Instructions for Graduating Students

2023 Seating Chart PDF


  • The location of Commencement (outdoors on the Main Quad or indoors in LeFrak Gym) will be decided by 8 a.m. on Sunday. Check the Commencement website or call (413) 542-INFO (4636).
  • Indoor tickets must be picked up by the graduate with their Amherst College ID. Tickets will be available Friday after the rehearsal.
  • Sunday: Arrive at Alumni Gym at 8:30 a.m. in your cap and gown.
    1. Leave backpacks, bags, water bottles, etc. in your room.
    2. Coffee and breakfast will be available.
    3. When you arrive at Alumni Gym, find your group number (available via the seating chart) on the wall and line up with your fellow graduates.
  • Silence your cell phone.
  • Tassel: Your tassel should be on the right (so the photographer can see your face).
  • See a map of the procession route on the Main Quad. Know your seat number and sit in your assigned seat even if there are empty seats.
  • Awarding of diplomas: When the provost says “Will the candidates for the degree of Bachelor of Arts please come forward and present themselves,” the first row rises in unison and walks towards the stage. Subsequent rows will be signaled by Commencement staff to stand and approach the stage.
  • Walking onto the stage: After Commencement staff signal your row to approach the stage, proceed up the ramp and wait at the top of the ramp until your name is read. If you are next to receive a degree and the name called is not yours, please wait, which will cue Provost Epstein to note that the graduate is in absentia. Do not walk onto the stage until your name is called.
  • Receiving your diploma tube: Accept your diploma tube from President Elliott with your left hand and shake his hand with your right hand, then proceed down the ramp to receive your Conway Cane.
  • At the end of the ramp and after you receive your cane, please pause for your photo with your cane.
  • Caps and gowns, as well as canes and diplomas, are yours to keep. If you don’t want your gown, please recycle it. 
  • Immediately following the ceremony is a lunch on Valentine Quad for graduates and their family and friends (no tickets required).
  • Restrooms: During the Commencement ceremony, please use the restrooms in Frost Library or Johnson Chapel.
  • Boxed water will be available under your seat on the Main Quad.
  • Know where your friends are and make sure they’re at Commencement on Sunday morning — we don’t want to miss anyone!