Large white tent and tree on lawn

Commencement
+ Class of 2024 Information

Commencement 2024

Welcome, Class of 2024 students and families! On this page, you’ll find all the details you need for Williston’s end-of-year events. Here are the basics for the events of Commencement weekend; scroll down to see more information about other events during Williston’s Senior Week.

LIVESTREAM EVENTS

You can watch a livestream of the following events right here on the Commencement page:

Friday, May 24
1:45 p.m.: Academic Awards
4 p.m.: Stoling Ceremony
7:30 p.m.: Baccalaureate

Saturday, May 25
9:30 a.m.: Commencement


Events

ACADEMIC AWARDS CEREMONY
The Academic Awards Ceremony will take place on Friday, May 24 at 1:45 p.m. The event will be photographed and videotaped, and you can watch a livestream of the event here on the Commencement page.

STOLING CEREMONY
In this celebration of mentorship, Black students who would like to participate will be honored by their mentors and given a Kente stole—a scarf made of boldly colored cloth—which may also be worn at Commencement. All are welcome to attend this ceremony from 4–5 p.m. on Friday, May 24, in Phillips Stevens Chapel. The event will be photographed and videotaped, and you can watch a livestream of the event here on the Commencement page.

DINNER FOR THE CLASS OF 2024, PARENTS, AND GUESTS
Dinner will take place in Birch Dining Commons on Friday, May 24 from 5:15–7 p.m. Please RSVP here if you plan to attend the dinner.

BACCALAUREATE
Baccalaureate is a formal ceremony celebrating the class before graduation. Baccalaureate is typically attended only by the student’s immediate family. Afterwards seniors, their families, and attending faculty are invited to a reception on the lawn of the Head of School’s house. The Baccalaureate ceremony will take place on Friday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m. The event will be photographed and videotaped, and you can watch a livestream of the event here on the Commencement page.

COMMENCEMENT
Commencement will begin at 9:30 a.m on Saturday, May 25, under the tent in front of the Reed Campus Center, rain or shine. The event will be photographed and videotaped, and you can watch a livestream of the event here on the Commencement page.


Commencement FAQ

  • Dress Code

    Senior Prom
    When making decisions about what to wear to the prom, we ask students to remember this is a formal event and apparel should be appropriate. Dresses should not be too revealing. No jeans, shorts, or sneakers are to be worn.

    Academic Awards and Stoling Ceremony
    Regular school-day dress

    Baccalaureate
    Student dress code is as follows: 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. Students wishing to wear the traditional dress of their homeland should speak with the Dean of Students before graduation weekend. 

    Commencement
    Student dress code 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. For additional questions, contact Dean of Students Dave Koritkoski.

  • Guests + Seating

    Tickets are not necessary for either Baccalaureate or Commencement. We will not be limiting guests for the Commencement ceremony. Baccalaureate is typically attended only by the student’s immediate family.

  • Photography, Video, & Live-streaming

    The school videotapes and photographs the Academic Awards and Commencement Ceremony. We take a mix of candid and more formal shots, which will later be available on the school Flickr account. You are welcome to take your own photos, too, but we ask that you be mindful of not blocking the aisles or the view of other families.

    We will also be livestreaming the ceremony for those who cannot attend, and will also make this video available after Commencement. You can watch the ceremony live here on the Commencement page.

  • Parking and Accessibility

    For Baccalaureate, guests should park in the Homestead or Scott Hall parking lots. (Click here for a campus map).

    ​For Commencement: If you or a member of your family need special parking for accessibility reasons, please submit a special parking request here in advance of Commencement. We have a limited number of accessible parking spaces in the Homestead lot, so it is important to contact us before Commencement day. On the day of Commencement, parking will be available in multiple lots, and there will be signs and campus safety officers to direct you where to go. Golf carts and shuttle vans will be available in various parking locations to help transport guests to the tent if needed.

  • Campus Store

    Located on the lower level of Reed Campus Center, the Campus Store will be open from 8 to 9:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the day of Commencement. Families can also order ahead via the Campus Store website and use the pickup option.

  • Dogs and Other Pets at Commencement

    Please note that no dogs or other pets—other than service animals—are allowed at Commencement, either on campus—or left in cars—during the ceremony.


Senior Week

Before they cross the stage at Commencement, there are many ways left to honor the accomplishments of the class of 2024. Senior week—the week prior to Commencement— traditionally includes a lot of fun senior events designed to help the class celebrate their time at Williston. We will be working with the senior class to provide a memorable week that honors them while being both safe and fun. We’ll share more details on these as the time draws closer.

