May 11, 2017, BY Avid Khorramian '17

Bucknell seniors at Commencement
Graduates at the 2016 Commencement ceremony. Photo by Tim Sofranko

While Bucknell's preparations for the Class of 2017's Commencement weekend unfold, students and families are also hard at work planning how to best go about the three-day fête. The University has a host of resources to answer logistical questions, but other voices weighed in on the closing affair to give a firsthand account on how to make the weekend a success.

Fast facts

  • The ceremony starts at 10 a.m. and usually lasts around two-and-a-half hours.
  • For answers to last-minute questions, head to one of the information booths at the entrances of each quad corner. Between 40 and 50 student volunteers will be available to help in addition to to Bucknell staff assisting with the event.
  • If the weather is warm, there will be a bottle of water under each graduate's seat on the Quad.
  • In the event of light rain and an outdoor ceremony, there will be a poncho on each graduate's chair, and their programs will be in plastic sleeves.
  • Water and ponchos for families and guests may be obtained at designated areas on the Quad. 
  • If the rain is significant, the ceremony will be moved inside to the Field House. Each senior receives five tickets to use in the event of an indoor ceremony when they pick up their cap and gown. There will also be indoor viewing spaces around campus if the ceremony is held in the Field House.  
    Need ideas for photo locations? We've got you covered.

    Plan everything

    • Make meal reservations as soon as possible. Many local restaurants book up early for Friday and Saturday dinners, as well as for post-ceremony lunches on Sunday.
    • Leave enough time in your schedule to fill out the senior survey when you pick up your cap and gown. It's mandatory!
    • Pick your attire for each day of Commencement weekend before leaving campus for Senior Week. This will minimize your post-return panic as you scramble to find something to wear for Candlelighting, the baccalaureate service, receptions and other activities.
    • Tell everyone who can't make it to Commencement that they can watch it live in two places: Facebook and online.
    • Be sure friends and family wear layers to account for the wide range of temperatures between morning and early afternoon.
    • Malesardi Quad opens for Commencement at 7 a.m., but guests typically arrive around 8 or 8:30 a.m. Designate someone to stay with the seats rather than "saving" them with jackets and purses. Unattended items will be removed.

    Best-kept secret: Lot 61. Located behind the South Campus Apartments, these parking spaces are often open — and a shuttle stop is nearby.

    Must-have accessory: Pockets. Graduation gowns do not have pockets, so wear clothing with pockets or carry a small bag that fits under your gown. And stash your phone before walking across the stage to accept your diploma!

    Essential footwear: Comfy shoes. Avoid wearing new shoes that haven't been broken in, and consider skipping high, pointed heels that can sink into the grass or are hard to walk or stand in. The last thing you want are blisters, achy feet and difficulty walking during the ceremony.

    Avid Khorramian '17, who majors in markets, innovation & design, is an Undergraduate Executive Intern in the Division of Communications.

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