Commencement 2021

COMMENCEMENT 2021 

Thursday, May 13
Durick Library Lawn 

Saint Michael’s College is pleased to be able to celebrate its 114th Commencement in person and with guests. These plans were announced to students on April 14 as a result of changes the State of Vermont has made in its health and safety guidelines.   

To comply with all State health and safety guidelines, the events will be outdoors and divided into two ceremonies held at the same location, at different times. 

Thursday, May 13, 2021 

  • GOLD CEREMONY—10:00 a.m. (All students receiving a BA degree)  
  • PURPLE CEREMONY—1:00 p.m. (All students receiving a BS or Master’s degree) 

To follow along with the ceremony, check out the Commencement 2021 Program.

To watch the Gold Ceremony, click here

To watch the Purple Ceremony, click here

virtual Baccalaureate Mass will be live-streamed from the Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 16. You can watch the mass in the link below: 

Information for Graduates

Saint Michael’s College will hold two outdoor, in-person Commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 13, 2021. The ceremonies are scheduled as follows: 

  • Gold Ceremony for Bachelor of Arts Candidates – 10:00 a.m. 
  • Purple Ceremony for Bachelor of Science and All Master’s Degree Candidates – 1:00 p.m. 

Students must attend the ceremony that corresponds to the degree they are earning – no exceptions. Students will receive blank diploma covers during the ceremony. Degree requirements will be verified and diplomas will be mailed by the end of May. 

The Registrar’s Office collected information from pending graduates about participation in Commencement on the graduation application, which all graduating students were required to complete. However, since plans for the ceremony have evolved due to COVID-19 protocols and guidelines from the State of Vermont, the College is requiring all graduates who wish to attend the redesigned Commencement ceremony to fill out the 2021 Commencement Participation Form found on the Registrar’s Office Portal, which is also where students will request tickets. 

Tickets for Commencement
Each qualified senior and graduate student must complete the 2021 Commencement Participation Form, where they will be able to order tickets for a maximum of two fully vaccinated guests. “Fully vaccinated” is defined by the CDC as being two weeks after one’s final shot. For our Commencement this means receiving one’s final dose on or before April 29. Guests will be required to bring their vaccine card and abide by all College guidelines, including wearing masks and physical distancing, while on campus. Students are required to attest that their guests will be fully vaccinated by Commencement when ordering tickets. 

Current on-campus and commuter students will be able to pick up their confirmed tickets on campus on April 26 and 27 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in Alliot HallA postage paid envelope will be provided with the tickets for students to mail to their guests. Tickets for students who are currently fully remote will be mailed to the home address on file with the College. 

Caps and Gowns
Starting on Monday, April 26th, graduating students may pick up their cap & gown in the Campus Store, Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Caps & gowns will be available through Thursday, May 13 day of Commencement.  There is no cost for the regalia. 

Moving Out of Residence Halls
Students will be required to move out of their residence hall by 6:00 p.m., Thursday, May 13.
Please follow the instructions provided by your Residence Life staff for the return of your room and house keys.

Instructions for Commencement Day
Please watch your email or check back for updates here on student instructions for Commencement day.  

Commencement 2021 Town Hall

Watch the video below for more information on Commencement 2021.

Commencement 2021 Informational Webinar – Thursday April 29

Q & A Transcript

Note: Responses are edited for clarity and brevity. Watch the video to see the full response. The order of the questions does not align with the video recording, but the order in which the questions were submitted.

What pictures are being used for the yearbook?

Kerri Leach is going to send out an email probably early next week with a method for everyone to submit pictures of themselves, since we did not have a portrait photographer come to take photos. Last year we did this and it worked really well. We will take selfies, but also pictures of clubs and things you were involved with not just this year, but any of your four years.

How seats (for commencement) are arranged?

All seating will be in front of Durick on the lawn there. There will be a front row of speakers, and behind that rows of students seating all distanced appropriately. Behind the student seating will be pairs of chairs for guests, each pair of guest seats distanced from the other.

What about seniors who have a final on the 12th at that time (when some senior activities are planned)?

There are finals scheduled for the 12th, and if professors cannot offer different times, students who have finals then will unfortunately miss those activities that are scheduled at that time.

Will there be a formal marching/procession rehearsal and if so, when will it be?

We will not have a formal rehearsal, but the morning of the ceremony Kerri and Dawn and others will be there to guide you where to go and what to do. This year we will not be organized alphabetically, which will make things easier.

How do we get a yearbook?

You will get a yearbook mailed to you at whatever address we have on file with the registrar. This will likely be in October, but maybe sooner. Every senior will get one.

Can commuter students attend the event on the 12th?

