All of us at the Williston Northampton School are excited to celebrate the fantastic class of 2021! Below, you’ll find some early details about Commencement and end-of-the-year events for seniors. Please know that we will continue to update all the information on this page throughout the spring. We’ll also keep families informed about important details in the Weekly Update email.
Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 22 at 9:30 a.m.
Per the guidelines set forth by the Board of Health, students will be allowed two guests each, and those guests will be required to register with the school. Details about the registration process will be distributed when tickets become available in mid-April. At a minimum, registration and attendance at the ceremony will require proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the ceremony and an agreement to participate in contact tracing as required by the City of Easthampton. Seating will be ticketed, and arrival times will be staggered. The event will be live-streamed and videotaped, and the school will hire a photographer who will document the day. Pictures will be made available online to students and parents about a week after Commencement.
Confirm your senior's name and hometown
Please check the Senior Class Listing below to review graduates’ names and hometowns as they will appear on diplomas and in the official program. Please email any changes to firstname.lastname@example.org by April 21. After that date, the diplomas are off to the calligrapher!
Before they cross the stage at Commencement, there are many ways left to honor the accomplishments of the class of 2021, and we will do all that we can within the guidelines set forth by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and our local Board of Health to do just that. We are excited to share the following information about the weeks ahead.
Thursday, May 20: Senior Day
There will be no classes for seniors on this day. Instead, the first commitment of the day will be our formal graduation rehearsal under the tent on the Main Quad. It is critical that all seniors who are graduating on Saturday be at the tent at 1 p.m. on Thursday to review final details. Immediately following the rehearsal, we will move to Sawyer Field for a variety of senior events, including a kickball tournament, yearbook distribution, and much more. At 5 p.m., there will be a senior cookout on the Main Quad with some very special twists! The rest of the evening is reserved for students to hang out and enjoy their time together on campus.
Friday, May 21: Senior Night
Friday night will be a much more formal occasion as we combine the best elements of Prom, Senior Dinner, and Baccalaureate into one great night under the tent. The evening will begin at 5 p.m. on the steps of the Phillips Stevens Chapel where the class of 2021 will take their traditional class picture. We will then head to the tent for Senior Night festivities, which will take place between 5:30 and 9:30 p.m. Students should be in formal attire for an incredible meal, speeches, music, and much more. Class deans will be working with students to plan the particulars of this evening, but it is designed to be an evening to remember. This event is for students and faculty; parents are asked to remain off campus until Commencement. The school will provide a photographer who will document the evening, and pictures will be made available online to students and parents about a week after the event. The evening will conclude with day students returning home and boarding students returning to their dorms for dorm-specific celebrations of their last night on campus.
Visiting Campus + Accommodations
If you plan to stay overnight in a nearby hotel, we suggest that you make your reservations as soon as possible (you can find a list of hotels and other visit planning information on our Visitor Information page). The Five College area is a busy one in May, with many other events happening at that time, and space is limited.
Please be mindful of Massachusetts’ travel requirements and restrictions, including the requirement to fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form.
Student dress code
For those interested in planning ahead, the student dress code for Commencement is as follows: white or off-white dresses or pantsuits and appropriate shoes; dark-colored suits, or dress slacks and sports jackets, white shirts; ties, socks, and dress shoes (no sneakers). Student attire should not be revealing and should feel proper for this formal academic occasion. Seniors will be asked to arrive at the Homestead by 8:45 a.m. to prepare for the ceremony.