Commencement Headquarters

alumni house

During the Commencement Weekend, Commencement Headquarters is located in the Alumni House and short-stay parking is available in front of the building (see parking map). Guides can provide a Schedule of Events, on-campus residence hall room keys, Commencement rain tickets (students must bring ID to pick up tickets), concert tickets, information on events in the area and lists of restaurants and local lodging. Headquarters will be open starting on Friday at 1 p.m. 

Dining on Campus

valentine dining hall

Valentine Hall will be open during Commencement Weekend and meal hours will be posted at a future date.

Schwemm’s Gourmet Coffee House in Keefe Campus Center is open Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m. to  2 p.m. 

Medical Services

The Student Health Service will not be open Commencement Weekend. The Amherst College Emergency Medical Services team (ACEMS)will be on call for health needs at 413/542-2291.

Students and families with urgent medical needs over the weekend can go to the AEIOU Urgent Care Clinic or the CVS Minute Clinic. The AEIOU Urgent Care Clinic is open on Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located at 170 University Drive in Amherst (across from Big Y). Their telephone number is 413/461-3530. The CVS Minute Clinic is open on Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and is located at 165 University Drive in Amherst (in the Big Y plaza). Their telephone number is 866/389-2727.

For emergencies, contact Amherst College Police at 413/542-2111. The nearest hospital for emergency care is Cooley Dickinson Hospital, located at 30 Locust Street in Northampton, Mass. Their telephone number is 413/582-2000.

Photographs and Video Recording

We understand that Commencement is an important experience for students and families. With this in mind, we are happy to offer the following help for those interested in photography during the ceremony.

Commencement Photos, Inc. (telephone 978/851-5924) will be taking pictures of each senior as they receive their diploma from the president. Photo packages will be available to all either through the Commencement Photos website, or as a result of mailings to the families of the graduates. As a gift to the class, CPI will also be taking a photo of each senior after they receive their cane. The 4x6 photo, free of charge, will be included in the sample photo mailing from CPI in the weeks following Commencement.

The Office of Communications will have several photographers at Commencement assigned to general coverage. These photos will be made available, in full resolution and free of charge, on the Amherst College Flickr site in the week following Commencement. You are welcome to download, share, print and send these photos. The link to these photos will be posted on the Commencement website as soon as it's available.

Collegiate Video (telephone 802/365-4414) has been authorized by Amherst College to produce a keepsake DVD featuring all the important highlights from the Commencement ceremonies. The DVDs will include footage of your graduate being announced, crossing the stage and receiving their diploma. Families receive a brochure and order form in the mail or ordering can be done online. DVDs are approximately 90 minutes in length.  Information is also available on the website.

Photographs after the ceremony: Some wonderful locations to capture a photo of your happy graduate after the ceremony include:

  • The Stage Area: After the recessional has left the stage area, guests are invited to take photos on or near the stage.
  • War Memorial: Using the Holyoke range as the background, the War Memorial offers a stunning option for photos.
  • Stearns Steeple: Located just in front of the entrance to the Mead Museum, the steeple with its granite exterior provides an austere and elegant backdrop.


Parking permits are not required during Commencement Weekend, and you may park vehicles in regular campus parking spaces. Friday through Sunday, however, no parking is allowed along the War Memorial side of the Main Quadrangle, or near Johnson Chapel at the Quadrangle. Parking elsewhere around the Quadrangle will be restricted; observe all posted signs. Cars may be parked in Converse, Hills, O’Connell and Orr Rink parking lots. Oversized vehicles (RVs) should be parked in the Hills lot.

Social Media

We invite you to follow @AmherstCollege on Twitter and amherstcollege on Instagram, and to tag your Commencement Weekend tweets and photos with #AmherstCommencement.


On-Campus Parties

Please see Guidelines for On-Campus Parties.