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Spelman College Graduates

Commencement Schedule of Events

MAY 16 - 19, 2019

THURSDAY, May 16: Commencement Rehearsal and Ticket Distribution

9:30 a.m. | Science Center NASA Auditorium
Attendance at graduation rehearsal is mandatory for all graduating seniors. It is critical that you arrive promptly. The purpose of this meeting is to explain the graduation line up, show how your regalia should be worn, and demonstrate how to come onstage to receive your diploma, ensure that we have the proper pronunciation of your name, and distribute tickets. 

Graduates who do not attend rehearsal will not receive Commencement tickets. Commencement rehearsal is time-consuming; therefore, you should be prepared to be at Sisters Chapel for at least three hours. Exceptions will not be made for students who have to leave rehearsal early to go to work, the airport, etc. Please bring your Spelman photo ID and graduation clearance letter to pick up your tickets.

The correct pronunciation of your name is important.  If your name has an unusual pronunciation, please contact the Dean of Undergraduate Studies and provide a phonetic translation. During the rehearsal, we will pronounce everyone's name. If your name is mispronounced, please wait until the rehearsal is completed to make the correction.

FRIDAY, May 17: Senior Class Day Convocation

1:30 p.m. | Sisters Chapel
Graduates should line up at 12 p.m. at John D. Rockefeller Fine Arts Building

Spelman College launches its formal Commencement festivities with Senior Class Day, an afternoon celebrating the senior class. The Class Day Convocation is unique in that it is the only formal Commencement event in which the senior class is addressed directly by peers. The Senior Class president will preside over the ceremony.

The class valedictorian will deliver the Ivy Oration, an address in which she compares the characteristics of the ivy plant to the class in a unique way. Other Class Day traditions include the passing of the Senior Bench and Mortar Board to the junior class, the passing of the class emblem to the incoming first-year class, and presentation of the class history. Seating will be available on the Oval where you may enjoy a live video feed of the Class Day ceremony.

3 p.m. | The Spelman College Oval
March Through Alumnae Arch

After the conclusion of the Class Day program, seniors will join the alumnae on the Oval for the processional through the Alumnae Arch, which is symbolic of seniors leaving the College and entering into greater service in the world beyond the Spelman gates. Spelman alumnae, wearing white dresses, lead the procession. Family and friends can all enjoy this exciting and beautiful procession.

SATURDAY, May 18: Baccalaureate

9 a.m. | The Spelman College Oval
Graduates will assemble in Sisters Chapel at 7:30 a.m.
Baccalaureate Speaker: TBD

At Spelman, the Baccalaureate is one of the most meaningful and joyous ceremonies of the academic year. A spiritual service that reflects the breadth of faith traditions represented among the class, the Baccalaureate features a farewell sermon to Spelman College seniors. Graduates, their families, faculty, and staff are encouraged to attend.

Seating on the Oval is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Guests will not be permitted to hold seats. The ceremony will also be telecast in Sisters Chapel. If there is a strong chance of inclement weather, notification of the change of venue will be announced via the Spelman Commencement webpage and the Spelman College inclement weather line 404-270-6116 or 6117, 48 hours in advance of the Baccalaureate service.

10:30 a.m. | Various locations around campus
Baccalaureate Reception for Students, Families and Guests

Immediately following the Baccalaureate ceremony, you are cordially invited to the departmental receptions at various locations around campus. These receptions offer a wonderful opportunity for your family and friends to meet with your favorite professors in your major.  President Mary Schmidt Campbell and Provost Sharon Davies will also attend the various receptions to greet graduates and your guests.

SUNDAY, May 19: Commencement

3 p.m. | Georgia International Convention Center (GICC)
2000 Convention Center Concourse
College Park, Georgia 30037

Doors open at 12 p.m. (This time is subject to change)
Commencement Speaker: TBD

All entrances into the Exhibit Hall will close promptly at 2:30 p.m. for processional. Doors will reopen after processional is complete.

Please note: Spelman College and GICC do not provide wheelchairs for mobility impaired guests. Mobility impaired guests may be dropped off at the entrance closest to the event designated for guests needing special assistance. Upon entrance into the event area, there will be hostesses available to assist with seating. A special seating section is available for mobility impaired guests, and only one person may accompany that guest and sit in the special seating area. No exceptions will be made.

Sign language interpretation is available for those with hearing impairments.

The Commencement ceremony will mark the culmination of your years of hard work and dedication to intellectual and personal development. In addition to highlighting your accomplishments, we will recognize the distinguished contributions of other individuals of national and international prominence.

Spelman College’s Commencement speakers are leaders from both the public and private sector, from education to science to business to government. In the past, speakers such as first lady Michelle Obama, the Hon. Shirley Chisholm, Dr. Benjamin Carson, Ms. Oprah Winfrey, Ms. Alice Walker and Ms. Toni Morrison have addressed Spelman College graduates and their families.

On Sunday, May 19, graduates must report to the facility no later than 12:30 p.m. (This time is subject to change). Please leave all purses, cell phones, and personal belongings with family or friends.


Photography and Videography Release

Please be aware that photographers and members of the media will be taking photographs and filming Spelman's Commencement activities. Your presence at the ceremonies constitutes your release, permission, and consent to be photographed and/or recorded. Pictures and/or recordings of you may appear in future printed materials and online, including in commercially available publications.

If you do not wish to be photographed and/or recorded, please be aware of the presence of photographers and members of the media and take steps to avoid contact.

For the Media

Mashaun Simon

Media Credentials Request Form