schools will take place in these locations: the Carroll School of Management in the Flynn Recreation Complex, North Wing, the Connell School of Nursing in McElroy Commons, Carney Dining Room, and the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences in Conte Forum.

Rain tickets for the Carroll School of Management diploma ceremony (three per student) will be given to students when they pick up their academic regalia prior to Commencement only after students have completed the senior survey. Rain tickets for the Connell School of Nursing (five per student) and the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences (four per student) diploma ceremonies will be given to students when they pick up their academic regalia prior to Commencement.

Rain tickets will not be needed for the diploma ceremonies of the Lynch School of Education on Campus Green (Stokes Lawn) or 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 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 Atrium
  • 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:

  • 2125 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 Hall—Rooms 300 and 310
  • McGuinn Hall—Room 121
  • Merkert Chemistry Center—Rooms 127 and 130
  • McElroy Commons—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, Massachusetts, about placing orders. In the event that you do not receive an order form, call the photographer at (978) 851-5924.

Class of 2017 T-shirts The Commemorative Class of 2017 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 a limited number of 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.

Disabled Seating Covered seating for persons with disabilities or limited mobility will be available in Alumni Stadium at both end zones on the Mezzanine Level. The area is covered but not enclosed, so guests should dress accordingly. The seating area offers benches without backs. The online application will be accessible at www.bc.edu/commencement after April 15, 2017. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Each approved application will provide for seating for the person with disability or mobility issues and one additional person to assist. All other guests must be seated in the regular sections of the stadium. If you have any questions, please call 617-552-4330 or e-mail us at commencement@bc.edu. As an alternative, indoor seating with video board 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. The University is not equipped to provide wheelchairs.

Office of Student Services

Academic Services E-mails 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 16, through Friday, May 19, when they will be clearing degree candidates.

Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences
Mary McCrosson, Academic Progress Analyst
(617) 552-4974
mary.mccrosson.76@bc.edu

Carroll School of Management, Connell School of Nursing, Lynch School of Education, and Woods College of Advancing Studies,
Caitlin Walsh, Academic Records and Certification Specialist
(617) 552-4984
caitlin.walsh.3@bc.edu

Grades will be available under the "Current Courses" link after logging into www.bc.edu/myservices. 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 2016–2017 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 16 through May 19)

Office of the 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 Office of the Dean of Students reminds seniors that the University's Community Standards prevail 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 School diploma ceremonies, we request your cooperation with the following recommendations and procedures:

  • Please review complete residence hall closing information at www.bc.edu/closing.
  • 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 Reservoir 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 the residence hall during the loading of personal belongings.

Baccalaureate Mass (Sunday, May 21)

The Baccalaureate Mass will be held in Conte Forum at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 21. 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 22)

Participation All members of the Class of 2017 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 2016 and December 2016 are also permitted to participate in the University Commencement Ceremony.

Arrival and Assembly Graduates of the Carroll School of Management, Connell School of Nursing, Lynch School of Education, Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, 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 9:05 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:

  • Carroll School of Management:
    Between the 20 and 40 yard lines, Flynn Recreation Complex end
  • Connell School of Nursing:
    Between the 20 and 40 yard lines, Merkert Chemistry Center end
  • Lynch School of Education:
    Between the 20 and 40 yard lines, Merkert Chemistry Center end
  • Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences:
    Between the 40 yard lines
  • Woods College of Advancing Studies:
    Between the 20 and 40 yard lines, Flynn Recreation Complex 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 both the south (Merkert Chemistry Center) and west (Conte Forum) ends of Alumni Stadium.

  • Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences
    process in front of the West (Conte Forum) stands on the Merkert Chemistry Center end and down the side aisle to their assigned seats. For the Morrissey College the procession is best viewed from Alumni Stadium sections D, DD, E, EE, F, and FF.
  • Carroll School of Management and Woods College of Advancing Studies
    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.
  • Connell School of Nursing and Lynch School of Education
    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. 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 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 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.

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
  • 44 Woodland Road (Pine Manor College) 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
  • Beacon Garage/Alumni Stadium Gate E to 300 Hammond Pond Parkway
  • Beacon Garage /Alumni Stadium Gate E to 44 Woodland Road (Pine Manor College) 
  • 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 300 Hammond Pond Parkway
  • Beacon Garage /Alumni Stadium Gate E to 44 Woodland Road (Pine Manor College) 
  • 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 Newton Campus Alumni House 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—AHANA Reception (Stokes Amphitheater Lawn), 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 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, 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 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 22. Students 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 or (800) 978-0978
For information about personalized graduation announcements, diploma frames, and the 2017 Commencement T-shirts
www.bcbookstore.com

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

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