Information for parents

May 3, 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 Commencement weekend also can be found at

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, student performances, and an address from President Harris to graduating seniors. 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 as well as seating under two large tents on either side of the Nott Memorial. No tickets are required.

Air-conditioned indoor seating will be available at Taylor Music Center (Emerson Auditorium), Olin Hall (Room 115), and O’Brien Hall (Room 117) on a first-come, first-served basis.

The College will also broadcast the ceremony live on Facebook, and guests can view it in real time (a Facebook login will not be necessary). 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.

After the Recessional, graduating seniors will go to Rugby Field, just west of the Nott Memorial, to say their good-byes to faculty, staff, and classmates. Please meet your graduate there. This is an ideal opportunity for you to take photographs of students with family members, friends, and their favorite staff and faculty members.

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 in Taylor Music Center (Emerson Auditorium), Olin Hall (Room 115), or O’Brien Hall (Room 117).

In the event of sustained, drenching rain or severe weather, the ceremony will be held in 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 watch the ceremony in Taylor Music Center (Emerson Auditorium), Olin Hall (Room 115), or O’Brien Hall (Room 117). Those who have traveled to the Schenectady area also can elect to remain in their lodgings and enjoy the live stream on their own or hotel devices.

For more information regarding the rain arrangements, please visit the Commencement website. On the morning of Commencement, you may check this site for updated information regarding 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 the Raymond/Potter lot. Golf carts will be available to help transport guests 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 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.

Students do not receive their physical diploma at the Commencement ceremony. After Commencement and verification that students have fulfilled their degree requirements, students will receive a digital diploma via their email address. They will then receive their physical diploma via U.S. mail.

Commencement at Union is a joyous occasion. We hope that the commencement ceremony is a memorable and pleasurable celebration for you. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the campus and the activities of the weekend. All of us here at Union look forward to your visit.

Sincerely yours,

Michele Angrist

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

Vice President for Academic Affairs