Commencement Weekend Information & FAQ

Dear Families & Friends of the Class of 2018:

Commencement is a celebration for your graduate, you, your family, and the college. It is a time to reflect on accomplishments achieved and to look forward with great anticipation to all of the opportunities that will unfold. We hope you will be able to join us for this very special occasion.

Paul Habernig, Commencement Coordinator


 

Commencement Weekend Information

Accommodations

Accommodations are always limited for the weekend of Commencement. Please plan ahead. View a listing of local accommodations resources online.

Announcements

Students may choose to order personalized Commencement announcements, name cards, thank you notes, and other items from Jostens. You may order directly from the Jostens website at www.jostens.com/college or call 1-800-854-7464.

Commencement Ceremony Seating

The formal Commencement Ceremony will take place under a gala tent on Elmore Field at Binder Physical Education Center. Our tent is able to accommodate approximately 3,200 guests. All seating is based on a first-come, first-served basis, and the tent will be open to guests beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. We will provide assistive transportation by golf cart from the drop off point at Binder Physical Education Center to the Commencement tent beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Class Rings

Class rings may be ordered through the Balfour representative Marie Bliss at www.balfourcollege.com, or by phone at 518-429-9140 (cell) or 518-371-5213 (office).

Closed-Circuit Broadcast

The Commencement Ceremony will be broadcast live through the College’s closed-circuit system and can be viewed from any campus television.

Commencement Gifts

If you are interested in seeing what the Hartwick College Barnes & Noble Bookstore offers for Commencement gifts, we encourage you to visit their website. The ever-popular diploma frame is available to order through Barnes & Noble Bookstore as well. The Bookstore will also provide tables with memorabilia on Elmore Field for those who wish to purchase a gift on the day of the ceremony. You may contact the bookstore by email at werdannf@hartwick.edu or by telephone 607-431-4342.

Flower Sales

There will be a flower vendor, Commencement Flowers, on the grounds near the Commencement tent prior to the start of the ceremony and after the ceremony if you wish to purchase flowers for your graduate. By clicking the link above you may also pre-order flowers to pick up the day of the ceremony.

Parking

Campus Safety personnel and parking attendants will be posted at all campus entrances during Commencement Weekend to direct guests to parking lots. On Commencement Day, shuttle service will be provided to transport guests from parking lots to Elmore Field, the venue for the Commencement ceremony. The Binder parking lot adjacent to Elmore Field, as well as spaces adjacent to and below Binder Physical Education Center, will be reserved for handicapped parking, and only cars with a visible handicapped sticker or tag will be allowed to park there. An elevator in Golisano Hall will take guests to the lower entrance of the Binder Center, where another elevator can take guests to field level. Check our campus map.

Photography

Hartwick has retained the professional commencement photography services of Genesee Photo Systems. Each graduate will be photographed prior to crossing the stage, and when receiving their diploma. A few days following Commencement, the graduates will be notified by email when images are available to view and purchase online.

The website for Genesee Photo Systems is www.geneseephoto.com. For additional information, or should you have any questions, please call 1-800-345-7427 or email service@geneseephoto.com.

Webcast

The Commencement ceremony will be webcast live on the Commencement webpage beginning at 11:30 a.m. on the day of the event. The ceremony will also be webcast on the College’s YouTube Channel as a Live Event.

Note: Streaming video from the webcast links will be intermittent until just before the ceremony.

Wheelchair and Special Needs Assistance

Accessible seating is available for guests with wheel-chairs or who have mobility limitations. Arrangements will be made for an interpreter for the hearing impaired, if the need for that service is made known to us within the appropriate 14 day timeframe to request services. Arrangements must be made through Leah Elwood at elwoodl@hartwick.edu. Please contact her at 607-431-4435.

There will be a drop-off area adjacent to Binder Physical Education Center. Guests with wheel-chairs or mobility limitations, even those who do not have a handicap sticker or tag, will be directed to this location. Upon entering campus, please ask Campus Safety personnel to direct you to this drop-off area if necessary. Golf carts will be available at the drop-off location to provide assistive transportation to those with mobility limitations, and to return them to the drop-off area following the ceremony.


Commencement FAQ

Q: Who may attend Commencement?
A: This year’s Ceremony may be attended by graduating seniors, guests, and those Hartwick community members who are part of the day’s celebration. Elmore field will be available to guests at, not earlier than, 10 a.m. Seats will be available on a first-come basis and cannot be reserved.

