Ceremony Procedures & Seating

The below information follows a typical commencement ceremony. Details for May 2021 will be released in mid-April.

Commencement is the formal ceremony at which President Chapdelaine officially confers your degree. The Commencement ceremony will be held on the residential quadrangle. The ceremony will begin promptly at 10 a.m. and will last for approximately two and one-half hours. 

Please keep in mind Hood's policy that only those who have fulfilled all academic requirements and have met all of their financial obligations to the College may participate in Commencement.

Undergraduate students who wish to be excused from the Commencement ceremony must secure permission from the registrar.

Graduates will be directed out of their seats and to the stage ramp. The college marshal will be at the ramp to assist graduates, who will then proceed to the top of the ramp and wait until their name is called. As the graduate receives their diploma and shakes the President’s hand, a photographer will take a photo. After the photo, graduates will process down the ramp on the other side of the stage, another photo will be taken and any greetings by legacies will occur. Graduates will then be further directed to promptly return to their seat, remaining seated until all candidates have been awarded their degrees.

Please be aware that alcoholic beverages and smoking are prohibited during the ceremony. Graduates who do not cooperate with this policy will not be allowed to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

All parking spaces on campus will be available the day of the ceremony.

Additional parking will be available:

  • Frederick Memorial Hospital (FMH) parking deck (400 W. 7th St., Frederick)
  • Frederick Church of the Brethren (201 Fairview Ave., Frederick)
  • On the residential streets surrounding the campus

Handicap parking spaces are available throughout the campus and additional spaces will be held in the large lot south of the Coffman Chapel. An assigned handicap drop-off area will be located between Meyran and Shriner Halls.

We ask that graduates arrive promptly at 9 a.m. and line up behind Alumnae Hall. You will receive an email with your row and seat assignment. Please locate the volunteer holding a sign that corresponds to your row. The volunteer will place you in the correct spot in the lineup.

At Commencement, graduates and faculty wear academic regalia. All candidates wear a cap, tassel, robe and hood.

Under the robe, graduates should wear clothing appropriate for this special occasion. Jeans, t-shirts, flip-flops, etc. are not appropriate attire for the Commencement Ceremony.

The hood should be worn velvet side out with the velvet binding flipped to show the colors; secure the hood so that it does not fall off your shoulders.

The mortarboard should be worn flat (parallel to the ground), secured with bobby pins, if necessary.

May undergraduate candidates should wear the tassel on the right and switch after receiving diplomas. September and January undergraduate candidates should wear the tassel on the left throughout the ceremony.

Academic honor ribbons should be worn to Commencement.

There will be ample seating available for the Commencement ceremony. You do not need a ticket for family members and guests. Your guests may take their seats beginning at 9 a.m. Guests will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis, and should be seated by 9:45 a.m.

Reserved seating is limited to handicapped guests and to those requiring special assistance. Please contact Julie Chalk, provost’s office, chalk@hood.edu, 301-696-3623, Alumnae Hall, Room 104 to make arrangements for special reserved seating. An interpreter for the hearing impaired will be available for both Baccalaureate and Commencement. Please contact Julie Chalk, 301-696-3623 if you need this service.

Only robes are required for the Baccalaureate ceremony; mortarboard is not worn. 

The robe should be closed. Under the robe, graduates should wear clothing appropriate for this special occasion. Jeans, t-shirts, flip-flops, etc. are not appropriate attire for the Baccalaureate Ceremony.

Academic honor ribbons and dinks should be worn to Baccalaureate Mass.

An interpreter for the hearing impaired will be available.

Restrooms will be available in Coblentz Hall, Huntsinger Aquatic Center, Memorial Hall, Meyran Hall, Nicodemus Athletic Complex and the Ronald J. Volpe Athletic Center.