Yes. Since the event is out doors and commuter students have been tested all along the way. However, commuter students cannot enter any residence halls.

Who will be speaking at each ceremony?

There will be a number of people with remarks. College officials, but also student speakers (graduate and undergraduate) will speak at both events.

What are the name cards that we were supposed to grab from Alliot??

The morning of the ceremony, each student will pick up their name card from Alliot then gather in the Hoehl parking lot. Do not lose this name card because you will be handing it to Dean Natarajan for your name to be read at the ceremony.

Are there any options for family members who will not be completely vaccinated by the commencement date?

Unfortunately, not for attending the ceremony. We are limited by the State as to the size of the event. Many students will not be vaccinated by the time of the ceremony and this places a limit on the size and why we had to create two events. We were happy that we could have visitors, and sad those family members who are not vaccinated cannot attend. We will be live streaming and recording the event.

When can parents arrive for graduation?

We are asking ticketed guests to arrive with enough time to be in their seats 30 minutes before each ceremony starts, so for the first session, guests should try to arrive at around 9:00 – 9:15. For the second ceremony, between 12:00 – 12:15.

Where are parents/commuter students supposed to park? Will there be signs?

There will be signs all over and officers stationed at the entrance of the College directing visitors where to park. There will be plenty of people around to help direct.

Will parents be able to help students move out after or before the ceremony? Many students do not have cars or have furniture and need a second car.

If you are in the first ceremony, families can help you move out after it. For the afternoon

Ceremony, if parents want to come help before it, and they are fully vaccinated, that is fine, but we would encourage you to tell them to help after the ceremony as so that you can be sure to be on time. If your family members are fully vaccinated, the State has now said that they can enter the residence halls to help you. That is good news. It is a big move out and you should be preparing days before.

Will seniors from one ceremony group be able to watch their peers in another ceremony group graduate?

Unfortunately, no. We are required by the state to limit the number of unvaccinated people at each event, and having students watch another ceremony will have us exceed limits on gatherings. The live stream will be available.

Can parents bring a picture of their vaccine card or will they need the physical copy?

Yes. A picture of a vaccine card is fine.

How long will the ceremony be?

Our best guess is that it will be an hour and 15 to an hour and 20 minutes.

If a student can only have one vaccinated member come, can they give their 2nd ticket to another student of the same group so they could bring a third vaccinated member?

Yes. If you wanted to give your ticket to somebody else that is possible. Keep in mind, the visitor seating is assembled in pairs, and the chairs are not to be moved. So the third person of the visitors would not be able to sit together with the others.

Where can we find more information on the awards being given?

We normally would have a program printed for the awards brunch that describes each award. I am (Kerri) happy to send out that program from two years ago, which explains each award.  Awards are going to be shared with the community via social media and digital signage, and Athletics is doing something special as well.

Can fully vaccinated students watch their peers in the other ceremony?

If you have a ticket and are fully vaccinated yes.

Will students be allowed to gather on the greens after the ceremony?

Not clear on what the “greens” are…students will have to comply with the prevailing gathering rules at the time of commencement. If nothing changes, that is no more than 10 people, masked and socially distanced. It is very important that students and guests after the first ceremony follow the procession out, so that the space is cleared to prepare for the second ceremony.

Will there be programs at the ceremony?

Yes. Each student and guest will receive a program.

Is there a tent for graduation where we will all sit under if it is raining?

There will not be a tent for students or guests during the ceremony. The space is too large to cover. The event is rain or shine, so students and guests might want to have umbrellas if the forecast is for rain.

Instructions for Graduates for Commencement Day

Instructions for Graduates for Commencement Day

  • Wear your cap and gown. Any last-minute issues can be handled in the bookstore
  • Pick up your name card in Alliot between 9:00 and 9:30 (for the 10:00 ceremony) and 12:00 and 12:30 (for the 1:00 ceremony)
  • Before each ceremony there will be food in the Hoehl Welcome Center parking lot for graduates only
  • Masters candidates please gather near the angel statue in the Hoehl parking lot for the 1:00 ceremony
  • Undergraduates will line up in random order between Alliot and Hoehl (alphabetical order is not necessary.) Please be sure you have your name card with you!

Procession:

  • The procession will be led by the bagpipes and Professor Vantine with the mace.
  • Please process single-file, keeping 6 ft distancing. Dawn Ellinwood and Kerri Leach will direct you to your seats.  Please follow their instructions.  Remain standing when reaching your seat.

