Especially for Guests

Family Gathers in quad

Family and friends are welcome to attend the commencement ceremony

We look forward to welcoming you to campus as we celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of your student.  Family and friends are welcome to attend the commencement ceremony and this special event will not require a ticket this year. Below is information to help you plan your visit including accessibility accommodations, hotels, religious offerings, dining hours, parking, and more. Please contact us with any questions we may not have addressed here. Contact us by email at commencement@wellesley.edu or phone us at 781-283-2375.

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Hotel Information

Start planning your trip to Wellesley College months in advance. Many book hotel rooms months in advance in antiicpation of graduation season. 

The Office of Parent & Family Programs has reserved a room block at a group rate for the families of the Class of 2019 at several area hotels.

  • Make reservations at the Hampton Inn, in the nearby town of Natick.
  • To make reservations at the Verve Crowne Plaza in Natick, please call 1-800-265-0330 and ask for the Wellesley College Commencement room block.  Rooms are held until Monday, April 29, 2019 or based on availability.
  • There are also rooms available at Babson Executive Conference Center in Wellesley. Please call to reserve and mention that you are reserving for Wellesley College Commencement.
  • For other local accommodations, there is a list with additional hotel options.
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RELIGIOUS OFFERINGS: Our goal is to be inclusive of all religions. Learn about plans for commencement Religious Accommodations.

The Wellesley College 2019 Commencement coincides with the month of Ramadan, a special time for Muslims commemorating the revelation of the Quran. The month occurs this year between May 5 - June 4, 2019, and many Muslims will be observing the traditional fasts from dawn to sunset. The following arrangements have been made to make this experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible:

The Office of Religious and Spiritual Life is hosting a Commencement Iftar Dinner on May 30, 2019 for seniors, their families, and friends. Please RSVP. For questions, please contact Amira Quraishi Interim Dean of the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life at aquraish@wellesley.edu.

While families are on campus for Commencement, a comfortable lounge area in the library (first floor) and Lulu 305 (from 5pm-9:30pm) will also be set up for a place to rest or perform their daily prayers.

For family members who would like to view the ceremonies from air-conditioned spaces, they are welcome to do so in the Library Lecture Room for Baccalaureate on May 30th and in Collins Cinema, Jewett Auditorium, and Pendleton East for Commencement on May 31.

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Accessibility and Disability Resources: Commonly Requested Accommodations

Need disability-related accommodations? Students or guests needing disability accommodations during Commencement should make accommodation requests using the Disability Accommodation Requests online form by May 17, 2019.

Questions? Email accessibility@wellesley.edu or call  781-283-1300 or 781-283-2434. View map with disability access points on campus.

Manual Wheelchair for use during Commencement

Requested wheelchairs will be available on the morning of Commencement. Your family member will need to sign for the chair at pickup and return it by 3:00 p.m. To rent a wheelchair privately, you may contact Byrne Home Health Center in Natick by calling 508-655-3656.

Accessible Seating because of a mobility, hearing, seeing, or health-related disability or impairment

There is limited seating capacity in the accessible areas of the Severance Green Tent, as well as indoors at Alumnae Hall Auditorium.  When registering for accommodations, please alert us if you would prefer to use one of the tickets for the main tent your student has been allotted, or if you would prefer to have seating indoors at Alumnae Hall Auditorium, which is air conditioned.  We will do our best to accommodate your first choice.

Accessible Seating with Aisle Space for a guest using a wheelchair

Please make a request to ensure enough maneuvering and aisle space.

Accessible Drop-off Area

There will be a drop-off area at Commencement for guests with disabilities who request this and are being driven to the ceremony.

Accessible Parking Area

A designated parking area will be provided for guests who have mobility impairments and are driving themselves and make this request.

Transportation between Parking Area, Ceremony, and Reception with lift-equipped Van

Transportation will be available upon request to get guests with disabilities to and from parking, the ceremony, and the reception.

Interpreters, Transliterators, and Captioning for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing

Requests may be made for a sign language interpreter for American Sign Language (ASL), Signed English, Cued Speech, and Video Captioning Seating.

Alternative-Format Programs for individuals who are blind or have low vision  

Requests may be made for audio, large print, or Braille Commencement programs: Please make your request for a large print or Braille Commencement program early to allow for production time.

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Dining on Campus

Wellesley Fresh Dining Hours

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Bae Pao Lu: 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Tower: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM, Ramadan Service 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Pomeroy: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Bates: 7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Emporium: 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Leaky Beaker: 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Thursday, May 30, 2019
Bates: 7:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Bae Pao Lu: 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Tower: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM * Closed for Picnic Lunch
   Ramadan Service 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM
Pomeroy: 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Emporium: 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Leaky Beaker: Closed
*Optional Picnic Lunch at Tower Courtyard. See Ticket information.

Friday, May 31, 2019
Bates: 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Tower: 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Pomeroy: 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Collins Cafe 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM  *Near ceremony venue
Emporium: 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
​Leaky Beaker: Closed

More information about our culinary centers

Picnic Lunch on Thursday

Reservations are required for the picnic lunch at Tower Courtyard overlooking Lake Waban. There is no limit on the number of guest tickets. Please remember to include your graduating senior in your ticket count when you place your order. You may purchase your tickets online until May 28. After that date, you may email wellesleyfresh@wellesley.edu or by calling 781.283.2897. Payment can be made by credit card or check. Reservations will not be accepted less than seven days prior to the cermony.  

Tickets for students and their guests may be purchased here.  The cost is $15.00 per person.  Enjoy a lovely outdoor picnic with beautiful views of Lake Waban prior to attending Baccaluareate.  Tickets are also available at the door with cash payments.  