 

  • Sunday, May 19: Senior Prom

    If your student is planning to attend, he or she will need sufficient funds in his or her account to cover expenses such as flowers (students can pre-order corsages or boutonnieres through the school) and a prom ticket ($75; includes transportation and dinner). Other expenses might include tuxedo rental or other prom attire. Men’s Wearhouse will be on campus in May to offer tuxedo and shoe rentals (approximately $115), or students can choose to make their own arrangements. The school will provide a photographer who will document the evening, and pictures will be made available to students and parents afterwards. 

    Prom tickets and flowers can be purchased from the Williston Campus Store (starting in mid-April)

  • Detailed Prom and Post-Prom Celebration Schedule

    Upon our return to campus, seniors are invited, but not required, to join us for a lock-in at the Athletic Center (the lock-in is for Williston seniors only). The intent of this evening is to give our students a safe and unique way to celebrate their prom night and to kick off their last week as Williston students in style. To that end, we will have live entertainment and a variety of activities to keep students occupied until 6 a.m. when they may leave the Athletic Center. An incredible amount of work goes into the planning and execution of this event and we always need parents to help make sure this is a memorable evening for our students. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Senior Class Deans Tommy Beaton and Blayne Lapan.

    • 12 to 2 p.m.: Students drop personal items at the gym. They will need clothes, sleeping bags, pillows, blankets, towels, shampoo, soap, swim suits, sneakers, etc. Items will be inspected. Students should leave everything they need at the gym.
    • 5 p.m: Meet on the Main Quad for pictures and mingling.
    • 5:50 p.m.: Students depart for the Log Cabin via coach buses.
    • 6 to 6:45 p.m.: Pictures and mingling at the Log Cabin
    • 6:55 p.m.: Dinner begins
    • 10:15-10:30 p.m.: Return on buses to campus for overnight celebration. Students will be dropped off at the Cain Athletic Center after the prom. They will not be able to go back to cars or dorms first and will not be able to leave the gym until after 6 a.m. Students must have a swimsuit to be in the pool.
      • Sleeping will be in designated areas only.
      • No outside food or drink. Bags will be searched upon arrival at the Cain Athletic Center
  • Monday, May 20: Senior Day

    Monday, May 20, will be Senior Day, with no classes for the class of 2024. Instead, from 12 a.m. to 2. p.m., we will have planned activities and lunch, plus students will get their yearbooks.

  • Wednesday, May 22: WillyGras

    Wednesday, May 22 is WillyGras, our school-wide extravaganza on the Main Quad. Our annual celebration of spring pulls out all the stops with zany contests, fun foods, music, giant water slides, the debut of the yearbook, and a dunk tank.

  • Thursday, May 23: Athletic Awards Assembly

    On Thursday, May 23, seniors will gather for an athletic awards assembly.

  • Friday, May 24: Academic Awards Assembly, Stoling Ceremony, and Baccalaureate

    • 1:45 p.m., Academic Awards Ceremony on the Main Quad. The ceremony will be photographed and livestreamed for those unable to attend.
    • 4 to 5 p.m., Stoling Ceremony, Phillips Stevens Chapel. In this celebration of mentorship, Black students who would like to participate will be honored by their mentors and given a Kente stole—a scarf made of boldly colored cloth—which may also be worn at Commmencement. All are welcome to attend this ceremony.
    • 5:15 to 7:00 p.m., Dinner in Birch Dining Commons for the Class of 2023, parents, and guests. Please RSVP here if you plan to attend the dinner.
    • 7:30 p.m., Baccalaureate, Phillips Stevens Chapel. Doors to the Chapel will open at 7 p.m., and the service will start promptly at 7:30 p.m. Baccalaureate is typically attended only by the student’s immediate family. Afterwards seniors, their families, and attending faculty are invited to a reception on the lawn of the Head of School’s house. If it rains, the reception will be in the Reed Campus Center.

  • Saturday, May 25: Commencement

    Commencement will take place on Saturday morning. The tent will be closed until 7 a.m. the morning of Commencement, May 25, which means that no one can enter the tent until that time to reserve seats. Seniors should be on the Homestead steps that morning by 8:45 a.m. They will receive their flowers then and begin to line up behind the class president. Commencement begins promptly at 9:30 a.m. A luncheon will be available for seniors and their families and guests on the Main Quadrangle following Commencement and the farewell to faculty. In the event of inclement weather, the luncheon will be held in the Sabina Cain Athletic Center.

    Seniors are expected to move out of their dorms by 5 p.m. on Saturday.


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.


Lawn Signs

We are happy to offer a few fun lawn sign designs for you to print and show your support of the Class of 2024!


Questions?

If you have any questions, please contact David Koritkoski, Dean of Students.

Campus Store

Located on the lower level of Reed Campus Center, Williston Campus Store will be open from 8-9:15 a.m., and 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., on the day of Commencement. Families can also order ahead via the Campus Store website and use the pickup option in the checkout.