Frequently Asked Questions - Colgate University Skip Navigation

Frequently Asked Questions

family at commencement
What events do I need to attend? When do I need to arrive on campus?
All events are optional, at your convenience. Most families should arrive by 5 p.m. Friday evening.
What is the dress code?
There is no dress code for events, but a simple guide would be to wear what you are comfortable in, especially footwear (for walking to events).
How long is the ceremony?
Commencement runs approximately 2 1/2 hours. You can make plans to get “on the road” accordingly after that.
Is there handicap parking?
Handicap parking is in the Alumni Lot for chapel events and the Case Geyer Library lot for the senior torchlight procession. If the ceremony takes place at the Taylor Lake site, accessible parking will be at Lally Lane and 113 Broad Street; if in Sanford Field House (severe weather location), parking will be in the lots surrounding Reid Athletic Center. If you need special drop-off arrangements, see a campus safety officer for assistance.
For safety reasons we ask that there are no drop-offs on Broad Street (NY Stage Hwy 12B).
Do you provide wheelchairs?
We have a wheelchair available that can be used for transportation to seats inside Sanford Field House.
On-campus housing/keys
Seniors are instructed to pick up keys for guests from Residential Life the Monday-Friday before the weekend. Confirmation of room reservations will go out the first week of May.
Do we need to bring our own linen?
No, linens are provided for the on-campus housing.
Can we get additional tickets?
Graduating seniors will be able to request up to six guest (rain) tickets for the ceremony. Additional tickets may be available and seniors can contact Michele Carney at in late April to inquire.

Closed circuit viewing of the ceremony will be available at The Class of 1965 Arena for additional family members that would like to attend the event, or for guests that do not want to sit outside for the ceremony. All family members are invited to attend the ice cream social directly following the ceremony.
How can I get concert tickets?
Admission to the concert is on first-come, first-served basis. There are no tickets.
What is the on-campus housing refund policy?
Cancellation requests, for full refunds, must be received before Friday, April 26, 2019.
When are future commencement dates?
  • May 19, 2019
  • May 17, 2020
  • May 16, 2021
  • May 22, 2022
Are graduating seniors permitted to have private celebratory picnics on university property?
Graduating seniors may have private picnics during commencement weekend in designated locations on university-owned property; adjacent to residence halls, university-owned student housing on Broad and College Streets, and Townhouses, between the hours of 2 pm - 8 pm on both Saturday and Sunday during commencement weekend. Free-standing canopies may be used; however, stakes and tents are not permitted. The prohibition on open containers will remain in place, with the exception of the specific location of the picnic during these designated time frames. Kegs are not permitted on university property at any time.