Q: Does Hartwick offer alternative viewing options for those who cannot attend the event in-person?
A: Hartwick has made provisions for alternative viewing of Commencement through:

  • Webcast/Live Streaming: To view the webcast, go to the Commencement webpage and click on “Webcast of Commencement.” (The link will be posted on Commencement Weekend.)
  • Multiple viewing locations will be available around campus on the day of ceremony, including Lambros Arena in the Binder Physical Education Center.

Q: What should seniors wear during the Commencement ceremony?
A: We remind students that Commencement is the most formal academic ceremony, and professional attire is appropriate. We also recommend that students keep in mind that spring weather can make for a very soft field surface, where a stiletto heel may be neither functional nor safe. For examples of appropriate attire, please see examples on HartLink.

Q: What accommodations are available for people with special needs?
A: Seating is available for guests in wheel-chairs or with mobility limitations on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking placards may be requested to assist with accessing the drop off point. Arrangements requested at least 14 days in advance (May 4) are available for an interpreter for the hearing impaired. Arrangements must be made through Leah Elwood at elwoodl@hartwick.edu. Please contact her at 607-431-4435.

Shuttles and vans will be available to transport guests from each of the parking lots to a drop-off location outside Binder Physical Education Center. In addition, the drop-off location next to Binder is the location where guests with wheel-chairs or those with mobility limitations will be directed for parking accommodation upon request. Please note that certified handicap tags are not required to use this drop-off location. We recommend that guests indicate their interest in using this drop-off area when arriving on campus. Golf carts will also be available at the same location to transport guests to the Commencement tent and return them to the drop-off area following the Ceremony.

Q: What attire is appropriate for Commencement guests?
A: Central New York weather in May can be mild and sunny or cold and rainy. Recent Commencement weekends have had both weather extremes, so flexibility and practicality are good planning principles. Dress with an eye to the weather and comfort. Low heels, wedges or flats are appropriate for navigating the grass and terrain of Elmore Field. Rain gear, including water-impervious footwear, may be important; and rain ponchos are preferred over umbrellas so sightlines are not blocked. Sunglasses and hats may also be useful. Based on our weather extremes, layers of clothing is a suggested strategy. (A collared shirt, tie optional, is appropriate men’s attire.)

Q: Where do I park on Commencement Day?
A: Campus Safety personnel and parking attendants will be stationed at all campus entrances and around campus on Commencement Day to direct guests to parking lots. Shuttle service will be provided to transport guests from parking lots to Elmore Field adjacent to Binder Physical Education Center, the venue for the Commencement Ceremony. The Binder parking lot adjacent to Elmore Field, as well as spaces adjacent to and below Binder, will be reserved for handicapped parking, and only cars with a visible handicap sticker or tag will be allowed to park in this location. Elevators in Golisano Hall will take guests to the lower entrance of Binder Physical Education Center, and then again to the field level where the ceremony will take place.

Q: Where do guests sit during Commencement Exercises?
A: We will offer seats on Elmore Field to more than 3,200 guests to view the Commencement Ceremony. Elmore Field will be available to guests at 10:30 a.m., not earlier. Seats will be available on a first-come basis and cannot be reserved.

Q: What happens if it rains?
A: Rain, unfortunately, is not an infrequent occurrence in Central New York in May. Unless weather conditions are dangerous or severe (i.e. lightning), Commencement will take place outside on Elmore Field, although processions and programs may be shortened or altered. Fortunately, our guest seating is under the tent, however if rain is forecast, ponchos are the rain gear of choice. They provide unimpeded sightlines and aid in the comfort of guests who would otherwise be on the receiving end of umbrella runoff.

Q: Where is the guest entrance?
A: Elmore Field, adjacent to Binder Physical Education Center, is the venue for the Commencement Ceremony. Guests may arrive on campus from any entrance on Commencement Day and will be directed by Campus Safety to the appropriate parking lot. Shuttle service will be provided to transport guests from parking lots to the Ceremony site. In addition, for those guests who would like to enjoy the beautiful views from Oyaron Hill, signs and volunteers will be posted along the walkways to assist in directing foot traffic to Elmore Field.

Q: Should I reserve rooms for overnight accommodations from Friday to Saturday or Friday to Sunday?
A: Hartwick College seniors are permitted to stay in their residential spaces until 8 p.m. on Commencement Saturday (based on the Residence Life and Housing Policies). Guests who wish to stay in the local area, should review local accommodations information. Availability is limited, we recommend booking rooms as far in advance as possible.

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