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Students celebrate with family and friends after leaving the 2014 Colgate Commencement ceremonies in the Sanford Field House.
Since Colgate is some distance from major hotels, we offer on-campus housing for guests of graduating seniors the Friday - Monday of commencement weekend. Families of each senior may reserve up to six (6) beds in campus residence halls. Rooms can be reserved here.

In addition, residents of Hamilton and surrounding communities do offer an informal bed and breakfast arrangement for visiting families. You can also find homes available for short-term stays through services such as VRBO

For those families that will be traveling in an RV and wish to park on campus, parking will be available in the Merrill House lot, at the College Street Apartments or at the Townhouse Apartments. There are no hook-ups, electric or water.
Commencement exercises for 2016 will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 15, 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 an ice cream social for students, their families, and faculty members.
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 shuttle bus on May 14 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 15 two shuttles 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 14, Lally Lane and College Street will close at 8:00 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.
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 15.
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 15.

For families that are interested in placing an order in advance, please contact Wildflowers at 607-591-6137.
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.

Future Commencement Dates

  • May 21, 2017
  • May 20, 2018
  • May 19, 2019
  • May 17, 2020