Conferring of Degrees:

  • Dawn and Kerri will be directing candidates to move to the library landing. Please follow their directions. Please be sure you bring your name card with you.
  • The procession will go up the left library ramp (facing the library). Please use the 6 ft markings on the ramp to maintain distance.
  • At the top of the ramp you will be handed a diploma cover and directed to hand your name card to Prof. Tara Natarajan.
  • Please proceed to the “X” at the very front of the top library stair. Natarajan will then announce your name, presenting you to President Sterritt.
  • After your name is called, please proceed to the next “X” where your official graduation photograph will be taken by Grad Images. You may remove your mask to have your picture taken. You will receive an email after graduation about ordering prints.
  • Please be sure your mask is back on and exit down the right library ramp and return to your seat.

Recessional:

  • Professor Vantine will lead the recessional with the mace. Please follow the instructions from Dawn and Kerri and follow the procession.  We ask that you do not gather or meet up with your families on the green.

Information for Families and Guests

Commencement Hotline 
If you cannot find answers to your questions in the FAQ or these pages, you can email the Commencement Hotline at Commencement@smcvt.edu. 

Tickets for Commencement
Each graduate participating in Commencement will be able to order tickets for a maximum of two fully vaccinated guests. “Fully vaccinated” is defined by the CDC as being two weeks after one’s final shot. For our Commencement this means receiving one’s final dose on or before April 29. Guests will be required to bring their vaccine card and abide by all College guidelines, including wearing masks and physical distancing, while on campus. Students are required to attest that their guests will be fully vaccinated when ordering tickets.  Students will be able to pick up their guest tickets together with a postage paid envelope provided to mail the tickets to their guests. Tickets for students who are currently fully remote will be mailed to the home address on file with the College. 

It is the responsibility of the student to get the tickets to their guests before they arrive on campus. Pre-ceremony meet-ups the day of Commencement are not allowed.   

Accommodations
Families who need accommodations can find a list of hotels offering discounts for Saint Michael’s visitors at www.smcvt.edu/hotels. For more information visit the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce Web site at www.vermont.org or call 802.863.3489, toll free 877.686.5253. 

Parking
Public Safety will be directing parking on the day of Commencement. Guests who are attending commencement ceremonies should be prepared to show evidence of being fully vaccinated. Accessible parking will be available for vehicles displaying disability registration plates or removable windshield placards. Please follow the directions of the public safety officers. 

Seating during Commencement
Seating will be organized in front of the Durick Library on the lawn. Guest seating will be organized in pairs of chairs with required distancing between each set. Guests must not move the chairs and must stay with the guest they arrived with, or if arriving alone just in one of the chairs.  

The ceremonies are outdoors, and May can mean hot sunshine or chilly rain, so please plan accordingly with umbrellas or water.  

Seating: Special Needs
Our Public Safety and Special Events staff will be available to direct guests with special needs to a designated section of the seating. We will do our utmost to provide appropriate and comfortable seating for our guests with special needs, but we may be limited due to the venue and weather that day.  

Items for Purchase
The Campus Store will be open on Commencement day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Senior photos will be available online after the ceremony at www.GradImages.com. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the plan for Saint Michael’s College graduation?
We are planning for two in-person, outdoor ceremonies on Thursday, May 13.  These ceremonies will be livestreamed, and also recorded. There will no longer be a virtual commencement on Sunday, May 16.  

Which ceremony should I attend?

The 10:00 a.m. “Gold Ceremony is for students receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree.
The 1:00 p.m. “Purple Ceremony is for students receiving a Masters degree or Bachelor of Science degree. Tickets will only be honored for the ceremony for which they are intended.  

Why did Saint Michaels change the date for commencement from Sunday, May 16 to Thursday, May 13?
Rescheduling our commencement ceremony to take place on a weekday soon after the end of exams poses fewer health and safety risks than the originally scheduled date.  

Will families and guests be able to attend the ceremonies in person? 
Following Governor Scott’s “Roadmap to Reopening” update on April 6, graduates are now permitted to have two fully vaccinated guests attend our in-person, on-campus Commencement ceremonies. Masking, distancing, and other health and safety protocols will remain in place. Guests should be prepared to show their vaccination card.  

Will Class of 2021 degree candidates studying remotely “at home” be able to participate in the ceremonies? 
Yes. Degree candidates who are studying remotely “at home” will have the option of attending the ceremonies in-person. Those who would like to attend in-person will receive information regarding specific arrival, quarantine, and testing requirements that must be met in order to participate in the ceremony. 

How do I get tickets?
Each student will be allowed up to two tickets for fully vaccinated guests for the ceremony in which they will participate. Information for Graduates section explains how to order and pick up tickets. It is the responsibility of the student to get the tickets to their guests before they arrive on campus. Pre-ceremony meet-ups the day of Commencement are not allowed.   

Are there extra tickets available?
No. Each student is allowed two fully vaccinated guest.  Please do not call to ask for extra tickets.  