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Parking information

Thursday
There is no shuttle service or golf cart service on Thursday.   If you are attending any activities on campus, please only park in public parking areas. The Davis Garage and the Science Center Meadow may be used for all activities. Founders Lot parking will open for the public after 3:30pm.

Friday
Parking attendants will guide families to several locations around campus. Once you have arrived on campus via the Route 16 or Route 135 entrances and are on College Road, parking attendants will be available to help you find a parking space. A designated parking area will be provided for guests who require accessible parking and have the appropriate tag.  

Please take note of the lot you are parked in. It is easy to forget which location you are parked in as many of the spaces are in fields.  

There will be transportation, both shuttle service and golf car service, from the parking areas to the ceremony and back to the parking areas.

View the Commencement Map and print a copy to note where you have parked.

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Ticket Information

Commencement Exercises Friday:

Tickets will not be required for the ceremony in 2019. There should be adequate seating to accommodate your guests. Additionally, there is seating available in air conditioned venues including Jewett Auditorium, Collins Cinema, and Pendleton Hall.

Baccalaureate Thursday:

Each graduating senior will be issued one complimentary guest ticket for the Baccalaureate service at Houghton Chapel. Tickets have been distributed to each graduating senior on campus mailbox.  Seating is limited in the chapel. No additional tickets may be purchased. Only seniors and guests with a ticket will be seated inside the Chapel. Additional seating will be available in the tent adjacent to the Chapel with large visual monitors in place for viewing the ceremony. Please note: On Baccalaureate Day, if there are still seats available in the Chapel, staff members will inform the guests seated under the tent. Additional guest seating will be available on a first-come basis. Seating in the Clapp Library Lecture Room, which is air conditioned, is also available for viewing this event.

Picnic Lunch Thursday: 

Tickets for students and their guests may be purchased here.  The cost is $15.00 per person.  Enjoy a lovely outdoor picnic with beautiful views of Lake Waban prior to attending Baccaluareate. Tickets may also be purchased at the door with cash payment.  

 

 
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Weather preparations

Please take into consideration the ever-changing nature of New England Weather. The Commencement ceremony under the tent on Severance Green Lawn will continue rain or shine. In the event of rain, please be prepared to wear appropriate shoes and clothing. We also recommend bringing your own reusable water bottle to help reduce the use of disposable plastic bottles and cups. This is particularly helpful in the case of a very warm day. There will be water stations set up at the ceremony.  

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Flowers, Graduation Gifts, Bookstore Hours

Commencement Flowers will be set up on Severance Green on Friday morning to offer beautiful bouquets of flowers for sale.  You may also pre-order flowers if you prefer. Order Flowers in advance or at the kiosk located near the ceremony.  

Class Rings, Diploma Frames, Announcements are available through Herff Jones.  

The Wellesley College Bookstore has wonderful gift ideas. The Bookstore Hours will be: 
Wednesday: 9am-3pm
Thursday: 9am-3pm
Friday: 9am-5pm

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Safety and Security

Safety and security are paramount at Commencement.
Our safety precautions are intended to ensure Commencement and related events run smoothly. We appreciate your assistance as we work to ensure that Commencement is a joyous occasion for all.

Bags, Luggage, Backpacks, and Other Large Containers
Commencement attendees are respectfully discouraged from bringing large bags, luggage, backpacks, and other large containers to any Commencement activities. Please know that all such bags and containers are subject to search. Attendees are also asked not to leave personal property unattended while attending Commencement.

In the event unattended property is discovered, it may be inspected in place, removed, and searched for ownership information by College officials. Any removed property may be recovered at the Wellesley College Police Department located in the Davis Parking Facility or you can call campus police at 781.283.2121 (extension 2121 on-campus) to inquire about removed or recovered property.

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Travel Visa

Obtaining a travel visa for family members to visit from other countries?

If you would like to invite your immediate family members to visit the United States for your graduation ceremony, they may need to apply for a B-1/B-2 tourist visa at the American Embassy in their home country. The Registrar's Office will assist you by providing the letter authenticating that your student is a graduate at the commencement ceremony.  Students should visit this page and submit the Google Form to the Registrar's Office to begin the process.  Questions? contact registrar@wellesley.edu

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Photography and Videography

Videography
Wellesley College videotapes the full Commencement Exercises and posts this video on YouTube for students and families to enjoy.

Photography
The respective companies will contact graduating seniors directly to offer these items for sale. You are not under any obligation to purchase the photos.

Panoramic Photos of Senior Graduating Class on Severance Hill:
Panfoto, 781.788.9595, Class of 2019 Order form
The senior class photo is scheduled to be taken on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at 1:15 p.m.

Individual Photos of Graduates Receiving Diplomas:
Grad Images is the professional photographer hired for this event to capture three different photographs of each student during the conferring of degrees. These photographs will be available for students and their families to order. We encourage all students to pre-register with Grad Images in order to have viewing access to the proofs. Pre-Registration has now closed Register here
**Pre-Registration has closed, but students and families who would like to see the proofs should contact: Customer Service Department at (800) 261-2576, online at www.gradimages.com, or email giservice@gradimages.net. Grad Images has a large team of customer care representatives ready to help graduates and family members with anything they may need.
 

Additional Photo opportunities with your student

Wellesley College Campus is alive with beautiful plantings and gorgeous outdoor settings. Throughout the Commencement activities, there will be many opportunities to take photographs. Here are some of our favorite photo opportunities:

Senior Week activities
Thursday Senior Class Photo
Thursday Procession to the Chapel for Baccalaureate
Thursday post Baccalaureate Reception
Friday pre ceremony and post ceremony

Friday during the ceremony we recommend that families stay at their seat and snap a photo of the Jumbo Screen showing their student processing and more fun candid shots that will appear on the viewing screens in all locations.  

Friday post ceremony light lunch is a beautiful setting for gathering everyone together for celebratory photos.