It's that wonderful time of the year again. The day following the University Commencement (Friday, May 12, at 4:30 p.m., McGuirk Alumni Stadium), the College of Engineering will host its own "Senior Recognition Celebration" on Saturday, May 13, at 9:00 a.m. in the Recreation Center (across the street from the Mullins Center). We hope you will attend both events.
An Invitation from the Dean
It is with great pleasure that I invite the family and friends of all our graduating seniors to celebrate with the College of Engineering during the university's festive commencement weekend. We actually have a double-feature to offer you.
First up is the University Commencement Ceremony, which will take place on Friday, May 12th, at 4:30 p.m at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. This is the official university graduation ceremony, in which degrees are conferred for every graduate on the entire campus. Commencement will feature plenty of music and speakers, as well as all the fitting pomp and circumstance. All interested parties may attend, and you need no advance registration or tickets. Just come and enjoy!
But that’s only the beginning of the celebration. The next morning, at 9:00 a.m. in the brand new Recreation Center, the College of Engineering will recognize its own graduating seniors in a very special way by congratulating them individually for their accomplishments. This is your chance to see the faculty and administration from the College of Engineering show you how proud we are of you. You are the future engineering leaders of Massachusetts and the whole country, and we want to honor you as such.
I sincerely hope we will see you on May 12th and May 13th so that, together, we can launch all of our seniors on their productive engineering futures.
Tim J. Anderson, Dean
College of Engineering
What is the Senior Recognition Celebration?
It's the high point of every graduate's time in the College of Engineering. Family and friends are welcome to attend this ceremony, in which the college honors its graduating class. In addition to a student speaker who will address the senior class, each student will be announced and invited to walk on stage to be recognized. Every student will also be presented with a commemorative medal. Tickets are NOT required.
Doors will be open to the public at 8:15am and seating is on a “first come, first serve” basis with the exception of guests who have made arrangements for handicapped seating. The celebration will conclude at approximately 10:30am. Refreshments “for sale” will be available at the venue.
Who gets to walk?
A student's year of graduation is established by the Registrar's Office. To be eligible to participate in the May 2017 Commencement ceremony, students must have fulfilled all requirements by the time of the ceremony or be scheduled to do so by September 2017. Students scheduled for February 2018 graduation who wish to attend the May 2017 ceremony must file a "Petition to Participate in an Earlier Commencement form", available at the Registrar's Office in 213 Whitmore. If you wish to receive a UMass commemorative medal, but are unable to attend the ceremony at which it would be presented contact the University Events Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (413) 577-1101 to ask that your medal be sent to you.
What should participants wear?
Students and faculty should dress in commencement caps and gowns. Families should dress comfortably. Everyone should wear shoes that are appropriate for walking and climbing stairs.
I have relatives who have never been to the campus before. How do they get directions?
To get driving directions to UMass, please click here.
Where should I park?
Parking will be available on either side of the Recreation Center in Lot 41 and Lot 64 nearest Dickinson Building. Additional parking can be accessed in Lots 45 and 65.
Handicapped parking will be available in the paystation Lot 64; turn off Commonwealth Avenue to Hicks Way then take two left turns to circle around the Parks Band Building. Park in the lot just beyond the Northeast corner of the Recreation Center. There is an elevator available in the Recreation Center for those with mobility issues. Any guest that does not have a handicap placard or plate but will be transporting an elderly or disabled guest may sign up for a handicap accessible parking form which can be used in Lot 26 for the main UMass Commencement on Friday, May 12th and in any handicaped parking spot near any of the senior recognition celebration venues on Friday, May 12th or Saturday, May 13th
Someone in our party is hearing impaired. What should we do?
Sign language or oral interpreters are available upon request. Call (413) 545-0892 (V/TTY) no later than April 14, 2017, or emailing (with the subject line "Commencement Interpreter Request") email@example.com with "Recognition Ceremony Communications Request" in the subject line.
For further assistance in attending the Senior Recognition Celebration, Contact Lorraine Robidoux via e-mail, or by phone at (413) 545-6390.
For further assistance in attending the University undergraduate ceremony, visit the University Commencement website for more information.
Someone in our party has a physical disability. What should we do?
Seating for family members and guests with special needs will be available in a section in the Recreation Center. These seats will be located on the north side of the gym nearest the cafe and lot 64 entrance. They will be in the first row after an access aisle that is approximately two-thirds of the way back from the ceremony stage. Family members, or a companion, may be seated with these guests. Because seats in this venue are all located on a single floor, guests who use a wheelchair, walker or other assistive device often prefer to sit with family members rather than in the designated area. No prior arrangements are necessary, although it is recommended that you arrive early to secure seating.
I want to watch my son/daughter process. Where should I stand?
Easy: You don't even need to stand up. You will be able to see your son/daughter from your seats when they enter the Recreation Center. Be looking for the Major's banner that precedes the entrance of each group. The graduates will be seated, up front, in groups, according to their major program, for the duration of the ceremony. You will also see your child on stage, shaking hands with various College officials after his/her name is called. In addition, the jumbo-tron will enable you to see your child "up close" when his/her name is called.
When and where do we (graduating seniors) meet on the day of the College of Engineering Celebration? How do we line up? Are graduates required to attend a rehearsal?
Graduating Seniors - Students will gather in reserved rooms in the Recreation Center beginning at 8:15 a.m. More information will follow via email. Students should check email often and are advised to update changes of address with the Registrar's Office as soon as possible. If you have any questions regarding the celebration, please feel free to e-mail Lorraine Robidoux. There is no rehearsal. Staff and student marshals will be available to help graduates prepare for the processional. Students should find the room where their major is gathering (signs will be posted throughout the Recreation Center). Look for the sign indicating your major. Then, go to the table to fill out the reader card - complete all information - photographers will use this card to send proofs of pictures taken when you receive your medal. Hold on to this card until it is your turn to cross the stage. You will hand it to the reader as you approach the podium.
Is food available?
A limited menu will be available from the Courtside Cafe at the Recreation Center. The Cafes menu includes breakfast items, grab-n-go sandwiches, wraps, salads and a variety of beverages and smoothies. A full range of dining options is available in The Blue Wall, the food court located on the Campus Center's main level. The Berkshire, Hampshire and Franklin Dining Commons will be open throughout Commencement Weekend. Amherst and the surrounding communities offer a wide array of restaurants.
What happens after the celebration is over?
Students and faculty will leave the room as a group, after which graduates and families can meet for pictures and visits with faculty, family and friends. Please bear in mind that another ceremony is scheduled to take place in the Recreation Center shortly after the College of Engineering events, so it is very important that everyone exit the room quickly.
Your diploma, which is officially conferred at the Friday evening Commencement, will be mailed to you. To ensure the delivery of diplomas, all graduates should check SPIRE to make certain that their mailing address is accurately recorded. Diplomas are usually mailed by the end of the summer. Questions regarding diplomas should be addressed to: Registrar's Office, 213 Whitmore Administration Building, 413-545-0555.
A professional photographer will be at the ceremony. Graduates will be photographed in their regalia prior to and when receiving their medal. Proofs of these photographs will be sent to graduates along with order forms and information.
Parents, Stay Informed:
- Sign up for the Office of Parent Services mailing list and keep up with what's happening on campus as your student prepares to graduate from UMass Amherst.