Is there a plan for inclement weather?
This is a rain or shine outdoor event.  Please be prepared appropriately for the weather of the day.  Reusable water bottles are suggested for warm weather.  The event will only be canceled in the event of dangerous weather.  

Guests with physical limitations
Please be aware this is an outdoor event held on the lawn.  We will do our best to accommodate individuals with physical disabilities or those in wheelchairs.  Please see someone at the ticket-taking station for assistance.  

Where do I park?
Please follow the directions of the public safety officers.   

Where will accessible parking be located?
Accessible parking will be available for vehicles displaying disability registration plates or removable windshield placards. Please follow the directions of the public safety officers. 

Will official graduate pictures be available? 
Our Commencement photographer is Grad Images. Pictures of students will be available on their website at www.gradimages.com. You will be receiving a mailing with more information and offers. 

What time should I arrive for the Commencement ceremony?
Guests are asked to be in their seats by 9:30 a.m. for the 10:00 ceremony, and 12:30 p.m. for the 1:00 ceremony. 

Will the Campus Store be open?
Yes.  The store will be open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please follow all COVID safety protocols and the directions of the store employees.  

Will restroom be available?
Restroom will be available in Tarrant and Dion. Temporary restrooms will be set up near Lyons Hall.  

Is there reserved seating?
The ceremony is general admission. Sections are reserved for graduates, guests in pairs, and faculty, in addition to a section for guests with mobility or other accessibility issues. 

What is Baccalaureate Mass?
Baccalaureate Mass is a Roman Catholic Mass in the Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel on Sunday, May 16 at 11:00 AM.  We welcome all Seniors and their families to celebrate our Roman Catholic liturgy with us as a time to pray together as a community at this livestreamed event. The link to the live stream will available on the Commencement website. More information on the details of worship in the Mass can be found at http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/index.cfm.  

What time is student move-out?
Students are required to be moved out of residence halls by 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 13.  

What time can parents begin assisting with move-out on May 13?
Parents/families who are not attending the ceremony may enter campus after 11:30 am on May 13. Family members may not enter any campus buildings and should follow all COVID protocols at all times, including wearing a mask and social distancing.  Please be aware that the 1:00 ceremony will be taking place during move-out time. We ask that you be as quiet as possible to not interfere with the ceremony in progress.
All students need to be moved out of residence halls by 6 p.m.

I have a question not answered here. Where can I get help?
Contact the Commencement Hotline by emailing Commencement@smcvt.edu.

Information for Faculty and Staff

TICKETS:

A limited number of tickets are available for faculty and staff who want to attend either ceremony.  Tickets are first-come, first-served and will guarantee you a chair.  Tickets are required for entry to the seating area.

  • You do not need to be fully vaccinated to receive a ticket, but we will ask for your name and whether or not you have received your final COVID shot by April 29th ,.  This record is important so we can stay in compliance with the gathering regulations.
  • Please choose one ceremony and pick up a ticket only for yourself.

FAQ:

  • Faculty and staff will not be in the procession, but may robe. There will be no assembling anywhere for robing.
  • Seating for faculty/staff will be in the single chairs in the back section of the seating area and will be physically  distanced.  The double chairs are for parents/guests.  Please do not sit there.
  • Please wear a mask at all times and comply with all COVID regulations.
  • This is an outdoor ceremony, rain or shine.
  • Seating is on the lawn.  Accessible seating is available.  Please ask the ticket takers.
  • Please be in your seats 30 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.
  • At the end of the ceremony, please use the exits at the back of the library lawn. Please note there is no reception and we request you not gather.

Tickets can be picked up from:

  • Lauren Richter, St. Edmunds Hall 133
  • Denise Brault, Klein Hall 106
    – Beginning Monday, May 3, between 9:00 – noon, and 1:00 – 3:00.  Last pick up is Monday, May 10 at 3:00 PM.

If you do not wish to attend the ceremony, but would like to line the sidewalk in front of the chapel, masked and well-distanced, in order to cheer on the procession, we encourage you to do so for one or both ceremonies!  You don’t need a ticket for that.  Please be in place 15 minutes before each ceremony begins.  You may also get a ticket for one ceremony and cheer on the other.  After the procession, you could go to your office to watch the ceremony  live-streamed.  The link will be available on the website on Commencement Day at www.smcvt.edu/Commencement

