Information for parents

February 1, 2024

To the Families of Graduating Students:

Union College will hold its 230th Commencement Exercises at the Roger Hull Plaza in front of Schaffer Library on Sunday, June 16, 2024. I am writing with information that I hope will assist you in planning for that weekend. Information regarding the Commencement weekend can be found at, where any updates will also be posted.

On Saturday, June 15, please plan to attend the Baccalaureate Commemoration at 4:00 p.m. in Memorial Chapel. This is a ceremony that includes senior class speakers, a faculty speaker, and musical performances for the graduating seniors and their guests. No tickets are required.

On Sunday, June 16, the Commencement ceremony will be held outside, weather permitting, at the Roger Hull Plaza in front of Schaffer Library, with the academic procession at 9:30 a.m. followed by the ceremony at 10:00 a.m. There will be unlimited outdoor seating. No tickets are required. Air-conditioned indoor seating will be available at Taylor Music Center (Emerson Auditorium) and Olin Hall (Room 115).

After the Recessional, graduating seniors will go to Rugby Field, just west of the Nott Memorial. This will be an ideal opportunity for you to get close-up shots of students with their favorite faculty and staff members, family members, and friends.

In case of light rain, the ceremony will still be held outdoors. Guests can remain outdoors in the Library Plaza, or they may watch the ceremony indoors at Taylor Music Center (Emerson Auditorium) or Olin Hall (Room 115).

In the event of sustained, drenching rain or severe weather, the ceremony will be held in the Memorial Field House and rain tickets marked “Memorial Field House” will be required. Due to limited indoor seating capacity, each student will be issued four rain tickets. These will be sent to students’ campus mailboxes by the end of May. Others may gather in College Park Hall (recommended) or Olin Hall (Room 115) to view the ceremony on a big screen.

The College will also broadcast the ceremony live, and guests can view it in real time, during good or bad weather. The link for the broadcast will appear on the main commencement web page. The unedited video archive will be posted on the College website for unlimited access.

For more information regarding the rain arrangements, please visit the Commencement website. On the morning of Commencement, check the commencement web page for exact information about weather and ceremony location. Please bring umbrellas and other rain gear in case we face inclement weather.

We regret that parking is not available in close proximity to the ceremony on campus for all guests. Campus safety officers will be stationed at all entrances of the campus to direct cars to on-campus parking on a first-come, first-served basis. If main campus lots are full, please seek parking spaces at College Park Hall on lower Nott Street and on neighboring streets. Shuttle transportation will be available for those who park at the College Park Hall lot. Parking is also available in the Nott/Seward parking lot, and Raymond/Potter lot. Golf carts will be available to help transport people from the parking lots to the seating. No reservation is needed. Click here for Parking Information.

A designated seating area will be available for persons with accessibility needs. Accessibility parking is available in the Lamont parking lot for those with an accessibility parking tag. If you don’t have a tag, you may drop guests off in the circle outside Old Chapel and a golf cart will take them to the seating area. No reservation is needed.

To recognize each student individually, we will call graduates’ names in alphabetical order. This will make it easy for all to anticipate the moment at which particular names will be called. I ask that parents and friends refrain from moving up to the platform or otherwise obstructing the flow of the procession to take pictures. Grad Images will take three individual pictures of each graduating senior: first before crossing the stage, second while receiving diploma cases from President Harris, and the last while leaving the stage. Approximately two weeks after Commencement, Grad Images will send a selection of proofs to your student’s email address so that you may purchase photographs if you wish. In addition, Balfour will be providing graduation announcements and other related products. Allowing these companies to provide you information is intended as a service for graduates and their families. You are under no obligation to purchase their products.

Commencement at Union is a joyous occasion. We hope that the commencement ceremony is a memorable and pleasurable celebration for you. All of us here at Union look forward to your visit.

Sincerely yours,

Michele Angrist

Stephen J. & Diane K. Ciesinski Dean of the Faculty

and Vice President for Academic Affairs