When and where will the commencement ceremony take place?

Commencement will take place Saturday, June 10, 2023, at 9:30 a.m. Central Time. As is tradition, the ceremony will be held outdoors on the Bald Spot, rain or shine. The event also will be live-streamed so family and friends can share in the experience wherever they are in the world. The program will include the traditional elements of ceremony; academic procession, remarks by President Byerly and a selected graduate, awarding diplomas on stage, and the singing of the Carleton Alma Mater. The printed program will list all graduates and their honors. The printed program will be available the morning of commencement from the ushers.

What is the schedule for the morning?

Parents and guests will be permitted on campus at 8 a.m. Graduating seniors are required to check in with the Dean’s Office staff at a tent between Boliou and Olin from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The live-stream will begin at 9:10 a.m. and the academic procession kicks off at 9:20 a.m. The program on stage begins at 9:30 a.m. and concludes by 11:30 a.m.

Will there be any restrictions in place related to COVID-19?

The College will do its utmost to ensure that the event is safe and enjoyable for all present. Visitors to campus should please follow Carleton’s expectations for visitors

Information regarding Senior Week and pre-Commencement events.

Yes! The Student Activities Office will be putting together an exciting lineup of Senior Week activities for the Class of 2023. Plus, Friday will be full of events for families to enjoy. Please click here to view the 2022 line up of activities.

Will there be an opportunity to meet with my student’s professors?

Yes! Departmental Receptions are planned to take place on the Friday before Commencement. Please click here to see the 2022 line up, as an example.

Is photography allowed during the ceremony? Will there be a professional photographer onsite?

You may take photographs from your seat. However, in keeping with our commitment to provide the safest possible in-person experience for all attendees, we must insist that all guests remain seated during the ceremony and not approach the graduate seating or stage areas.

For your convenience, Carleton has arranged with Grad Images for professional photographers to take a set of photographs of each graduate at the ceremony: a close-up image (similar to a headshot) and a three-quarter body length portrait holding their diploma.

The Grad Images Pre-Registration website offers 20% off your entire order. Here is the link to the pre-registration site for graduates and families. Once in, enter “Carleton College” to proceed to the Registration page.

Three to five days after Commencement you will receive an email to view your proofs online, and you will have the option of ordering from a variety of packages. There is no obligation to purchase. Carleton does not benefit from this arrangement; it is provided as a service to graduates and their families.

Can students who are currently off campus participate in commencement?

All seniors who are currently on OCS or graduated during a previous term and wish to return for Senior Week or commencement are invited to do so, but must complete the Senior Week/Commencement Housing Form by Monday, May 1st, to ensure a space in campus housing is reserved for you. (Link to the form will be coming soon)

Arrival times for those who plan to participate in Senior Week activities are 2-5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 7th. If you will only be attending the commencement ceremony, you should return to campus on Friday, June 9th, between 1 and 4 p.m.

When will graduates need to move out of their campus housing?

Following the ceremony, all residential seniors should be prepared to move out of campus housing no later than 2 p.m.

Where do we stay when visiting Campus? Will there be on campus housing for guests?

Carleton College will be offering Commencement housing for guests. Please click this link for more details and to make reservations.

Apart from that, Northfield offers a variety of lodging options. Please follow this link to review a variety of lodging possibilities.

Where should guests park vehicles?

Parking on campus is very limited, but there is plenty of street parking available south of the campus.

What time should guests arrive for the commencement ceremony?

Guests may arrive on campus anytime after 8 a.m. We ask that you be in your seats by 9:20 a.m. and remain seated during the ceremony. Out of respect for others, we ask that there be no artificial noise makers, air horns or megaphones used during the ceremony.

Weather…or not?

The ceremony will take place outside, rain or shine, unless there is lightning or severe weather conditions.  Please check the weather forecast and prepare accordingly.

Where can snacks or other last-minute items be purchased?

Sayles-Hill Campus Center will be open from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.  The Bookstore carries snacks, batteries, sun block, sunglasses, umbrellas, and other last-minute supplies that may be needed (cash or credit card accepted). Sayles Café, however, can only accept campus OneCards or credit cards.

Are there restroom facilities?

Everyone in attendance must remain seated during the ceremony unless needing to use the restroom facilities. There are standard and handicap portable toilets on the sidewalk south of the ceremony site. In addition, there are restrooms in Hulings Hall, Skinner Chapel, and Sayles-Hill.

Can the commencement ceremony be viewed online?

Yes, the ceremony will be live-streamed so family and friends can share in the experience wherever they are in the world. The stream will begin at 9:10 a.m. Central Time and will last to the conclusion of the ceremony at about 11:30 a.m. The video will be archived online at the same web address for on-demand viewing afterward.

What about lunch?

Complimentary refreshments will be provided on the Bald Spot following the ceremony for all in attendance, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Carleton College is committed to providing universal access to all of our events. Please contact Noel Ponder at nponder@carleton.edu, and/or (507)222-5461 to request disability accommodations (e.g., sign language interpreters, alternative formats). Advance notice (two weeks) is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.