FAQs for Graduates

Commencement Weekend 2018

Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19, 2018

A. Commencement Preparation

How do I participate in Commencement?
All bachelor’s, master’s, and accelerated nursing graduates must have completed an Application for Graduation via Self-Service. If you have not done so, please do so immediately. The information provided on this application will be used to order your diploma and for the Commencement program.

Eligibility for Participation in Commencement
In order to participate in Commencement, students must:

  • Complete an Application for Graduation via Self-Service
  • Submit a complete degree audit signed by your Academic Advisor to the Curry Center for Student Services, Founders Hall 223
  • Be no more than three credits short of all graduation requirements
  • Have a plan approved by the Department Chair and Dean of the Undergraduate College to register for the remaining three credits within the next academic year, summer 2018 through spring 2019
  • Agree to pay the College in full for the credits needed before walking at Commencement
  • Satisfy all financial obligations to the College
  • Complete all exit interviews if they have any federal loans
  • Complete the Career Survey

Federal Loans
Graduates with Federal Direct Loans must complete an exit interview online or in person at the Curry Center for Student Services in Founders Hall 223 by Friday, April 27, 2018. You will need your social security number, FAFSA PIN, and the contact information of three references to complete the exit interview, which takes about 10 minutes. The link for completing the exit interview online is www.nslds.ed.gov. Should you complete your exit interview online, please save a copy for your records and email a copy to financialaid@mountsaintvincent.edu to assist in timely processing.

Graduates with Federal Perkins Loans must come to the Curry Center for Student Services in Founders Hall 223, to complete their Federal Perkins Loan exit interview prior to Friday, April 27, 2018. The Office of Financial Aid will be available at the Graduation Fair and at Cap and Gown pickup to assist graduates in completing the exit interview.

Financial Obligations
Graduates must satisfy all outstanding financial obligations to the College by Friday, April 27, 2018. Payments made after this date must be received in cash, money order, or cashier’s check to the Curry Center for Student Services in Founders Hall 223. Personal checks will not be accepted after Friday, April 27, 2018. In accordance with College policy, diplomas and transcripts will not be released until the outstanding balance is paid in full.

B. Commencement Day

When and where is Commencement?
Commencement will take place on the College of Mount Saint Vincent’s River Lawn on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. – rain or shine.

Where do the graduates report on Commencement Day?
Undergraduate College graduates (all bachelor degree students) will report to Hayes Auditorium, Grace Center at 9:00 a.m. School of Professional and Graduate Studies graduates, which includes master’s and accelerated nursing graduates, will report to Smith Hall, on the second floor of Founders Hall at 9:00 a.m. The master’s and accelerated nursing graduates Hooding Ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Smith Hall.

How long does the ceremony last?
The ceremony is expected to last approximately 1.5 hours.

How do I order my cap and gown?
Caps and gowns can be ordered beginning Thursday, March 1, 2018 through Friday, March 30, 2018 by visiting www.herffjones.com/college/graduation. You can order your cap and gown at the Graduation Fair on Thursday, March 1, 2018 (see Graduation Fair below).

What is the Graduation Fair?
The Graduation Fair is an opportunity for graduates to order their caps and gowns, purchase class rings, diploma frames, and more. The Graduation Fair is scheduled for Thursday, March 1, 2018 in the Blue Room on the second floor of Founders Hall, 2-7 p.m.

When and where do I pick up my cap and gown?
Caps and gowns will be available for pick-up in Smith Hall, Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 3-7 p.m. and Wednesday, May 2, 2018, 12-4 p.m.

When do I receive my diploma?
Graduates will receive their diplomas immediately following the ceremony in Smith Hall. Students who have not met their academic requirements, satisfied all financial obligations including tuition, fees and fines, and completed their exit interviews and the Career Survey will not receive their diplomas at this time. Following Commencement, diplomas may be picked up in person in the Office of the Registrar, upon completion of all outstanding matters.

Where do I pick up my parking permits for my guests?
Graduates will be given two parking permits for guests, which can be picked up when students get their caps and gowns in Smith Hall. Graduates with current campus parking permits will be able to park on campus on Commencement Day; they do not need to use one of their guest permits.

Is there a rehearsal?
All bachelor graduates are required to attend a mandatory rehearsal on Friday, May 18, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. Undergraduate College graduates will report to Hayes Auditorium, Grace Center. The rehearsal is expected to last approximately one hour. Accelerated nursing and master’s graduates do not attend the rehearsal.

What if I cannot attend the rehearsal?
Students who cannot attend the rehearsal must contact the Office of the Dean of Students to receive information for line-up and name pronunciation.

How will I get my hood if I cannot attend the Senior Convocation and Baccalaureate Mass?
Hoods will only be available at the Senior Convocation and Baccalaureate Mass.

C. Policies and Procession Information

Is there an alcohol policy?
Alcohol is not permitted before or during the Commencement ceremony and will be confiscated if brought to the ceremony. Please advise all guests of this policy.

Is my graduation fee refunded if I do not participate in the Commencement Ceremony?
Graduates who decide not to participate in Commencement cannot have their graduation fee refunded. This fee covers the costs associated with all aspects of the event, including diplomas, chairs and tent rentals, staging, programs, etc. Graduates who do not participate may pick up their diplomas after Saturday, May 19, 2018 in the Office of the Registrar, provided they have met all of their academic requirements, satisfied their outstanding balances with the College, and completed the federal loan exit interviews and the Career Survey.

