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


Doctoral Hooding Ceremony

This spring, our inaugural doctoral cohort will participate in a hooding ceremony, recognition of the completion of their doctoral program of study at Hood College. The inaugural doctoral cohort entered their program of study in fall 2016, completing rigorous coursework along with their dissertations during the last three and half-years. The Hooding Ceremony is a special event at which time the Doctoral Hood is placed on the candidates to symbolize their degree completion and recognition of their status as a scholar with a doctoral degree. To compliment the custom designed blue and grey doctoral gowns, the hood, an important element of doctoral academic regalia is distinctive of their discipline; brown for Doctorate in Business Administration candidates or citron green for Doctorate in Organizational Leadership. The doctoral candidates will again reveal their full academic regalia during the Commencement ceremony, where their doctoral degrees will be officially conferred. 

Graduate Degree Recipient Reception

Hosted by the dean of the Graduate School, this event for graduate degree recipients and their guests is held in the Ronald J. Volpe Athletic Center, BB&T Arena. The reception will include the presentation of Graduate Student Awards and the announcement of the recipients of the Graduate Teaching Excellence Awards. RSVPs are required. Invitations to this event will be mailed to graduate candidates in mid-April.


President’s Reception  

A President’s Reception for all students, their families, and faculty and staff will be held in the Coblentz Hall Dining Room, beginning at 4:30 p.m. Food and refreshments will be served. 

Baccalaureate Service  

The Baccalaureate Service (for undergraduate students) will be held in Coffman Chapel at 6 p.m. All graduating students, their families and community members are invited to attend this service of celebration and farewell. We ask that students assemble in the basement of Coffman Chapel, Room 5, at 5:30 p.m. to line up for the Service.


Strawberry Breakfast  

The Strawberry Breakfast will be held in Coblentz Hall Dining Room from 7 to 9 a.m. The breakfast is a Hood tradition dating back to 1928, when it was held in conjunction with the College May Day Celebration. Mrs. Martha Carson, the College dietician and dining room supervisor from 1914 to 1948, started the tradition. The College continues this tradition, serving a breakfast buffet that includes such specialties as strawberries, ice cream and sticky buns on the morning of Commencement. 

A ticket is required for all attendees, including the graduating student; each graduating student is entitled to three complimentary meal tickets for the Strawberry Breakfast. Additional tickets may be purchased online at a cost of $12.75 for adults and $6.00 for children aged 6 to 12 years; there is no cost for children aged 5 and under. The form for ordering the complimentary tickets and additional tickets will be online in the spring. Please purchase your tickets by Wednesday. Tickets will also be sold at the door.

Commencement Ceremony

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. 

Live Telecast  

The ceremony will be live streamed. If there is severe weather, the event will be live streamed from BB&T Arena to campus viewing locations in Whitaker Campus Commons and Hodson Auditorium.

Accessibility Services

Graduating Students: 

Graduates needing accessibility services should indicate so on the application for graduation and/or contact the Office of Accessibility Services at 301-696-3569 or  


Sign language interpreters will be available for both Baccalaureate and Commencement.

Handicap parking spaces are available throughout the campus.  An assigned handicap drop-off area will be located between Meyran and Shriner Halls (campus map).

Reserved seating is limited to handicapped guests and to those requiring special assistance, plus one companion.  Additional family members and guests may sit in non-reserved seating.  

Please contact the Office of Accessibility Services at 301-696-3569 or no later than May 1 should guests need accommodations (i.e. wheelchair, visual/hearing impaired, etc.).  Wheelchairs are not provided by the College.