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Participation in Commencement

Students who have already graduated in the previous August or December, and all those who are “cleared for graduation” in May, are expected to participate in the May Commencement ceremony. Students will not be permitted to participate in the Commencement ceremony if they have not met the eligibility requirements for Commencement participation by the Wednesday prior to Commencement.

Students must have indicated on their graduation application that they wish to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

If a student has applied for May graduation but has not met all the requirements for participation in Commencement, an attempt will be made to notify her/him by telephone before Commencement Day. It is therefore important that the telephone number provided on the graduation application be kept current.


Guests of graduates who have indicated they are participating in Commencement must have tickets, distributed online in late April, in order to enter the Butcher Center. Depending on the number of participants, fire marshal limitations may change the number of tickets that can be distributed to participants for their family members.

Remember to watch the Bookstore website during the year for information on Graduation Fairs and other commencement-related events.

Entrance to Butcher Center

Guests with Commencement tickets will enter the Butcher Center via the upper-level doors that face the Frank Arts Center. Doors will open no earlier than noon on Commencement Day. Ushers will be on hand to receive tickets and assist. Thank you for having your ticket ready and available for the ushers as you enter.

Special Needs

To ensure seating, graduates must make arrangements to reserve seats for guests with special needs no later than the Thursday prior to Commencement.  As with all seats in the Butcher Center Arena, tickets are required for this area.  Guests who have reserved seating in this area should plan to arrive no later than 1:30 pm to be accommodated.  As space is limited in this area, only one additional guest can be accommodated to sit in this area.  Please call Michelle Lawson at 304-876-5402 or email to place your reservation and/or request assistance.

Handicapped accessible parking will be available.  Entrance for guests with special needs will be through the lower-level doors of the Butcher Center adjacent to the Wellness Center.  Ushers will be available to receive tickets and direct you to the designated seating area.  A sign language interpreter will be at the ceremony.

Local Lodging

Information about lodging in and near Shepherdstown may be found here.