If you have questions, please email Commencement@smcvt.edu

Contact Information

Commencement Hotline:
802-654-2216
Commencement@smcvt.edu 

Academic Affairs:
Denise Brault
802.654.2216
dbrault@smcvt.edu 

Alumni & Parent Relations:
Angela Armour
802.654.2527
armour@smcvt.edu 

Campus Store:
Steve McMahon
802.654.2517
Smcmahon2@smcvt.edu 

Registrar:
Marnie Owen
802.654.2571  

Public Safety/Switchboard:
802.654.2000

Special Events:
John Hill
802.654.2615 

Student Activities:
Kerri Leach
802.654.2568
kleach@smcvt.edu 

Residence Life:
Jeff Vincent
802.543.2754 
jvincent@smcvt.edu 

Information for Graduates

Saint Michael’s College will hold two outdoor, in-person Commencement ceremonies on Thursday, May 13, 2021. The ceremonies are scheduled as follows: 

  • Gold Ceremony for Bachelor of Arts Candidates – 10:00 a.m. 
  • Purple Ceremony for Bachelor of Science and All Master’s Degree Candidates – 1:00 p.m. 

Students must attend the ceremony that corresponds to the degree they are earning – no exceptions. Students will receive blank diploma covers during the ceremony. Degree requirements will be verified and diplomas will be mailed by the end of May. 

The Registrar’s Office collected information from pending graduates about participation in Commencement on the graduation application, which all graduating students were required to complete. However, since plans for the ceremony have evolved due to COVID-19 protocols and guidelines from the State of Vermont, the College is requiring all graduates who wish to attend the redesigned Commencement ceremony to fill out the 2021 Commencement Participation Form found on the Registrar’s Office Portal, which is also where students will request tickets. 

Tickets for Commencement
Each qualified senior and graduate student must complete the 2021 Commencement Participation Form, where they will be able to order tickets for a maximum of two fully vaccinated guests. “Fully vaccinated” is defined by the CDC as being two weeks after one’s final shot. For our Commencement this means receiving one’s final dose on or before April 29. Guests will be required to bring their vaccine card and abide by all College guidelines, including wearing masks and physical distancing, while on campus. Students are required to attest that their guests will be fully vaccinated by Commencement when ordering tickets. 

Current on-campus and commuter students will be able to pick up their confirmed tickets on campus on April 26 and 27 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in Alliot HallA postage paid envelope will be provided with the tickets for students to mail to their guests. Tickets for students who are currently fully remote will be mailed to the home address on file with the College. 

Caps and Gowns
Starting on Monday, April 26th, graduating students may pick up their cap & gown in the Campus Store, Monday – Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Caps & gowns will be available through Thursday, May 13 day of Commencement.  There is no cost for the regalia. 

Moving Out of Residence Halls
Students will be required to move out of their residence hall by 6:00 p.m., Thursday, May 13.
Please follow the instructions provided by your Residence Life staff for the return of your room and house keys.

Instructions for Commencement Day
Please watch your email or check back for updates here on student instructions for Commencement day.  

Commencement 2021 Town Hall

Watch the video below for more information on Commencement 2021.

Commencement 2021 Informational Webinar – Thursday April 29

Q & A Transcript

Note: Responses are edited for clarity and brevity. Watch the video to see the full response. The order of the questions does not align with the video recording, but the order in which the questions were submitted.

What pictures are being used for the yearbook?

Kerri Leach is going to send out an email probably early next week with a method for everyone to submit pictures of themselves, since we did not have a portrait photographer come to take photos. Last year we did this and it worked really well. We will take selfies, but also pictures of clubs and things you were involved with not just this year, but any of your four years.

How seats (for commencement) are arranged?

All seating will be in front of Durick on the lawn there. There will be a front row of speakers, and behind that rows of students seating all distanced appropriately. Behind the student seating will be pairs of chairs for guests, each pair of guest seats distanced from the other.

What about seniors who have a final on the 12th at that time (when some senior activities are planned)?

There are finals scheduled for the 12th, and if professors cannot offer different times, students who have finals then will unfortunately miss those activities that are scheduled at that time.

Will there be a formal marching/procession rehearsal and if so, when will it be?

We will not have a formal rehearsal, but the morning of the ceremony Kerri and Dawn and others will be there to guide you where to go and what to do. This year we will not be organized alphabetically, which will make things easier.

How do we get a yearbook?

You will get a yearbook mailed to you at whatever address we have on file with the registrar. This will likely be in October, but maybe sooner. Every senior will get one.

Can commuter students attend the event on the 12th?

Yes. Since the event is out doors and commuter students have been tested all along the way. However, commuter students cannot enter any residence halls.

Who will be speaking at each ceremony?

There will be a number of people with remarks. College officials, but also student speakers (graduate and undergraduate) will speak at both events.

What are the name cards that we were supposed to grab from Alliot??

The morning of the ceremony, each student will pick up their name card from Alliot then gather in the Hoehl parking lot. Do not lose this name card because you will be handing it to Dean Natarajan for your name to be read at the ceremony.

