Schedule of Events

Student Health Services is monitoring each senior's vaccination status and will offer a PCR testing clinic in the Hall of Presidents on May 6 for those who will not be fully vaccinated by this weekend. All seniors attending Commencement weekend will receive an email informing them of their status and allowing them to sign up for testing or confirm their vaccination status if necessary.

All seniors must check in and receive a bracelet at Whitnall Field on Saturday, May 8. Check-in will run from 12:00-3:00p.m. Guests may not accompany students to check-in or other events on Saturday.

Students will be provided vouchers for a meal from several food trucks parked nearby.

In order to mitigate health risks related to overcrowding, Commencement guests will be organized into groups and assigned an entrance to Andy Kerr Field. Guests will be notified of their group and entrance by email. In the same email, guests will be prompted to sign up for an arrival window. Guests are asked to adhere to that window on the day of Commencement.

If you have not received an email and believe you should have, please contact

Please use the walking routes indicated on this map to walk to your assigned entrance. Download the map here.


The following guidelines apply to students presenting symptoms:

  • Students who present to the Saturday check-in at Whitnall Field with fever or new/unexplained symptoms will be referred to Student Health Services for evaluation.
  • Students who present with fever or new/unexplained symptoms at the screening before Torchlight will not be allowed to participate and will need to go to urgent care/ER that evening for evaluation. 
  • Students who present on Sunday with fever or new/unexplained symptoms will be referred for evaluation by Student Health Services who will be present in a tent on location.

Guests presenting symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are asked not to attend Commencement weekend activities. Throughout the weekend, there will be several health screening checkpoints, and those with a temperature or have any new or unexplained symptoms upon arrival will not be allowed to participate in the event.


The in-person event at Andy Kerr Stadium will take place even if it rains. The event will only move to a fully virtual format in the case of severe weather conditions. The decision to move to a fully virtual event will be announced around 6:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 9.


Colgate University officials monitor weather conditions prior to and during the torchlight ceremony. In the event of high winds, lightning or other weather conditions that may have an adverse impact on the ceremony, university officials will transmit emergency instructions via the outdoor warning system, including notification for evacuation of persons from the torchlight route. Please pay close attention and follow instructions given on the emergency message and any instructions from campus safety and police officers.

Date Change

Because senior grades are due on Monday, May 10, diplomas could not be produced for the May 9 ceremony. Colgate confers degrees three times each year: the third Sunday in May, August 31, and December 31. Degrees are conferred upon completion of degree requirements. Studentsanticipated graduation date is available to them in Degree Works. The University will mail diplomas to the address provided following the conferral of the degree.

For most members of the Class of 2021, this will take place in late May. A commemorative booklet will be mailed with the diplomas listing the graduates, including honors and departmental honors.


Colgate’s Commencement Executive Committee met with graduating seniors, parents, and Hamilton officials and residents to discuss the challenges related to commencement this year and to discuss ways the University can celebrate the achievements of our graduates in a way that is safe for participants and the local community.   

In the past, many seniors have traveled in the week after examinations and before commencement. Even a few students traveling this year would put everyone at risk, so a decision was made to move up commencement to offer the best chance for students to have an in-person commencement. 

Courses taken by seniors are not always exclusive to their class year, so this would disrupt the finals schedule for students in other classes as well. In addition, any changes to the finals schedule would require a change to the faculty handbook, which states that final grades are due May 10. It would also require a Faculty Affairs Committee vote. 

Reservations are managed by the Colgate Inn. Please contact them at 315-824-2300 or by email

Contact your host to discuss changes to your reservations. 

Moving Out

Seniors need to move out by 8 p.m., Sunday, May 9th.

Parents may still arrive on campus to pick up their students and their belongings. Student move-out, includes formally checking out of the room with Residential Life. Please check the New York State travel guidance to determine if you are traveling from a state with specific requirements. Colgate continues to require face coverings on campus and we ask for our guests to remain 6-feet apart while loading for departure.

Learn more about spring 2021 departure

Students who are unable to move out by Sunday, May 9 at 8 p.m. should fill out the Late Stay Request Form in the housing portal. Every attempt to change transportation plans should occur first and then, if an exception is approved, detailed instructions would be provided by the Office of Residential Life.

Class of 2020

Colgate will welcome the Class of 2020 back to campus for an in-person celebration on Memorial Day Weekend, May 28 and 29, 2022.