Class of 2024 Commencement

We look forward to Celebrating the Class of 2024!

We are eager to invite Senior families and their guests back to campus for the Class of 2024 Commencement Weekend festivities. Please be sure to review the schedule of events as well as the frequently asked questions for details.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, May 30, 2024
5 p.m. Community Convocation Program and Dinner
(Seniors and community members only)

Friday, May 31, 2024
5 - 6 p.m. Pre-Prom Festivities for Seniors and Families
Richard T. Greener Quadrangle

6 - 7 p.m. Reception for Senior Parents
Pan Athletic Center, Modeste Lobby

Saturday, June 1, 2024
12:30 p.m. Mandatory Commencement Rehearsal
Snyder Center
(Seniors Only)

3 p.m. Commencement Concert
Cochran Chapel


4:30 p.m. Catholic Mass
Cochran Chapel, Kemper Chapel

5 - 8 p.m. Buffet Dinner
Paresky Commons

8:30 p.m. Candlelight Baccalaureate
Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
Cochran Chapel
(Tickets required)
Non-ticketed guests are welcome to watch the simulcast in Kemper Auditorium

Sunday, June 2, 2024
(Please know we make every effort to keep the Commencement Ceremony outside, and therefore ask that you dress for the weather, including a light to heavy drizzle. If we have to move Commencement inside this becomes a ticketed event, and the livestream is available in Kemper Auditorium for additional guests without tickets. Please see the FAQs for those details.)


10 a.m. Procession and Commencement Exercises
Chandler - Wormley Vista to Richard T. Greener Quadrangle

11 a.m. Distribution of Diplomas
Lawn in front of the Addison Gallery of American Art

12 p.m. Light Refreshments
Flagstaff Courtyard and Paresky Commons Patio


FAQs

What is the plan for Commencement 2024?
We are excited to welcome families to campus to celebrate the Class of 2024. Helpful campus visitor information can be found on the website, including lodging, directions to campus, campus map, and guidelines for visitors. Please see rain details below should we need to move the ceremony inside.

As always, the ceremony will be streamed live, starting at 10 a.m. ET, allowing ALL family and friends to share in this special day. The live stream details will be available on the website a few days prior to Commencement.

When will I receive Commencement invitations?
In March, Commencement invitations are sent from the school to the parents or guardians of each senior. The Commencement invitation includes a schedule of events during Commencement weekend. In addition, seniors will receive an invitation in their student mailbox. If additional Commencement invitations are needed, please contact Naomi Mashburn, in the Office of Alumni Engagement, at 978-749-4225.

Is there local lodging in the area?
Please visit our webpage for Overnight Accommodations.

What should Seniors wear during the Commencement ceremony?
Commencement is one of Phillips Academy's most formal ceremonies. Students wear attire that honors the significance and specialness of the day. Casual attire, including baseball caps, is not recommended. View photos from Commencement 2023.

Do you have accessibility concerns?
If you have questions concerning accessibility or wish to request a disability–related accommodation for you or a member of your family, please contact Naomi Mashburn in the Office of Alumni Engagement, prior to your visit.

Mobility:
We will have a limited number of wheelchairs available for use. Please contact Naomi Mashburn in the Office of Alumni Engagement no later than Wednesday, February 15, 2024, to ensure we can accommodate your request for use of a wheelchair. After the ceremony in front of Samuel Phillips Hall, students and families will form a circle in front of the Addison Gallery of American Art. When you arrive that day, please ask an usher for the directions or follow signage to the ramp between Foxcroft dorm and the Addison Gallery.

Restrooms:
Accessible restrooms will be available in the buildings directly facing Samuel Phillips Hall in Bartlet House or Foxcroft Hall.

Parking:
Most campus parking lots have designated accessible parking spaces (see accessible parking spaces on our campus map). In addition, we will have drop-off behind Samuel Phillips Hall, located off of Great Quad Road with additional accessible spaces there for those needing special assistance prior to the commencement ceremony.

Seating: There will be a small accessible seating area located to the left of Samuel Phillips Hall. When you arrive please see an usher for assistance.

Captioning and American Sign Language (ASL) Translation:
On-screen captioning will be provided during the Commencement ceremony on the large, outdoor screens. If you would like to request American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, please contact Naomi Mashburn in the Office of Alumni Engagement no later than Wednesday, February 15, 2024, to ensure we can accommodate this service.


Am I restricted to a certain number of guests?
If weather permits and Commencement is held outdoors, seniors may invite as many guests as they wish. If inclement weather forces Commencement to be held indoors, seating is limited. See rain details for more details.

What if it rains?
Please be advised that we make every effort to conduct Sunday's Commencement exercises outdoors. Guests should be prepared to dress for conditions ranging from cold drizzle to intense heat and humidity. If severe weather forces the ceremony to be held indoors, seating will be limited. Each senior will receive four guest tickets (seniors do not need a ticket) for admission. Only ticket-bearing guests will be admitted, and all other guests are welcome to watch the livestream of the ceremony in Kemper Auditorium.

When do seniors need to be out of the dormitories?
Seniors are expected to be out of their dorms promptly following the Commencement ceremony. The Academy will share specific details regarding student move-out, prior to Commencement weekend. We encourage seniors to pack up their dorm rooms during the day on Friday and Saturday, so that there is very little left to pack on Sunday after Commencement.

Non Smoking Campus
Phillips Academy is a non-smoking campus, and we ask that you refrain from smoking on campus including e-cigarettes.

Are dogs allowed at Commencement?
Phillips Academy is a dog-friendly campus, however, only service dogs are permitted on campus during the Commencement ceremony.

