On Sunday, May 17, 2015, Hobart and William Smith Colleges will celebrate the 104th graduation for William Smith and the 190th graduation for Hobart. We welcome your participation in the full weekend of events which are detailed below:

  • You do not need tickets or invitations to attend the Commencement ceremonies. There is plenty of seating available and all family and friends are welcome to attend.

  • Announcements, Diploma Frames, Class Rings & College Chairs
    The College Store is your source for announcements/invitations, diploma frames, class rings, and college chairs. Visit the College Store and click on Graduation Items.
    Phone: (315) 781-3449

  • Student Communications
    The College Store contacted students in February with information about caps and gowns and associated fees. Soon, students will be notified about schedules for rehearsals and procedures for assuring correct name pronunciation for Commencement. Students and parents who have outstanding bills, which must be paid before Commencement, will be notified by the Business Office. Should you have any questions regarding your child's eligibility for graduation, please contact the Office of the Registrar directly at (315) 781-3651.


Commencement brochure will be mailed in early March and online registration will also be available at that time. Families who will stay on campus and/or will purchase meal tickets must preregister by May 8 and must pick up registration materials at the Welcome Desk in the lobby of Scandling Campus Center. The Welcome Desk will be open on Friday, May 15, from 4-8 p.m. and on Saturday, May 16, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Room keys, meal tickets, messages and general information will be available at the Welcome Desk. If you plan to arrive after the desk closes at 4 p.m. on Saturday, please have your son or daughter pick up your tickets and room keys during regular registration hours. Any room keys not picked up by 3:30 p.m. on Saturday will be available at the Campus Safety Office in the Medbery parking lot.


Rooms are available for families in residence halls on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. These dormitory rooms have two twin beds with shared bathrooms and limited amenities. Linens are included in the cost, yet you may want to bring, extra pillows, larger towels, a fan, and an alarm clock. All rooms are $70 / per room / per night and must be reserved by Friday, May 8.

To reserve a room, complete the online registration form after March 15, 2015.

If you are sensitive to heat or have other health-related needs, we encourage you to consider staying at a local hotel, a bed and breakfast, or renting a house. A list of accommodations can be found here.

Please make reservations directly with your hotel of choice. We suggest doing so soon, as rooms are going fast!


Meals - on-campus
All meal tickets should be ordered by Friday, May 8. Vegetarian entrees will be available at all meals. Children five and under eat for free and do not require reservations or tickets for any event. Tickets should be picked up at the Welcome Desk in Scandling Campus Center on Friday, May 15, or Saturday, May 16. All meals will be served in the Great Hall of Saga in the Scandling Campus Center (with the exception of the barbeque). When registering, please note the following: Student meal cards will be honored for graduating seniors at the Candlelight Dinner Gala only on Saturday evening. Graduating seniors who plan to join their families at other meals (except the barbeque) must purchase a ticket in advance.

6 - 9:30 p.m. Friday, May 15
Stern Lawn
Adults: $17.00 each
Children 6 – 12 years: $8.00 each
Children 5 years and under: no charge

Planned by the Senior Classes of 2015 along with Student Activities, the evening will include a traditional barbeque on Stern Lawn, performances by the campus a cappella groups and a live band. The evening will conclude with a fireworks display. No need to purchase the graduating senior a ticket; the senior week bracelet gains him/her admittance to the barbeque, which will be served from 6 - 8:00 p.m.

Parents, Family, Friends and Graduates
Saturday, May 16
Adults: $25.00 each
Children 6 – 12 years: $12.00 each
Children 5 years and under: no charge

This Candlelight Dinner Gala located in the Great Hall of Saga in the Scandling Campus Center includes linen and waited service. The menu features assorted hors d'oeuvres, Caesar salad, tossed salad, steamship round of beef, marinated chicken medallions w/roasted yellow and red peppers, oven roasted potatoes, spanakopita, seasoned medley of fresh vegetables and shrimp scampi, assorted fresh cut fruit, assorted rolls and butter, soft drinks, coffee, tea, and a beautiful dessert bar. To complement your meal, a selection of wines, champagne and beer will be available for purchase. Reservation times are available 6 – 7:30 p.m. Please note your desired dinner reservation time on your registration form. Your graduating student’s Dinner Gala ticket is compliments of our Dining Services – Sodexo.

