Essentials for Families of Graduates


Parents and families of the Class of 2017 should arrange for hotel/motel accommodations as soon as possible. Please refer to the accommodations section of Wesleyan's Visitors Guide for information regarding local accommodations.


All alumni must register. Parents and families of graduating seniors must register if they wish to purchase any meal tickets and are encouraged to register even if they do not wish to attend any meals.

Parents and families of graduating seniors, please see below the list of ticket prices for meals available. Onsite registration is available at the Usdan University Center. Tickets for meals may also be purchased at the meal location.

Friday, May 26

Welcome Picnic (11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.) 
$20 per person for adults (including graduating seniors) and children over age 12
$10 per person for children 12 and under

Red, Black and GREEN! Dinner (5–9 p.m.)     
$20 per person for adults (including graduating seniors) and children over age 12
$10 per person for children 12 and under

Shabbat Dinner (7:45 p.m.)     
$20 per person for adults (including graduating seniors) and children over age 12
$10 per person for children 12 and under

Saturday, May 27

All-College Picnic and Festival on Foss Hill (1–3 p.m.)     
$15 per person for all adults and children

Sunday, May 28

Brunch, Sunday (8 a.m.–1 p.m.)     
$20 per person for all adults and children over age 12
$10 for children 12 and under

Online Registration Deadline

Online registration will close on Friday, May 12 (EST). In order to process all registrations and prepare materials for your arrival, we cannot accept online registrations after that date. If you miss the deadline, the next opportunity for you to register will be onsite, during the weekend.

On-site registration Hours:

  • Thursday, 2 p.m.–10 p.m.
  • Friday, 9 a.m.–11:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, 8 a.m.–10 p.m.
  • Sunday, 8 a.m.–2 p.m.

If you have questions about Registration or plan to arrive after registration closes, please contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at or (860) 685-2116.

What is a WESenior?

Not to be confused with a graduating senior, a WESenior is a Wesleyan alumnus who has already had their 50th reunion (Classes of 1942 through 1966).

Commencement Ceremony Rain Plan

The Commencement Ceremony is held outdoors, rain or shine. Under certain weather conditions, the ceremony may be shifted from the open field, where seating is unlimited, into the large tent on Andrus Field. Although the tent accommodates numerous spectators, seating is limited. In this scenario, we respectfully request that each graduate limit his/her guests to 3 seats under the tent. Please come prepared with raincoats and umbrellas.

In the event of an implementation of the rain plan, information will be posted on the Wesleyan homepage and the Reunion & Commencement website, and graduating seniors will be notified via email. Details will also be available at Registration (Usdan University Center) and an outgoing message will be on the main University phone number at (860) 685-5678. The ceremony will be simulcast in the Memorial Chapel, Patricelli ’92 Theater, Ring Family Performing Arts Hall, and Tishler Lecture Hall (Room 150) at Exley Science Center, rain or shine. The ceremony may also be viewed online.

Please check or for details the week of May 22, 2017.

Visitors with Disabilities

The University is committed to full access and reasonable accommodations for all people.

Sign language interpreters and CART Services

A sign language interpreter is present at the Commencement Ceremony. Requests for CART services must be made by May 12. Contact Dana Coffin in the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations to make arrangements.

Accessible Seating for Commencement

Wesleyan provides up to 3 seats in the accessible seating area.  We ask that at least one guest/escort remain with the person requiring accessible seating for the duration of the ceremony.  Arrangements can be made for additional guests if necessary.  Please be advised that the accessible seating section is located outdoors on an open, grassy field.  Guests should come prepared for appropriate weather conditions (hat, umbrella, water bottles, etc.) as these seats are exposed to the elements.  Real time simulcasts of the ceremony are available indoors for guests who would be more comfortable there.  Reservations do not need to be made for the indoor simulcasts. Please fill out this form to reserve seats in the accessibility seating section.  

