To: The Senior Class
From: Michael McAlear, Marshal of the Faculty
Subj: Instructions for Commencement
Congratulations – Commencement is just a few days away.
Diploma pick-up will be held on Friday, May 23rd between 10 A.M. and 5 P.M. at the Registrar’s Office in North College. You must have a photo i.d. When you get your “real” diploma, you will also be given a number – REMEMBER YOUR NUMBER!!! The number determines (alphabetically) where you will stand in line for the Commencement procession. Tell your friends and relatives your number; there is a map that will show them which aisle you will walk down before you take your seats.
Please report promptly to the top of Foss Hill on Sunday morning, May 25th by 10:00 A.M. You will be lined up in alphabetical order in 5 groups around the observatory. Look for numbered signs every 75 feet or so, for example:
Group # 1
# 1- 50 Aaron to Bernstein
# 51 – 100 Bessey to Carter etc.
The number you were given will tell you where to line up. At each group sign there will be a faculty assistant marshal who will hand you a card (with your name and number on it). Keep the card, and follow the instructions on it! It will assist you in lining up correctly and as a control (for alphabetical order) as you line up to receive your diploma covers. Your name will not be read out during the ceremony without a card.
The procession will begin promptly at 10:45a.m., moving down Foss Hill to Wyllys Avenue. When the first of the faculty reach the bottom of the hill, the faculty ranks will divide to create an aisle of honor through which you will march two-by-two. Follow your marshal down the hill and enjoy the professorial applause – job well done!
Once down the hill, continue to follow your faculty marshal towards the library, proceeding through the large tent. Different groups will split and proceed up different aisles for simultaneous seating. Return to a single file, and alphabetic/numeric order to take your seats.
You will be awarded your degrees after the conferring of the graduate degrees. Ruth Weissman, Provost of the College, will intone the formula: “Mr. President, I have the honor to present these 730+ candidates to receive at your hand Wesleyan’s degree of Bachelor of Arts.” You will then all stand while the president confers the degree, ending with the words: “In testimony of your achievement, I am pleased and proud to present your diplomas.”
Guided by the faculty assistant marshals, the seniors will then file up to the platform in alphabetical order to receive the diploma cover and a warm presidential handshake. As you go up the stairs to the platform, you will hand your card to the faculty marshals stationed there. He or she and Dean Melendez will then confirm that you are in order and make sure it is your name that is proclaimed as you file past the president. Follow the marshals to return to your seats.
The tossing of caps occurs after the Fight Song. At the end of the ceremony, only the platform party and faculty will form the recessional. Stay in your seats until they have exited, and then join in the reception on the front lawn.
In the unlikely event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held under the big tent on Andrus field. There will be an announcement made by email to that effect by Saturday afternoon. In this case there will be no procession. Please report to the tent by 10 A.M. There will be numbered signs in the tent with faculty marshals standing nearby handing out numbered cards. After getting your card, go directly to your seat.
If you arrive late and have no card, you may still be able to have your name read. Place yourself alphabetically in the line and as you file up to the platform, tell your name to the faculty marshal at the bottom of the steps. He or she may be able to find your card and insert you into the list (No guarantees!).
Have a wonderful week and graduation.
Michael A. McAlear
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Dept.