Are there any options for family members who will not be completely vaccinated by the commencement date?

Unfortunately, not for attending the ceremony. We are limited by the State as to the size of the event. Many students will not be vaccinated by the time of the ceremony and this places a limit on the size and why we had to create two events. We were happy that we could have visitors, and sad those family members who are not vaccinated cannot attend. We will be live streaming and recording the event.

When can parents arrive for graduation?

We are asking ticketed guests to arrive with enough time to be in their seats 30 minutes before each ceremony starts, so for the first session, guests should try to arrive at around 9:00 – 9:15. For the second ceremony, between 12:00 – 12:15.

Where are parents/commuter students supposed to park? Will there be signs?

There will be signs all over and officers stationed at the entrance of the College directing visitors where to park. There will be plenty of people around to help direct.

Will parents be able to help students move out after or before the ceremony? Many students do not have cars or have furniture and need a second car.

If you are in the first ceremony, families can help you move out after it. For the afternoon

Ceremony, if parents want to come help before it, and they are fully vaccinated, that is fine, but we would encourage you to tell them to help after the ceremony as so that you can be sure to be on time. If your family members are fully vaccinated, the State has now said that they can enter the residence halls to help you. That is good news. It is a big move out and you should be preparing days before.

Will seniors from one ceremony group be able to watch their peers in another ceremony group graduate?

Unfortunately, no. We are required by the state to limit the number of unvaccinated people at each event, and having students watch another ceremony will have us exceed limits on gatherings. The live stream will be available.

Can parents bring a picture of their vaccine card or will they need the physical copy?

Yes. A picture of a vaccine card is fine.

How long will the ceremony be?

Our best guess is that it will be an hour and 15 to an hour and 20 minutes.

If a student can only have one vaccinated member come, can they give their 2nd ticket to another student of the same group so they could bring a third vaccinated member?

Yes. If you wanted to give your ticket to somebody else that is possible. Keep in mind, the visitor seating is assembled in pairs, and the chairs are not to be moved. So the third person of the visitors would not be able to sit together with the others.

Where can we find more information on the awards being given?

We normally would have a program printed for the awards brunch that describes each award. I am (Kerri) happy to send out that program from two years ago, which explains each award.  Awards are going to be shared with the community via social media and digital signage, and Athletics is doing something special as well.

Can fully vaccinated students watch their peers in the other ceremony?

If you have a ticket and are fully vaccinated yes.

Will students be allowed to gather on the greens after the ceremony?

Not clear on what the “greens” are…students will have to comply with the prevailing gathering rules at the time of commencement. If nothing changes, that is no more than 10 people, masked and socially distanced. It is very important that students and guests after the first ceremony follow the procession out, so that the space is cleared to prepare for the second ceremony.

Will there be programs at the ceremony?

Yes. Each student and guest will receive a program.

Is there a tent for graduation where we will all sit under if it is raining?

There will not be a tent for students or guests during the ceremony. The space is too large to cover. The event is rain or shine, so students and guests might want to have umbrellas if the forecast is for rain.

Instructions for Graduates for Commencement Day

Instructions for Graduates for Commencement Day

  • Wear your cap and gown. Any last-minute issues can be handled in the bookstore
  • Pick up your name card in Alliot between 9:00 and 9:30 (for the 10:00 ceremony) and 12:00 and 12:30 (for the 1:00 ceremony)
  • Before each ceremony there will be food in the Hoehl Welcome Center parking lot for graduates only
  • Masters candidates please gather near the angel statue in the Hoehl parking lot for the 1:00 ceremony
  • Undergraduates will line up in random order between Alliot and Hoehl (alphabetical order is not necessary.) Please be sure you have your name card with you!

Procession:

  • The procession will be led by the bagpipes and Professor Vantine with the mace.
  • Please process single-file, keeping 6 ft distancing. Dawn Ellinwood and Kerri Leach will direct you to your seats.  Please follow their instructions.  Remain standing when reaching your seat.

Conferring of Degrees:

  • Dawn and Kerri will be directing candidates to move to the library landing. Please follow their directions. Please be sure you bring your name card with you.
  • The procession will go up the left library ramp (facing the library). Please use the 6 ft markings on the ramp to maintain distance.
  • At the top of the ramp you will be handed a diploma cover and directed to hand your name card to Prof. Tara Natarajan.
  • Please proceed to the “X” at the very front of the top library stair. Natarajan will then announce your name, presenting you to President Sterritt.
  • After your name is called, please proceed to the next “X” where your official graduation photograph will be taken by Grad Images. You may remove your mask to have your picture taken. You will receive an email after graduation about ordering prints.
  • Please be sure your mask is back on and exit down the right library ramp and return to your seat.

