For Friends and Family
Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 16, 2020. Ursinus College will be celebrating the accomplishments of the Class of 2020 with a weekend of festivities, beginning with our traditional Baccalaureate ceremony at 5 p.m., Friday, May 15, the Commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 16 and a lunch for families following the ceremony.
Friday, May 15, 2020
Saturday, May 16, 2020
What is Baccalaureate?
Four years ago, the Class of 2020 gathered in Bomberger Memorial Hall for the first time to celebrate Convocation and the beginning of their journey together at Ursinus College. As part of a long and treasured tradition, graduates will gather as a class for one last time in Bomberger Hall before Commencement for songs and readings that represent the many faith traditions of our student body. A reception for students, family and faculty and staff will follow Baccalaureate in Olin Plaza outside of Wismer Center.
Families are welcomed to join in the celebration; however seating within Bomberger Hall is very limited. Families who are unable to obtain seats within Bomberger Hall are invited to view the ceremony through a simulcast in Olin Auditorium. We have installed new state of the art audiovisual equipment to make the experience a pleasant one for all of our guests.
Seating for the Baccalaureate Service
Registration is required in order to attend the celebration. Tickets can be reserved through the registration form which will open in January 2020 and close on April 17, 2020. Families will be given seating in Bomberger Auditorium on a first-come, first-serve basis. There will be a simulcast location in Olin Auditorium.
Students who have signed up to attend the Baccalaureate Service will gather in the Lobby of Helfferich Gymnasium at 4:15 p.m. on May 15, 2020. The procession across campus to Bomberger begins at 4:30 p.m.
Seating for Disabled Guests
There is VERY LIMITED seating for guests who require special accommodations in Bomberger, but there is ample, comfortable seating available for all guests in the simulcast location. Guests with mobility issues or those who require special accommodations must email Tessa Narins to reserve seats for the ceremony. Again, only a limited number of seats will be available in Bomberger for a disabled guest and one companion.
Is Baccalaureate a religious service?
It is an inspirational, interfaith celebration with readings and music that represent the many faith traditions of our student body.
Registration will open at the end of January and will close on April 17, 2020.
How long is Baccalaureate?
Typically between an hour and an hour and a half.
How should I dress?
Often guests ask what is appropriate to wear to Baccalaureate; the following are simply suggestions intending to help our guests. Parents, friends and family are recommended to wear casual business attire. Many men wear dress slacks, a button-up shirt and a tie; women often wear either dress slacks and a blouse or a day dress.
Students should dress in appropriate attire under their academic regalia. We suggest that graduating men wear a dress slacks, a button-up shirt and tie; graduating women may wear either dress slacks and a blouse or a day dress. Neither hoods nor mortarboards are worn at Baccalaureate.
When is graduation?
Saturday, May 16 at 10:00 a.m. (it is generally two hours long.)
*Procession will begin at 9:30 a.m. so make sure to arrive early!*
Where is graduation?
Under a large tent on the front lawn of campus adjacent to the Berman Museum of Art
How many tickets will I get and when?
No tickets are necessary. Ursinus College sets up a tent on the front lawn with seating for approximately 3,000 people. All family and friends are welcome.
Is there reserved seating?
Seating will be available in the tent and also outside of the tent and is first come, first served. The tent opens at 8 a.m. the morning of Commencement. The only seating that is reserved is for the graduation class, distinguished guests, and the first row of seating is left open for those who need to be able to see the American Sign Language interpreter.
Guests with mobility issues will be assisted by our student ambassadors and parking attendants. Golf carts are available to transport guests to the tent from all around campus. There is a reserved section of disabled seating in an area of the tent nearest to the Corson parking lot and driveway; our intent is to allow convenient seating for guests who might have difficulties traversing the lawn. Please contact Tessa Narins to reserve seats in this section.
What happens if it rains?
Historically, spring in Collegeville is beautiful and pleasant. We occasionally experience rain, but we are still able to hold the ceremony under the tent on the lawn. The area is tented but you may want to bring an umbrella! In rare cases, where extreme weather threaten the safety and comfort of our guests, we will shift the main Commencement ceremony indoors to the Floy Lewis Bakes Field House. In the event that the ceremony is moved indoors, we will post all pertinent information about parking, robing, and regalia return on this website. In addition, we will email all graduates and their parents with the information they need.
What if I cannot attend the ceremony?
For families and friends unable to attend the ceremony, the 146th Commencement of Ursinus College will be streamed live on the day of the event. Please visit:
Can I take pictures?
Yes, you may bring a camera; however, you will not be able to get up close to the stage once the ceremony has begun. If you wish to take pictures of the procession in and out of the tent, that is fine. Ursinus College hires a professional company, Legacy Photographics, to take each student’s picture with President Brock Blomberg. Legacy Photographics will contact all graduating students directly with order information following Commencement.
What time do people usually arrive?
Traffic on Main Street on May 16 is expected to be significant. For your safety and to prevent traffic obstructions for our guest and Collegeville commuters, no drop offs will be permitted on Main Street and the Main Entrance to campus will be closed to all but emergency and service vehicles. Please plan on entering campus from 5th Avenue or 9th Avenue and allow enough time to arrive on campus safety.
Where do we park?
You can park in the West Parking lot off of 9th Avenue behind the Kaleidoscope or in the East parking lots accessed from 5th Avenue. Please do not park in reserved spaces.
What if I have a handicapped person with me?
Please arrive at Corson Hall, which can be accessed from the 5th Avenue entrance. (Main Campus Drive will be closed to all traffic.) Please plan to arrive early. The visitor’s parking lot will be reserved to meet the needs of the handicapped. However, golf carts will be roving all parking lots to assist individuals with mobility issues.
How should I dress?
Often guests ask what is appropriate to wear to Commencement is planned for the outdoors, so dress comfortably and wear shoes suitable for walking on grass.
Men often wear a lightweight dress slacks, a button-up and tie; women often wear either dress slacks and a blouse or a day dress.
Students should dress in appropriate attire under their academic regalia. We suggest that men wear a dress slacks, a button- up shirt and tie; women may wear either dress slacks and a blouse or a day dress. Hoods and mortar boards are worn at Commencement convocation. Mortarboards are to be worn squared, not tilted, with the tassel on the right side. Men remove caps for the invocation and benediction. Women normally do not.
After the ceremony suggestion:
It is a good idea to choose a specific location to meet your graduate after the ceremony. Otherwise, with all of the black caps and gowns, it will be very difficult to find him/her.
Ursinus has a very long and revered tradition of what is affectionately known as “the gauntlet”. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the faculty marshals will direct the recessional. The faculty, staff and guests of honor will exit the platform first and march down the center aisle. Once they reach the end of the tent, faculty and staff members will form two columns, one for each side, marking the pathway for graduates to follow. As graduates file past, faculty and staff will bid them congratulations and farewell. Families and other guests are requested not to break the gauntlet and instead to await their graduates at the end of the line or in another predetermined location.
Commencement Family Lunch
To celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2020, Ursinus will be hosting a lunch across campus.
Graduates can register beginning in March 2020 for a complimentary ticket for themselves and (3) guests for lunch. Additional tickets will be available for pre-purchase for $15.
Families should consult the graduate to select the preferred lunch location and time. Changes to reservation cannot be guaranteed.