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Commencement 2017

Friday, May 12 – Sunday, May 14, 2017

2017 Ceremony

2017 Schedule – Quick View

Friday, May 12, 2017

  • 1:45 p.m. – Daisy Chain, front steps of Martin Science Building
  • 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. – Final Friday (all undergraduates are required to attend), Hampson Commons, Student Center
  • 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. – Senior Cocktail Party (undergraduates only please), President’s House. Shuttles will depart Main Hall Lobby beginning at 3:55 p.m. Dress: cocktail attire.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

  • 11 a.m. – Baccalaureate Service, Houston Memorial Chapel
  • 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. – Garden Party, Student Center and Michels Plaza

Sunday, May 14, 2017

  • 8 a.m. – Mandatory Rehearsal for Graduates and Squires, Meet at Michels Plaza (if rain, Smith Banquet Hall)
  • 10 a.m. – Commencement Exercises, The Dell
    (Rain site: Smith Memorial Theatre, Smith Hall)
  • 11:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. – Buffet Lunch, Cheatham Dining Hall, a buffet lunch is available for purchase; no reservations required. Graduates are guests of honor of the College.

Download Full Schedule (PDF)

General Information

Parking Information.

The city police will enforce parking regulations on the streets surrounding the College throughout the weekend. Guests are reminded to observe all parking signs. Parking areas on campus will be marked and campus safety officers will be available to provide directions. For Commencement, a shuttle will run from the various parking areas on campus to the Bell parking lot, the area adjacent to The Dell. The Dell is steep and can be slippery. Guests are advised to wear appropriate and comfortable shoes and to remain on the marked pathways.

Assistance for Guests with Disabilities

For Commencement, handicap accessible shuttles will be available for those who cannot walk into The Dell. Shuttles will leave periodically from Main Hall front porch beginning at 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. Handicap accessible shuttles will also pick up passengers at the far north end of the Bell parking lot. There will be no transportation to the base of The Dell after 9:30 a.m. Accessible seating is also available in the Pines Cottage at the top of The Dell. The shuttles will provide transportation out of The Dell following the ceremony. Please allow time for the shuttles to return.

Handicap-accessible seating will be made available upon reservation

If your party will include someone who has special needs, please contact Jill Mazzone in the Dean of Students Office to reserve a handicap-accessible seat. She can be reached at jmazzone@randolphcollege.edu or by phone at (434) 947-8895. One companion may accompany the special-needs guest in the handicap-accessible seats.

Commencement Logistics and Rain Tickets

Commencement will be held at 10 am Sunday, in The Dell, our outdoor Greek Theatre. The seats in The Dell are made of stone. You may want to bring a blanket or stadium chair to sit on in The Dell. It can be very warm in mid-May, so we encourage you to bring conveniently sized bottles of drinking water to the event. Water stations will be available in The Dell.

In case of rain, the ceremony will be held in Smith Hall Theatre, which has approximately 800 seats. Should Commencement be held indoors, each senior will be allotted 3 rain tickets for guests (graduates and squires do not require a ticket) to attend the actual ceremony. Overflow seating with a live webcast of the Commencement ceremony will be shown in the Student Center in Hampson Commons, Nichols Theatre, and the Quillian Conference Room – no ticket required. A system to reserve allotted rain tickets and request additional tickets will be emailed to graduates. Undergraduates will receive rain tickets at Final Friday. Master’s degree students will receive rain tickets at the Master’s Degree Awards.

Cell Phones

During Commencement, all cell phones should be turned off.


A professional photographer will take a photo of each graduate receiving their diploma.  These images will be available for download, free of charge,  at www.randolphcollege.edu/rcgrads2017 later in the week.

Cameras and Video Equipment

Use of cameras and video equipment during the ceremony is permitted.  Please remain in your seat and please be respectful.

Pet Policy.

Randolph College has a “no pet” policy that is strictly enforced. Pets are not allowed at the Commencement Ceremony. Service animals that provide assistance to individuals with disabilities are permitted.

Lineup Times

It is important for graduates to be on time for Daisy Chain, Commencement rehearsal, and lineup. Instructions for graduates and squires will be emailed to graduates.

Digital Program

A digital Commencement program, which is a part of the College’s sustainability efforts, will be available for download at www.randolphcollege.edu/commencement and will contain final information, including honors awarded.

Final Friday Slideshow

The Office of College Relations is creating a slideshow for Final Friday and would like to include pictures of your student and their time at Randolph. Send photos, both formal and goofy, to be included to rccollegerelations@gmail.com.


Daisy Chain

The traditional Daisy Chain event will be held on Front Campus at 1:45 p.m. on Friday, May 12. Daisy Chain has been a Commencement event since the early 1900s. The seniors will assemble in rows on the steps of Martin Science Building in their button-adorned academic robes and funny hats. (Seniors cover their robes with buttons they have carefully collected during their years at Randolph.) The sophomores, sister class of the seniors, will carry the daisy chain across front campus to Martin Science Building, following the traditional Crush Path. When they reach Martin Science Building, the sophomores will move among the seniors and, amidst a sister-class serenade, pass the daisy chain into the arms of the seniors. The seniors will then process with the daisy chain from the steps of Martin Science Building to the Sundial, located in front of Wright Hall. The Daisy Chain ceremony lasts about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Graduation Squires

It is tradition for each senior to select a graduation squire who will march with the senior and sit directly behind the graduate during Commencement. At the designated moment during the Commencement ceremony, the squire will ceremoniously place the Randolph College baccalaureate hood around the senior’s collar.

Originally the squires were sophomores; but once sophomores were no longer required to stay for Commencement, seniors began to choose family members as their squires. Although most seniors choose fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, grandparents, alumnae relatives, or siblings to act as their squire, some seniors choose a person who is not a relative but someone with whom the senior wants to share this very special occasion.

Please note that each senior is limited to one squire. Seniors may choose not to have a squire, in which case they will “hood” themselves. If a squire would have difficulty walking down into The Dell from the Pines area, she or he will simply ride the shuttle from Main Hall front porch or the far north end of the Bell parking lot into The Dell and join the processional as it enters The Dell, both for rehearsal and the actual ceremony.


2016 Coverage

2016 Ceremony