Commencement Weekend

Commencement 2015

Commencement ceremonies for the 2015-2016 academic year will be held on the front lawn at 10:30 a.m. on May 10. In the event of rain, Commencement will be held in the Francis Scott Key Auditorium, where admission will be by ticket only and limited to immediate family of the graduates. The 2015 Commencement speaker is Mr. Jonathan Tuck, retired tutor.

Speech Archive

Hotel Information for St. John's College Commencement

We recommend making reservations as early as possible. Please consider staying at one of the accommodations listed on our the visitor's bureau of Annapolis.

Transportation from BWI Airport/Train Station

BWI Super Shuttle: 800-258-3826 or
The Airport Shuttle: 800-776-0323 or

Disability Access

What if I have a family member with special needs? Please call the Assistant Dean’s Office at 410-626-2512 to make special arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where and when will the Commencement ceremony be held?
Commencement is at 10:30 am on Sunday, May 10, 2015. The ceremony is traditionally held on the Front Lawn where there is plenty of seating for all. 

Are there limits to the number of guests who may attend graduation?
We do not limit seating for the event if it is held outdoors.

What happens if it rains? 
In the case of rain, the ceremony will be in the Francis Scott Key Auditorium, with limited overflow seating in the FSK Lobby and the Conversation Room in Mellon Hall. Admission to the auditorium and to overflow seating will be by ticket only.

Each graduate will receive four auditorium and two overflow tickets, for use in the event of rain. The tickets will be included in the packet containing the commencement invitations. If you do not need all of the tickets you receive, we ask that you kindly return any unneeded tickets to the Office of the Registrar. Please note that the tickets are allocated per graduate—we ask the understanding of those with extended or separated families.

How long is the commencement ceremony?
The ceremony will last approximately two hours.

Do I need to R.S.V.P. for other events that weekend?
We do not require a formal response for any commencement activities.

Are there invitations for commencement?
Beginning in late March, all students who are preparing to graduate can receive ten commencement invitations from the Registrar’s Office. If needed, a limited amount of additional invitations may be obtained for $1 each.

What events may family and friends attend?
Families and friends of graduating seniors are invited to Class Day Exercises at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 9; a reception follows on the Library Plaza. That evening, the Commencement Waltz crowns the spring social season. Families and friends of all graduates are also welcome at the Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 10; a reception follows on the Front Lawn. 

What is appropriate dress for commencement ceremonies?
Commencement exercises are held outside on the Front Lawn. Because of the intensity of the sun, we suggest that you wear sunscreen and/or sun protection. Water stations will be provided. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved indoors to the Francis Scott Key Auditorium.

Is there a reception following the commencement ceremony?
A reception on the Front Lawn will follow the commencement ceremony.

How do I get photos of the ceremony?
A professional photographer will be at the ceremony taking pictures of each graduate receiving his or her diploma. Group pictures for the senior class and the Graduate Institute will be taken in May. More information will be provided a few weeks before graduation.

Where do we park?
Campus parking is limited. Handicapped parking is available in most campus lots, and our Public Safety officers set up additional handicapped parking spaces in the Chase Stone parking lot. You can reserve a handicapped parking space by calling the Assistant Dean’s Office at 410-626-2512. Beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, and throughout the weekend, parents and guests may park in all available campus lots, on a first-come, first-served basis. Free parking is available at the State garage on the corner of St. John’s and Calvert streets on weekends and from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m. on weekdays. The entrance to the garage is on St. John’s Street. There is also parking for a fee at the Navy/Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on Rowe Boulevard and Taylor Avenue, just off Route 50, where a free downtown shuttle runs every 15-20 minutes.

Where may we purchase College memorabilia?
The bookstore will be open on Saturday, May 9 from 10:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. The bookstore will be closed on Sunday, May 10.

2015 Schedule of Events

Monday, May 4
6:30 p.m.

McDowell Great Hall
Associate Dean’s Reception in honor of the Spring Semester Master’s Degree Candidates
Friday, May 8
6:45 p.m.

McDowell Great Hall
President’s Reception for the Senior Class and Tutors 
7:30 p.m.
Randall Dining Hall
President’s Dinner for the Senior Class and Tutors 
Saturday, May 9
2:30 p.m.

Front Lawn
Rehearsal for Degree Candidates
4:00 p.m.
McDowell Great Hall
Senior Class Day Exercises
5:15 p.m.
Library Plaza
Reception for Degree Candidates, Families, and Tutors
10:30 p.m.
McDowell Great Hall
Waltz Party 
Sunday, May 10
10:30 a.m.

Front Lawn
Commencement Ceremony
Reception for Graduates, Faculty, Staff, Alumni, and Guests Immediately Following on the Front Lawn