Recessional:

  • Professor Vantine will lead the recessional with the mace. Please follow the instructions from Dawn and Kerri and follow the procession.  We ask that you do not gather or meet up with your families on the green.

Information for Families and Guests

Commencement Hotline 
If you cannot find answers to your questions in the FAQ or these pages, you can email the Commencement Hotline at Commencement@smcvt.edu. 

Tickets for Commencement
Each graduate participating in Commencement will be able to order tickets for a maximum of two fully vaccinated guests. “Fully vaccinated” is defined by the CDC as being two weeks after one’s final shot. For our Commencement this means receiving one’s final dose on or before April 29. Guests will be required to bring their vaccine card and abide by all College guidelines, including wearing masks and physical distancing, while on campus. Students are required to attest that their guests will be fully vaccinated when ordering tickets.  Students will be able to pick up their guest tickets together with a postage paid envelope provided to mail the tickets to their guests. Tickets for students who are currently fully remote will be mailed to the home address on file with the College. 

It is the responsibility of the student to get the tickets to their guests before they arrive on campus. Pre-ceremony meet-ups the day of Commencement are not allowed.   

Accommodations
Families who need accommodations can find a list of hotels offering discounts for Saint Michael’s visitors at www.smcvt.edu/hotels. For more information visit the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce Web site at www.vermont.org or call 802.863.3489, toll free 877.686.5253. 

Parking
Public Safety will be directing parking on the day of Commencement. Guests who are attending commencement ceremonies should be prepared to show evidence of being fully vaccinated. Accessible parking will be available for vehicles displaying disability registration plates or removable windshield placards. Please follow the directions of the public safety officers. 

Seating during Commencement
Seating will be organized in front of the Durick Library on the lawn. Guest seating will be organized in pairs of chairs with required distancing between each set. Guests must not move the chairs and must stay with the guest they arrived with, or if arriving alone just in one of the chairs.  

The ceremonies are outdoors, and May can mean hot sunshine or chilly rain, so please plan accordingly with umbrellas or water.  

Seating: Special Needs
Our Public Safety and Special Events staff will be available to direct guests with special needs to a designated section of the seating. We will do our utmost to provide appropriate and comfortable seating for our guests with special needs, but we may be limited due to the venue and weather that day.  

Items for Purchase
The Campus Store will be open on Commencement day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Senior photos will be available online after the ceremony at www.GradImages.com. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the plan for Saint Michael’s College graduation?
We are planning for two in-person, outdoor ceremonies on Thursday, May 13.  These ceremonies will be livestreamed, and also recorded. There will no longer be a virtual commencement on Sunday, May 16.  

Which ceremony should I attend?

The 10:00 a.m. “Gold Ceremony is for students receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree.
The 1:00 p.m. “Purple Ceremony is for students receiving a Masters degree or Bachelor of Science degree. Tickets will only be honored for the ceremony for which they are intended.  

Why did Saint Michaels change the date for commencement from Sunday, May 16 to Thursday, May 13?
Rescheduling our commencement ceremony to take place on a weekday soon after the end of exams poses fewer health and safety risks than the originally scheduled date.  

Will families and guests be able to attend the ceremonies in person? 
Following Governor Scott’s “Roadmap to Reopening” update on April 6, graduates are now permitted to have two fully vaccinated guests attend our in-person, on-campus Commencement ceremonies. Masking, distancing, and other health and safety protocols will remain in place. Guests should be prepared to show their vaccination card.  

Will Class of 2021 degree candidates studying remotely “at home” be able to participate in the ceremonies? 
Yes. Degree candidates who are studying remotely “at home” will have the option of attending the ceremonies in-person. Those who would like to attend in-person will receive information regarding specific arrival, quarantine, and testing requirements that must be met in order to participate in the ceremony. 

How do I get tickets?
Each student will be allowed up to two tickets for fully vaccinated guests for the ceremony in which they will participate. Information for Graduates section explains how to order and pick up tickets. It is the responsibility of the student to get the tickets to their guests before they arrive on campus. Pre-ceremony meet-ups the day of Commencement are not allowed.   

Are there extra tickets available?
No. Each student is allowed two fully vaccinated guest.  Please do not call to ask for extra tickets.  

Is there a plan for inclement weather?
This is a rain or shine outdoor event.  Please be prepared appropriately for the weather of the day.  Reusable water bottles are suggested for warm weather.  The event will only be canceled in the event of dangerous weather.  

Guests with physical limitations
Please be aware this is an outdoor event held on the lawn.  We will do our best to accommodate individuals with physical disabilities or those in wheelchairs.  Please see someone at the ticket-taking station for assistance.  

