Commencement Checklist and Information for Seniors

This checklist has been prepared to help you meet all the relevant deadlines for participation in Commencement 2021. Note that some of the most critical items are due on March 30, 2021.

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Ceremony Information
Deadline: March 30, 2021

Submitting the following information is vital for ensuring your ability to fully participate in the May 9 ceremony.

Your Participation

Deadline: March 30, 2021

Colgate needs to know whether you plan to participate in the ceremony in person, remotely, or not at all.

Order Cap and Gown

Deadline: March 30, 2021

Caps, gowns, and tassels will be provided to graduates at no cost, but must be ordered on the Oak Hall website. This is the only way to obtain a cap and gown. Even if you do not intend to participate in person, you can have them sent to you in case you wish to have photographs taken in them and/or wear them on the day of the ceremony, wherever you will be celebrating!

If you are on campus: they will be available for pick up at the Colgate Bookstore in May. You will need to sign up for a pick-up time to provide for physical distancing; details to follow.

If you are studying remotely: you will provide your mailing address.

Submit Your Photo for Digital Presentation

Deadline: March 30, 2021

Submit one photograph of yourself that will be used in the digital commencement presentation. 

  • Professional portraits or candid photos acceptable.
  • Single image. No group shots.
  • Please keep the content to something your family would approve of.

File specs

  • File size: 1MB (minimum)
  • File dimensions: 3:4 ratio (e.g. 900px x 1200px)
  • File resolution: 300 dpi
  • File type: .jpg

Submit Your Name Pronunciation

Deadline: March 30, 2021

Make sure your name gets pronounced correctly at the ceremony by providing a phonetic pronunciation guide to the reader.

Potential Guests

Deadline: March 30, 2021

Depending upon New York State guidelines, we may be able to welcome guests to commencement. If New York State allows us to welcome up to 2 guests per graduate, for admission to the venue, we will need them to:

  • Register
  • Submit proof of a vaccine within 90 days of the event or a negative COVID-19 test result from within 72 hours before arrival. 

Details will be provided once the final decision is made. State guidelines will dictate how many guests per graduate will be allowed. If only 1 guest is allowed by the State, you need to indicate a primary and a secondary guest.

Please note that our ability to welcome guests on campus would be limited to Sunday morning’s event only, so ensure that your potential guests take this into account when planning travel to Hamilton.

Be advised that Colgate expects all guests to adhere to all University policies in addition to New York State travel guidance if we are able to welcome them into the Hamilton community. Details would be provided as appropriate.

Provide Mailing Address and Sweater Size

Deadline: March 30, 2021

We need to know where to mail your diploma and your Colgate sweater; this will take a few weeks after you’ve departed campus. The tradition of giving C sweaters to all graduating students began during Colgate’s bicentennial year. Please provide the address where you would like these graduation items to be sent.

Plan Your Campus Departure

Deadline: May 9, 8 p.m.

Seniors who live on campus are expected to depart campus by 8 p.m. on May 9. Special consideration for late departure past 8 p.m. will be granted to those with extenuating circumstances, with prior approval required; details will be shared in the coming weeks. Please make your packing and move-out plans accordingly, and take note that family members and guests will not be permitted inside residence halls.

Miscellaneous To-Dos

These to-do items are not required, and each has a different deadline, so keep an eye on them if they are of interest to you!

Senior Exit Survey

Deadline: April 30, 2021

Colgate asks all graduating seniors to complete a survey about their experience. You will receive an email with a unique link to your survey April 6. Your input is important and you will need to complete the survey in order to receive your cap and gown.

Survey to be emailed April 6

Graduation Announcements

Order your Colgate graduation announcements from Jostens.

Senior Class Gift

Deadline: June 30, 2021

The Senior Class Giving Committee welcomes the Class of 2021 to give back to Colgate. All gifts make a difference. Your gift can be designated to any area of campus that is meaningful to you or to the Colgate Fund, which provides support where needs are greatest. Right now, all gifts of $5 or more are being matched with an additional gift of $100 to the Colgate Fund, increasing the impact of your support. 

Senior Portrait Session for the Yearbook (Salmagundi)

Final Opportunity: April 6–7, 2021

Location: Parker Commons

Portraits will be taken in business attire, and cap & gown. Academic attire will be provided.  A sitting fee of $15.00 is due at the time of your sitting (cash, check debit/credit accepted). Please be prepared to provide the photographer with your major at the time of your sitting. Seniors can use their portraits for professional networking and job search as well.

The Prestige Portraits team is excited to capture this important milestone in your school career. At this unprecedented time, they have put in place all CDC recommended guidelines for taking senior portraits:

  • No-touch posing and social distancing. Photographers and assistants will not make physical contact and will keep 6 feet if distance from subjects, customers and employees.
  • All work areas will be cleaned after each sitting and all  (studio-provided attire) will be steam-cleaned between each subject. 
  • Photographers and assistants will be wearing face masks at all times.

It is important that you arrive on time for your scheduled appointment. No walk-ins permitted.

Seniors studying remotely

Contact Denise Upton ( or 315-228-6844) for guidance.


1-800-OUR-YEAR (687-9327), during normal business hours. 

Yearbook (Salmagundi)

Senior ad deadline: April 30, 2021
Order deadline: June 1, 2021

Secure your Colgate memories for a lifetime with a copy of the Salmagundi.

For more information, contact Denise Upton: or 315-228-6844.

Professional Ceremony Photos

Official 2021 ceremony photos will be provided by Island Photography. Representatives will be capturing each senior’s “moment” as they enter and exit the stage. 

Seniors as well as up to 6 family members or friends can register in advance. There is absolutely no obligation to purchase. 

Within 48–72 hours after the ceremony, you will be emailed a unique link to view or order your images from your celebration. 
Further information: or 800-869-0908.

Class Ring

Commemorate your accomplishments with a class ring from Jostens.

Graduation Items at the Colgate Bookstore

Grab these graduation essentials from the Colgate Bookstore. Help de-densify the store during commencement weekend by ordering online.

Diploma Frames and More

Stay tuned for more!