Parents, Family and Friends
8- 9:30 a.m., Sunday, May 17
Adults: $12.00 each
Children 6 – 12 years: $6.00 each
Children 5 years and under: no charge

Includes: scrambled eggs, French toast with hot syrup, omelets to order, golden brown sausage links, crispy bacon, assorted cold cereals, breakfast potatoes, homemade doughnuts/danish, bagels and cream cheese, fresh fruits and chilled juices, toast and English muffins, coffee, tea and milk.

Parents, Family, Friends and Graduates
Immediately following Commencement
Adults: $15.00 each
Children 6 – 12 years: $7.00 each
Children 5 years and under: no charge

Includes: New England clam chowder, London broil with mushrooms, fettuccine alfredo, stir-fried chicken and garden vegetables, ice cream, fresh fruits, a variety of specialty salads, assorted homemade desserts, soft beverages, coffee and tea.

Because of time limitations and fixed costs, all Commencement registration fees and charges are nonrefundable.


Commencement: Tickets are not required to attend the Commencement ceremony; all are welcome. Commencement will take place on Sunday, May 17, on the Hobart Quadrangle. The procession begins at 10 a.m. The program will begin at 10:30 a.m. and last about two hours. In May, Geneva temperatures can range from the mid 30's to the high 80's. Warm clothing, sun protection, appropriate footwear and umbrellas are all advisable.

Rain Plan: Should the weather be inclement, Commencement exercises will be moved to the Robert A. Bristol '31 Field House at the Caird Center for Sports and Recreation. WGVA (1240 AM and 96.1 FM), WEOS (89.7 and 90.3 FM) and WHWS 105.7 FM will make continuous announcements Sunday morning beginning at 7 a.m. You may also call (315) 781- 3150 or check the Daily Update for the most current information regarding location. Special parking and shuttle services will be made available should the rain plan be implemented.

Broadcast Arrangements: The Commencement exercise will be simulcast in Gulick Hall, Room 100. WHWS 105.7FM (webcast at www.whws.fm) plans to broadcast commencement, beginning at 10:15 a.m. Should weather be inclement, rain plan announcements will also be broadcast between 7 and 9 a.m.

Video and Photography Services: A professional photographer will photograph each senior as he/she receives his/her diploma. You will receive a color proof and order form a few weeks after Commencement. Personalized videotapes and DVDs of Commencement Exercises will be available through IT Services. Contact IT Services to place an order by phone at 315-781-4357, or by email at helpdesk@hws.edu.

Press releases: Press releases will be sent to the hometown newspaper of graduates after Commencement. As soon as possible prior to Commencement, please email publicity@hws.edu with your hometown newspaper's name, address (e-mail address if they have one) along with a current photo of the graduate.

College Store: The College Store will be open from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 17. The store offers personal care items, books, gifts and Hobart and William Smith insignia apparel and memorabilia. The College Store will order and distribute regalia for all graduates. No measurement or payment required. Visit the College Store website, or call (315) 781-3449.

Senior Week Committee: A student Senior Week Committee plans activities for seniors during the week before Commencement. You may call the Student Activities Office with any questions (315) 781-3513.

Special Needs: If you have any special needs that may require accommodation in order to ensure your full participation, please contact the Parents Office at (315) 781-3700. There will be a sign language interpreter at Commencement.

If you have any additional questions regarding Commencement, please contact Kelly Young P'16, Parent Relations Office at (315) 781-3700



Commencement 2015 will be streamed live on Sunday, May 17 starting at 10:30 a.m.

Parent Commencement Brochure