Seniors - Colgate University Commencement Skip Navigation
Students celebrating at commencement.

Commencement Weekend

Ticket and Cap and Gown Pick-Up
Tickets and graduation regalia can be picked up at the Colgate Bookstore on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of senior week. Students MUST present their ID and sign for their tickets and regalia. No one will be allowed to pick up another student’s graduation regalia or tickets. There will be no Sunday pick-up for gowns or tickets.

Bookstore hours for ticket and regalia pick-up:
  • Thursday, May 17, 9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
  • Friday, May 18, 9:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 19, 9:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Torchlight Ceremony
Seniors should report to the academic quad by 8 p.m. In the event of rain, seniors will gather in the chapel. Gowns are traditionally worn, but business casual attire may also be worn. Torchlight is one of Colgate’s time honored traditions. However, seniors should keep in mind that you are walking with fire. Please act responsibly so that the tradition can be enjoyed by future Colgate graduates. As part of the torchlight route, you will be walking down the Persson steps. We ask that for safety reasons you:
  • Wear flat soled footwear
  • Tie long hair back
  • Always hold the lit torch/candle upright
  • Keep a safe distance between you and the person in front of you
  • Keep moving ahead; do not stop during the procession for any reason
  • Follow directions from campus safety and torchlight volunteers
  • Once you hand your torch off to staff for disposal, keep moving forward
  • Be responsible and safe – no drinking prior to or during the torchlight ceremony; Alcohol and fire don't mix.
Learn more about Torchlight
Additional Viewing Facilities

No ticket required

Due to limited seating in Sanford Field House, we will provide additional seating with closed-circuit access to the ceremony at Little Hall in Golden Auditorium. This room will be open at 9:00 a.m. the day of the ceremony.

After Commencement Weekend

Health Records
The university will maintain your health records for seven years (10 years for immunization records only). Once you are settled somewhere and you would like a summary of these records, you should submit a written request and include your name, date of birth, Colgate ID, and the name and address of where the records should be sent. Dr. Merrill Miller will withhold any sensitive information if you request it.

Before Commencement Weekend

Reserving Tickets
The ticket reservation process will take place in early February. Seniors can request up to 6 ticket for the ceremony. 
Settling Accounts
Outstanding tuition bills/fines/equipment must be resolved. You will receive a hold letter at the end of April. All outstanding monies must be paid/cleared by May 8. Please do not call during senior week requesting to pay by credit card over the phone. Students with any outstanding balance will not receive grades or transcripts. Students with significant balances will have their diplomas withheld along with grades and transcripts. Pay early to avoid complications with your graduation process.

(Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00–4:00 p.m.)
Reserving Cap and Gown
The gown ordering process will take place in early February.

Caps and gowns are worn in the awarding of degrees. Gowns only (no caps) are worn at baccalaureate. Tassels should be on the right for the graduation ceremony.
Housing Keys for Parents
Your parents will receive information regarding housing, activities, and the commencement schedule in early February. Confirmation will go out the first week of May about specific housing arrangements. Seniors pick up keys for parents at residential life the week before commencement.