Do I need tickets for the Baccalaureate Service?
The Baccalaureate Service is held in Cochran Chapel the Saturday night before Commencement. For fire code capacity safety reasons, occupancy in the chapel is limited. Each Senior can bring two ticket-bearing guests. Seniors will receive three tickets in their student mailboxes (one for themselves and two for their guests) on Wednesday, May 29. If you need extra tickets please encourage your child to ask their friends for any unused tickets.

What should guests without tickets for Baccalaureate do?
The Baccalaureate Service will be simulcast in Kemper Auditorium for guests who do not have tickets. There is unlimited seating and air-conditioning in Kemper.

Where do I park?
Parking is available in our campus lots; please reference the campus map. Handicap accessible parking is also available behind Samuel Phillips Hall during Commencement weekend.

Do I need to bring a Commencement invitation in order to be permitted to attend Commencement?
No. Invitations are a keepsake, and tickets only come into play if we need to move the ceremony inside. Please see rain details above.

How early can I arrive on campus for the Commencement ceremony on Sunday, June 2, 2024?
We encourage families to arrive early to allow time for parking and to find seats. Please plan to be seated by 9:30 a.m. We will begin promptly at 10 a.m.

Where are the restrooms located?
Restrooms are located inside George Washington Hall, Foxcroft and Bartlet dormitories, and Elson Art Center restroom outside of Kemper Auditorium.

Medical Assistance
Phillips Academy Public Safety officers, Town of Andover police, and an EMT are on-hand to assist guests. If anyone is in need of assistance, please call 978-749-4444.

Extreme Heat Weather
We want all of our guests to be safe and comfortable, if the weather is extremely warm, please know that Kemper Auditorium is available to view the livestream and is air conditioned with comfortable seating. Water stations will be available near the Library patio and on the lawn area in front of Samuel Phillips Hall.

Where should parents and guests stand while diplomas are being distributed?
Parents are permitted to stand behind their child on the outside of the circle. All guests, including individuals using cameras or video equipment, are asked to respect the integrity of the ceremony during the Commencement exercises by remaining outside the circle and behind the seniors throughout the distribution of diplomas.

Will there be refreshments following the ceremony?
Following the distribution of diplomas, seniors and their guests are invited to a reception of light refreshments in Flagstaff Courtyard, in front of Paresky Commons.

For additional information, feel free to contact Naomi Mashburn in the Office of Alumni Engagement.

Community Convocation - Thursday, May 30, 2024

Community Convocation marks the beginning of Commencement Weekend. It is a special evening for the students and the campus community to be together. There are no outside guests allowed on campus for this event. Seniors will gather in Cochran Chapel for the program and then process to Snyder Center for dinner and celebration.

Pre-Prom Festivities for Seniors & Families - Friday, May 31, 2024

Families are invited to gather for pre-prom festivities from 5 to 6 p.m. for photos on the steps of Samuel Phillips Hall and throughout the Richard T. Greener Quad. At 6 p.m. prom attendees will process through the Richard T. Greener Quad to their waiting buses.

Reception for Senior Parents - Friday, May 31, 2024

Following the Pre-Prom Festivities, Senior Parents are invited to a reception from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Pan Athletic Center's Modeste Lobby. Mark your calendar to save the date!

Commencement Rehearsal - Saturday, June 1, 2024

There will be a mandatory Commencement rehearsal for Seniors from 12:30-2 p.m. Details will be shared directly with the students. This rehearsal is not open to outside guests.

Commencement Concert - Saturday, June 1, 2024

Join Phillips Academy faculty and seniors for a music concert in the Cochran Chapel at 3 p.m.

Catholic Mass - Saturday, June 1, 2024

All are welcome to gather in the chapel for a Saturday Catholic Mass with Dr. Mary Kantor. The service begins at 4:30 p.m. in Kemper Chapel. Feel free to delay your scheduled dinner slot at Paresky, if overlap occurs.

Buffet Dinner - Saturday, June 1, 2024

Families are welcome to a dinner buffet in Paresky Commons. In order to provide the best service and avoid long lines we ask that those with last names from A - M arrive between 5 - 6:15 p.m., and those with last names N - Z plan to arrive after 6:15 p.m.

Baccalaureate - Saturday, June 1, 2024

The Baccalaureate Service is held in Cochran Chapel the Saturday night before Commencement. For fire code capacity safety reasons, occupancy in the chapel is limited. Each Senior can bring two ticket-bearing guests. Seniors will receive three tickets (one for themselves, two for their guests) in their student mailboxes on Wednesday, May 29. If you need extra tickets please encourage your child to ask their friends for any unused tickets.

The Baccalaureate Service will be simulcast in Kemper Auditorium for guests who do not have tickets. There is unlimited seating and air conditioning in Kemper Auditorium.

Commencement - Sunday, June 2, 2024

We recommend families arrive before 9:30 a.m. to allow for parking and finding seats for the Commencement ceremony. As always, the ceremony will be streamed live, starting at 10 a.m. ET, allowing ALL family and friends to share in this special day. The live stream details will be available on the website a few days prior to Commencement.

Please be advised that we make every effort to conduct Sunday's Commencement exercises outdoors. Guests should be prepared to dress for conditions ranging from cold drizzle to intense heat and humidity. If severe weather forces the ceremony to be held indoors, seating will be limited. Each senior will receive four guest tickets (seniors do not need a ticket) for admission. Only ticket-bearing guests will be admitted, and all other guests are welcome to attend a simulcast of the ceremony in Kemper Auditorium. Tickets are only necessary if the Commencement Ceremony has to be moved indoors.

Please see the Commencement FAQs on this page for more information.


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