Commencement + Senior Information

Please watch this page for information about Commencement 2021.

Below, you’ll find information for seniors about events, yearbooks, and more. It is currently being updated, and families should read the Weekly Update email for timely specifics.

In the ever-shifting landscape of the 2020-21 school year, Williston is keeping this as up to date as possible, but please contact the relevant faculty to member, or email info@williston.com, with any specific questions.

Commencement Details

  • Senior Class Listing

    In April, Williston will send out a list, and ask families to confirm the name and home town listed for their graduating student(s). This is what will appear in the Commencement program and on your child’s diploma. At that time, if you would like something changed, please send an email to info@williston.com.

  • Tickets and Seating

    Tickets are not necessary for either Baccalaureate or Commencement. However, because there is no reserved seating, guests should arrive early to ensure that they can find seating. The tent will “open” at 7 a.m. After that time, you can save seats, but someone should remain in the area in case there are questions or issues.

    Printed invitations will be available approximately four weeks before graduation, and five copies will be mailed to parents. Additional invitations may be obtained at the Head of School’s Office.

  • Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Graders

    Ninth, tenth, and eleventh graders should be on the Quad by 9 a.m. in formal dress (ties and jackets for boys; skirts, dresses, dress pants for girls—no tennis shoes, jeans, or shorts). The event will be finished before noon, and lunch will be served to all students, graduates, and families.

  • Invitations

    Printed invitations will be mailed to parents about four weeks before Commencement. Additional invitations may be obtained at the Head of School’s Office. Email Ann Truehart to request them. Please note, an invitation is not required for Commencement attendance.

  • Attire

    For Commencement, the dress code is as follows: white or off-white dresses or pantsuits and appropriate shoes; or 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 appropriately proper for this formal academic occasion. (If you or your child has additional questions about appropriate attire for students, please direct them to Associate Dean of Students David Koritkoski.) For Baccalaureate, the dress code is the same, except that dresses or pantsuits do not need to be white or off-white. International students wishing to wear the traditional dress of their homeland should speak with Mr. Koritkoski well before graduation weekend.

  • Photography + Videography

    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.

  • Accommodations

    Families who are planning to stay overnight in a nearby motel or hotel should make reservations well in advance. Other events occur in the Five College area in May and space is limited. Click here for our list of lodging and dining suggestions.

  • Campus Store

    The Campus Store will be open on Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Saturday, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m. 1:30 p.m.

    Please know, too, that during senior week (the week of May 20), there is a special senior buy-back event for course books.

    For further information or assistance related to the campus store or book buyback, please contact Jane Hannigan at (413) 529-3240.

  • Questions or other assistance

    Any questions, or inquiries about guests who may need assistance at Commencement, should be directed to Ann Truehart at atruehart@williston.com or (413) 529-3223.

Other Senior Events

  • Prom, Senior Day, and Pre-Commencement Week

    Friday, May 15, 2020: Senior Dinner

    Sunday, May 17, 2020: Senior Prom at the Log Cabin in Holyoke

    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 ($50; includes transportation and dinner). Other expenses might include tuxedo rental or other prom attire. Men’s Wearhouse will be on campus May 3 to offer tuxedo and shoe rentals (approx. $115), or students can choose to make their own arrangements. 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. The school will provide a photographer who will document the evening, and pictures will be made available to students and parents afterwards.

    Upon our return to campus, seniors are invited, but not required, to join us for a lock-in at the Athletic Center (non-Williston guests and underclassmen are not permitted to join the lock-in). 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 Christa Talbot Syfu.

    Monday, May 18, 2020: Senior Day

  • Academic Awards Ceremony

    The Academic Awards Ceremony occurs on Friday, May 22, 2020, at 2 p.m., on the Quad. It is required for all students, and they should be on campus by 12:30 p.m. Parents are notified ahead of time if their child will receive an award. The ceremony will be photographed and videotaped for those unable to attend.

  • Baccalaureate

    Baccalaureate takes place on Friday, May 22, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. in the Phillips Stevens Chapel. The Class of 2020, their parents, and guests are welcome to attend a buffet dinner in the Dining Commons before the service. Underclassmen are not invited to the event due to the limited seating in the Chapel. Boarding students in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades will have a required activity in the Athletic Center from 7:30-10 p.m.

    Tickets are not necessary for either Baccalaureate or Commencement. However, because there is no reserved seating, guests should arrive early. Printed invitations will be available approximately a month before graduation, and five copies will be mailed to parents. You may obtain extra invitations at the Head of School’s Office.

Yearbook Information

  • The Log

    The Log is a school-wide yearbook that has been published since 1902. Students take photos, collect information, and help design the yearbook. Each year, The Log collects senior portraits for publication. Students should be in dress code, and the images should be taken by a professional photographer. Every senior receives a complimentary yearbook engraved with his or her name at the end of the year.

  • Formal Senior Portraits

    Senior portrait dates for the class of 2020 are September 20, 27, and 29.

    Option 1

    Use an outside photographer: Parents should submit digital photos to The Log at thelog@williston.com by October 20, 2019. Students should be in dress code, and photographs should be taken by a professional yearbook photographer.

    Requirements for formal portraits:

    • Professional yearbook head shot (no do-it-yourself, passport photos, etc.)
    • Background must be either solid, neutral or non-distracting
    • Color portraits only
    • No props or accessories in the photo (soccer balls, trees, boats, etc.)
    • No profile shots
    • No hands/arms (head propped on folded hands, etc.)
    • Be in Williston dress code
    • 300 dpi or larger
    • Vertical orientation
    • JPEG files only

    Option 2

    On-campus photos: April Eve Images is excited to partner with the Williston Northampton School again this year to provide full and mini session senior portraits for the Class of 2020. For the 15 minute mini sessions, each interested senior will be photographed on-campus in different poses and locations. Seniors will then have several photograph options from which to choose. There is no obligation to purchase prints (although the option is available), and the nominal sitting fee includes the image provided to the yearbook.

    Students will be able to book sessions with April Eve through her website. The $35 session fee may be paid online once an appointment time has been requested and accepted, or via check (made out to April Eve Images), at the actual session. All session fees must be paid in full before the images will be released to students and their families via their private web gallery. More information on mini sessions and full senior sessions is here.

    Please note that students will not be excused from regular commitments for their senior photo session.

    Students should plan to arrive 5 minutes before their appointment time. Seven to 10 days after the session, parents and students will be able to view the images in their own private web gallery. From there, they can select an image to be printed in the formal section of the yearbook and also have the opportunity to order prints. Feel free to email April Eve Images with any questions at april@aprileve.com

  • Yearbook Ads

    Orders for 2019 parent ads are now closed.

    Families and friends of seniors are welcome to create a yearbook ad; all photographs and text for the ads are submitted through the yearbook’s online portal. To purchase and create a yearbook ad, please visit our printer’s website and search using our school name “Williston-Northampton” (you will need a hyphen for this site). If you need Tech Support while building your ad, please call (877) 362-7750. Pricing for the ads is as follows: full page: $450; half page: $325; quarter page: $200; and eighth page: $100. The deadline to submit a senior ad is December 1. Please note that space is limited, and due to our strict publication deadlines, we cannot print ads received after this date.