Do you know who the speaker will be?
This announcement is usually made in mid-April.

How do I obtain graduation announcements?
Orders for personalized announcements can be placed online at www.herffjones.com/college/graduation on or around Thursday, March 1, 2018.

What time do I lineup on Commencement Day?
Undergraduate College graduates will assemble for the procession at 9:00 a.m. in the Hayes Auditorium, Grace Center. School of Professional and Graduate Studies graduates, which includes master’s and accelerated nursing graduates, will assemble at 9:00 a.m. in Smith Hall for a Hooding Ceremony at 9:30 a.m.

A continental breakfast will be available in both locations for students.

What time does the procession begin?
The procession begins promptly at 10:00 a.m.

How should I dress?
Students should be cautious of the clothes they wear underneath their gowns. Neither the College nor the manufacturer of the caps and gowns guarantees that they are colorfast. Weather conditions have varied from picture-perfect to extreme rain or heat. Graduates are advised to dress comfortably and be prepared for the weather. If it is raining, students may want to bring an umbrella. Students should bring sun block and sunglasses for sunny conditions and wear shoes appropriate for grassy areas.

When should my guests plan on arriving?
Guests are encouraged to arrive early to better ensure a parking space and seating. Guests will not be permitted to enter the tent before 8:30 a.m.

Are tickets required and is there a limit to how many guests I can invite?
Tickets are not required for the ceremony. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no limit to the number of guests you can invite.

I have a guest who is disabled.  Is there special seating?
Requests for accessible seating, handicapped parking permits and sign language interpretation requests can be made to the Office of the Dean of Students no later than Friday, April 27, 2018 at (718) 405-3253.

There will be a designated seating section to accommodate disabled guests. Special requests are limited to one parking permit and five special-seating tickets per graduate. As guests enter the campus, they should be prepared to show their handicapped parking permit to the security guard, who will direct them to the appropriate parking area. Marked handicapped parking spaces are reserved for vehicles with handicapped license plates, handicapped parking placards issued by a municipality, and special parking permits issued by the College.

What if it rains?
Commencement will take place rain or shine on River Lawn.

Will photographs of individual students be taken when they receive their diplomas on stage?
Yes, Island Photography has been contracted to photograph each student as the student receives the diploma and right after the student leaves the stage. To receive a direct link to the photos and to register to receive photos on line visit www.islandphoto.com.

You may register several email addresses to allow your friends and family to receive a direct link to your Commencement photos. Images will be posted within 72 hours of the Commencement ceremony. For further information contact Island Photography at their website above or at (800) 869-0908.

Is it possible to schedule a Senior/Graduation Portrait?
Yes, Thornton Studios is taking appointments for senior/graduation portraits. Photos are typically taken at the Grotto next to the campus entrance. You can schedule a time by visiting www.thorntonstudio.com. Detailed instructions will be sent to graduates directly.

D. Guests and Accommodations

What if my guests need overnight accommodations?
For guests who need overnight accommodations, below is a list of hotels within 20-30 minutes from the College:

Hampton Inn 555 Tuckahoe Road,
Yonkers, NY
(914) 963-3200
Hampton Inn and Suites 160 Corporate Drive South,
Yonkers, NY
(914) 377-1144
Hyatt Place New York/Yonkers 7000 Hall Walk,
Yonkers, NY
(914) 377-1400
Ramada Inn 125 Tuckahoe Rd.,
Yonkers, NY
(914) 476-3800
Residence Inn by Marriott 7 Executive Blvd.,
Yonkers, NY
(914) 476-4600
Royal Regency Hotel 165 Tuckahoe Rd.,
Yonkers, NY
(914) 476-6200
Courtyard by Marriott 475 White Plains Rd.,
Tarrytown, NY
(914) 631-1122

Where do I meet my guests after Commencement?
We suggest that you pre-arrange a meeting place with your guests at the conclusion of the full recessional.

When do graduates have to be out of their residence hall rooms?
Seniors must leave the residence halls no later than 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, 2018.

E. More Commencement Tips

What about Senior Days activities?
In late March/early April you will receive information about Senior Days, outlining the activities planned by the Senior Class Officers under the direction of the Office of Student Activities, Leadership, and Commuter Life.

What are the No-Book Store hours on Commencement Day?
The No-Book Store will be open from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Commencement Day. The store offers a variety of CMSV spirit wear, cards, gifts, and snacks. The store also will be selling flowers and teddy bears at the rear of the Commencement tent.

How do I purchase a class ring?
Questions or information regarding class rings should be directed to Herff Jones at www.herffjones.com/college/rings.com. Class rings can also be ordered at the Graduation Fair.

Helpful Hints

  • Before you graduate, your tassel should be worn on the right; after you graduate, move it to the left
  • The weather can be unpredictable, so remember both your umbrella and your sun block
  • Remember, the grass can be wet even if it isn’t raining, so consider your footwear carefully
  • All graduates and guests must turn off cell phones–please be considerate of others
  • The Commencement ceremony will last approximately 1.5 hours–out of respect for your fellow graduates, please remain seated throughout the entire ceremony