Where do I park?
Please follow the directions of the public safety officers.   

Where will accessible parking be located?
Accessible parking will be available for vehicles displaying disability registration plates or removable windshield placards. Please follow the directions of the public safety officers. 

Will official graduate pictures be available? 
Our Commencement photographer is Grad Images. Pictures of students will be available on their website at www.gradimages.com. You will be receiving a mailing with more information and offers. 

What time should I arrive for the Commencement ceremony?
Guests are asked to be in their seats by 9:30 a.m. for the 10:00 ceremony, and 12:30 p.m. for the 1:00 ceremony. 

Will the Campus Store be open?
Yes.  The store will be open 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please follow all COVID safety protocols and the directions of the store employees.  

Will restroom be available?
Restroom will be available in Tarrant and Dion. Temporary restrooms will be set up near Lyons Hall.  

Is there reserved seating?
The ceremony is general admission. Sections are reserved for graduates, guests in pairs, and faculty, in addition to a section for guests with mobility or other accessibility issues. 

What is Baccalaureate Mass?
Baccalaureate Mass is a Roman Catholic Mass in the Chapel of Saint Michael the Archangel on Sunday, May 16 at 11:00 AM.  We welcome all Seniors and their families to celebrate our Roman Catholic liturgy with us as a time to pray together as a community at this livestreamed event. The link to the live stream will available on the Commencement website. More information on the details of worship in the Mass can be found at http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/the-mass/index.cfm.  

What time is student move-out?
Students are required to be moved out of residence halls by 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 13.  

What time can parents begin assisting with move-out on May 13?
Parents/families who are not attending the ceremony may enter campus after 11:30 am on May 13. Family members may not enter any campus buildings and should follow all COVID protocols at all times, including wearing a mask and social distancing.  Please be aware that the 1:00 ceremony will be taking place during move-out time. We ask that you be as quiet as possible to not interfere with the ceremony in progress.
All students need to be moved out of residence halls by 6 p.m.

I have a question not answered here. Where can I get help?
Contact the Commencement Hotline by emailing Commencement@smcvt.edu.

Information for Faculty and Staff

TICKETS:

A limited number of tickets are available for faculty and staff who want to attend either ceremony.  Tickets are first-come, first-served and will guarantee you a chair.  Tickets are required for entry to the seating area.

  • You do not need to be fully vaccinated to receive a ticket, but we will ask for your name and whether or not you have received your final COVID shot by April 29th ,.  This record is important so we can stay in compliance with the gathering regulations.
  • Please choose one ceremony and pick up a ticket only for yourself.

FAQ:

  • Faculty and staff will not be in the procession, but may robe. There will be no assembling anywhere for robing.
  • Seating for faculty/staff will be in the single chairs in the back section of the seating area and will be physically  distanced.  The double chairs are for parents/guests.  Please do not sit there.
  • Please wear a mask at all times and comply with all COVID regulations.
  • This is an outdoor ceremony, rain or shine.
  • Seating is on the lawn.  Accessible seating is available.  Please ask the ticket takers.
  • Please be in your seats 30 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony.
  • At the end of the ceremony, please use the exits at the back of the library lawn. Please note there is no reception and we request you not gather.

Tickets can be picked up from:

  • Lauren Richter, St. Edmunds Hall 133
  • Denise Brault, Klein Hall 106
    – Beginning Monday, May 3, between 9:00 – noon, and 1:00 – 3:00.  Last pick up is Monday, May 10 at 3:00 PM.

If you do not wish to attend the ceremony, but would like to line the sidewalk in front of the chapel, masked and well-distanced, in order to cheer on the procession, we encourage you to do so for one or both ceremonies!  You don’t need a ticket for that.  Please be in place 15 minutes before each ceremony begins.  You may also get a ticket for one ceremony and cheer on the other.  After the procession, you could go to your office to watch the ceremony  live-streamed.  The link will be available on the website on Commencement Day at www.smcvt.edu/Commencement

If you have questions, please email Commencement@smcvt.edu

Contact Information

Commencement Hotline:
802-654-2216
Commencement@smcvt.edu 

Academic Affairs:
Denise Brault
802.654.2216
dbrault@smcvt.edu 

Alumni & Parent Relations:
Angela Armour
802.654.2527
armour@smcvt.edu 

Campus Store:
Steve McMahon
802.654.2517
Smcmahon2@smcvt.edu 

Registrar:
Marnie Owen
802.654.2571  

Public Safety/Switchboard:
802.654.2000

Special Events:
John Hill
802.654.2615 

Student Activities:
Kerri Leach
802.654.2568
kleach@smcvt.edu 

Residence Life:
Jeff Vincent
802.543.2754 
jvincent@smcvt.edu