Occurring at the beginning of the fall semester, Convocation is the first formal gathering of the first-year students. President Elliott and the faculty, all in academic regalia, formally welcome first-year students to the College. It is also a time for some of the recently promoted professors to be awarded honorary Amherst College degrees. The ceremony includes a formal procession and performances by the Amherst College Glee Club, and is traditionally held on the evening before classes begin.

Convocation is intended for faculty and first-year students. Returning students, staff, alumni and community members are invited to watch via live stream.