General Questions

When should we arrive for Commencement Weekend? Commencement activities start on Saturday morning. See Schedule of Events.

Should we make any special travel arrangements? Amherst is accessible by a variety of transportation methods. Three area colleges will be holding Commencement ceremonies during the weekend, and delays in traffic are not unusual. Please plan accordingly.

Where can I park on the Amherst campus?
Cars can be parked in Converse, Hills, O’Connell, and Orr Rink. Oversized vehicles (RVs) should be parked in the Hills lot on Route 9. See the parking map.

Should we check in at Commencement Headquarters? It is suggested that families check in at Commencement Headquarters. Guides can provide a final schedule for the Commencement Weekend, on-campus dormitory room keys, concert tickets, information on events happening in the area and lists of restaurants and local lodging. Headquarters will be open starting on Friday at 1 p.m.

Are campus dining facilities open during Commencement Weekend?
Both Valentine Dining Hall and Schwemm’s Gourmet Coffee House are open during the weekend. Schwemm’s is open Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Valentine Dining Hall is open Friday from 8 a.m.-9:30 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Valentine hours on Saturday and Sunday are 7 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Luncheon will be served on the Valentine Quadrangle on both Saturday and Sunday; the menus can be found under dining on campus. Valentine Hall will not be open for the evening meal on Saturday or Sunday.

How should I dress for Commencement?
There’s no one way to dress for Commencement Weekend. Families wear everything from suits and dresses to shorts and t-shirts. We do recommend, however, that you dress for New England’s famously unpredictable weather, and for our walkable campus. Wear layers—temperatures can vary a lot from sun to shade, from noon to evening—and bring comfortable shoes for walking around campus. And bring rain gear! Commencement will be held outdoors in all but the most severe weather.

Do you offer activities for families and children?
See our Visitor Resources & Activities page to learn about museums, exhibitions, recreational facilities and local restaurants.