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Parents’ Information

Students celebrate with family and friends after leaving the 2014 Colgate Commencement ceremonies in the Sanford Field House.


Commencement exercises for 2015 will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 17, in Sanford Field House. Concession stands will open at Andy Kerr Stadium at 8:30 a.m. Doors to the field house will open at 9 a.m. No food will be allowed inside. Due to limited seating, there will be absolutely no admittance or re-admittance without a ticket. Families should plan to arrive together as reserving of seats will not be permitted. Everyone needs to be seated by 10:15 a.m. The ceremony will be followed by a reception for students, their families, and faculty members.

On-Campus Housing

Since Colgate is some distance from major hotels, the Office of Residential Life will provide housing on campus for guests of graduating seniors. Information will be sent to parents in early February. Starting Monday, February 2, online reservations can be made here.

In addition, you can view a complete list of local area accommodations including local hotels and bed and breakfasts.


Guests should use designated parking areas anywhere on campus. The alumni lot and library lot are reserved Saturday for families with special needs/handicap parking passes.

The university will provide a Colgate cruiser on May 16 from 7:00 a.m. - 2:00 a.m., which will make a continuous loop between Wendt University Inn, the Colgate Bookstore, Lally Lane, and Frank Dining Hall.

On May 17 two Colgate cruisers will run from 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. - cruiser one will make a continuous loop between Wendt University Inn, The Colgate Bookstore, College Street Apartments and the commencement site; cruiser two will make a continuous loop between Lally Lane, Case Library, Frank Dining Hall, O'Connor Campus Center and 49 Broad Street.

Please note that on Saturday, May 16, Lally Lane and College Street will close at 8:30 p.m. in preparation for the torchlight ceremony. Campus safety staff and medical technicians will be on campus to assist as well. Please refer to our commencement weekend parking map.


Between February 2 - March 13 seniors will be given the opportunity to reserve up to five (5) guest tickets for the graduation ceremony. Seniors will pick up their requested tickets at the bookstore Thursday, Friday and Saturday prior to commencement.

Indoor viewing facilities (no ticket required)
Due to limited seating in Sanford Field House, we are providing additional seating with closed-circuit access to the ceremony at Little Hall in Golden Auditorium. This room will be open at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 17.

Torchlight Ceremony

The Torchlight Ceremony on Saturday night is one of Colgate's oldest traditions. The procession of the Class of 2015 is led through the campus grounds and concludes on Whitnall Field. The ceremony, although very beautiful, can be dangerous if students are intoxicated and do not have full control of themselves. Cooperation from both students and parents is vital. The past several graduating classes have made a concerted effort to cut down the level of drinking taking place prior to and during the ceremony. We hope the members of the Class of 2015 and their guests will continue this effort to ensure the safety of everyone and help maintain the tradition for future graduating classes.



Graduation announcements are an ideal way to commemorate this special occasion. Announcements can be ordered online from Jostens.


Bouquets for your graduate may be purchased at the commencement site on Sunday morning, May 17.


Colgate has partnered with Grad Images to capture your graduate crossing the stage and receiving his or her diploma. You should receive a brochure and order form in the mail with your commencement information.


Colgate has partnered with Collegiate Video to capture all the important highlights of Commencement Weekend including Torchlight, the baccalaureate speaker's address, commencement ceremony, and, most precious of all, footage of your graduate crossing the stage and receiving his or her diploma. You should receive a brochure and order form in the mail with your commencement information. Videos are approximately 80 minutes in length.

Future Commencement Dates

  • May 15, 2016
  • May 21, 2017
  • May 20, 2018