Welcome, Class of 2022 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.
ACADEMIC AWARDS CEREMONY
The Academic Awards Ceremony will take place 1:45 p.m. on Friday, May 27. 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 2022, PARENTS, AND GUESTS
Dinner will take place in Birch Dining Commons from 5:30-7 p.m. on Friday, May 27.
The Baccalaureate ceremony will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 27. The event will be photographed and videotaped, and you can watch a livestream of the event here on the Commencement page.
Commencement will begin at 9:30 a.m on Saturday, May 28, 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.
Guests + Seating
Tickets are not necessary for either Baccalaureate or Commencement. Printed invitations will be available approximately a month before graduation, and five copies will be mailed to parents. Guests don’t need to bring invitations with you to Commencement — they are really for your scrapbooks or sharing with family and friends. You may obtain extra invitations at the Head of School’s Office. 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
In order to keep the aisles clear and not block the view for other families, we ask that parents please not stand near the stage to take photos. The school videotapes and photographs the Academic Awards and Commencement Ceremony. We take a mix of candid and more formal shots, including one portrait of each graduate with his or her diploma and the Head of School. We will email links of photos and videos to all families as soon as possible following Commencement. 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 at williston.com/commencement.
For Baccalaureate and Commencement, parking will be in the following locations: Scott Hall, Homestead, Schoolhouse, Cain Athletic Center, and Hathaway House. The lawn of the Residential Quad will also be used for parking on the day of Commencement. There will be signs to direct visitors and Security will be in these location to assist you.
If you need special drop-off or pick-up arrangements for a member of your family, please contact
Sarah Phipps in advance of Commencement.
Located on the lower level of Reed Campus Center, the Campus Store will be open from 7 to 9:15 a.m. on the day of Commencement. Families can also order ahead via the Campus Store website and use the pickup option.
Before they cross the stage at Commencement, there are many ways left to honor the accomplishments of the class of 2022. 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 that honors them while being both safe and fun. We’ll share more details on these as the time draws closer.
May 22: Senior Prom
The Senior Prom will be held on Sunday, May 22, at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Students who are planning to attend will need sufficient funds in their accounts to cover expenses such as flowers (students need to order these on their own, there is no school service to support flowers) and a prom ticket ($50; includes transportation and dinner). In terms of prom attire, we ask students to remember this is a formal event. Dresses should not be too revealing. No jeans, shorts, or sneakers are to be worn. The school will provide a photographer who will document the evening, and pictures will be made available online to students and parents a week or two after the prom.
Detailed Prom and Post-Prom Celebration Schedule
Upon our return to campus from the Prom, seniors are invited, but not required, to join us for an overnight celebration at the Athletic Center (non-Williston guests and underclassmen are not permitted to attend). 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 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 Melissa Brousseau.
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
11:15 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
May 23: Senior Day
Monday, May 23, will be Senior Day, with no classes for the class of 2022. Instead, from 11 a.m. to 2. p.m., we will have planned activities and lunch, plus students will get their yearbooks.
May 25: WillyGras
Wednesday, May 25 is WillyGras, our school-wide celebration on the Main Quad. The class of 2022 is encouraged to lead the fun as most students have not experienced this fun tradition during the pandemic.
May 26: Athletic Awards Assembly and Senior College T-Shirt/Sweatshirt Day
On Thursday, May 26, seniors will gather, wearing a t-shirt or sweatshirt from their intended college or university.
May 27: Academic Awards Assembly 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.
• 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., Dinner in Birch Dining Commons for the Class of 2022, parents, and guests
• 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.
May 28: Commencement
Commencement will take place on Saturday morning. Please note that families do not need to bring your invitations for admittance. The tent will be closed until 7 a.m. the morning of Commencement, May 28, 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. We are pleased to announce that our keynote speaker will be Olympic Medalist and member of the Class of 2015, Gabby Thomas. 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.
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.
Class of 2022 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 2022!
Located on the lower level of Reed Campus Center, Williston Campus Store will be open from 7 to 9:15 a.m. on the day of Commencement. Families can also order ahead via the Campus Store website and use the pickup option in the checkout.