Accessibility Parking During the Weekend and for Commencement

Mobility impaired guests may park in the "C" lot off of Church Street or the Office of Admission parking lot.  University staff and students driving golf carts will be available at each lot to assist in transporting guests to-and-from the accessibility section on Andrus Field. Drivers may also drop of guests on Wyllys Avenue and then park elsewhere. Visitors needing accessible parking may also utilize any of the designated spaces on campus with a properly displayed state-issued plate or placard from any state. Spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Persons with disabilities may also utilize special shuttle services Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. and Sunday, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. by calling 860-982-8031 during the weekend (this number will not be monitored in advance) to make arrangements. 


Guests needing wheelchairs should must arrangements to bring their own; wheelchairs are not provided. Wheelchairs can often be rented from a local medical supply store in your community, but are not available from the University.

Parents and Grandparents who work in the field of education are invited to participate in the commencement ceremony

We warmly invite parents and grandparents who work in the field of education to march as a division in the ceremony. Educators are then welcome to sit as a division, along with a guest, or may choose to sit in general seating following the procession. If needed regalia may be rented through Broad Street Bookstore by contacting Erin Ricker at 860-685-7323 no later than April 18. The regalia rental fee is $70.00. 
Please respond to Dana Coffin in the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations if you would like to participate.

Caps and Gowns

Seniors order caps and gowns from Broad Street Books. The cost for a Bachelor’s Cap and Gown is $39.00 and includes mortar board, gown, and tassel. The packages are sized according to height.  Quantities by size are based on expected number of graduates and historical sales. The earlier graduates place their order, the more likely they are to get the exact size need. All Bachelor’s degree recipients wear red  at Wesleyan.

The bookstore is open:
Monday through Friday 8 AM to 8 PM
Saturday and Sunday     9 AM to 5 PM.
If you have any questions please contact the bookstore at (860) 685-7323.

Please note for those who do not have the financial resources, there are caps and gowns available through the Usdan University Center.  Email Michelle Myers-Brown at or visit her in the Usdan University Center. These caps and gowns were offered for reuse through the return program set up by the Student Affairs staff and previous years’ seniors.  There are limited numbers.


Members of the Class of 2017 may obtain their diplomas on Friday, May 26 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. in the Registrar’s Office, North College. Graduates should be prepared to show a photo ID.

Tickets to Commencement

Everyone is welcome at Commencement, there are no tickets and seats cannot be reserved in advance. The chairs on Andrus Field are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is additional room for seating on Foss Hill (bring a blanket or folding chairs) and under the tent on Andrus Field. Information about accessibility seating for persons with disabilities is available here.

Class Rings

Wesleyan class rings can ordered directly through the Jostens website.

Graduation Announcements

Graduation announcements can be ordered for this year's ceremony through the Jostens website.

Videos and Photos

DVDs of Commencement are available from Collegiate Video, P.O. Box 376, Newfane, VT 05345. DVDs cost $75 plus $7 shipping and handling. Contact Collegiate Video at (802) 365-4414 or via e-mail at, or the Office of Parent Programs at (860) 685-3756 for an order form and more information.

A photographer from GradImages® will be at the ceremony to take candid photographs of at the special moment of recognition. Graduates will receive a free passport-sized digital proof of these photos on an order card within 5-7 days following the ceremony. Questions may be emailed to After the ceremony you may order online or call 800-261-2576. Since photographs will be available, family members and guests are encouraged to remain in their seats, relax and enjoy the ceremony. To pre-register your permanent email address and receive a $5.00 coupon towards a purchase of $25.00 please visit and click on Pre-Event Registration. You may add contact information for up to 6 additional relatives and/or friends. GradImages® never has and never will sell or share the address/email information provided to us to any other vendor.

Graduates may also purchase copies of their class photo taken during Freshman Orientation through

General Inquiries

Additional information pertaining to the weekend can be found on the Wesleyan Parents website.