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FAQs for Families

May 22 and May 23, 2015

Commencement Information

Information for Guests  

Commencement Information
Who participates?
In order to participate in Commencement, students must: 
• Complete an Application for Graduation via Self-Service
• Submit a complete degree audit signed by your Academic Advisor to the Center for Student Services Founders Hall 223
• Be no more than three credits short of all graduation requirements
• Have a plan approved by the Department Chair and Dean of the Undergraduate College to register for the remaining three credits within the next academic year, summer 2015 through spring 2016
• Agree to pay the College in full for the credits needed before walking at Commencement 
• Satisfy all financial obligations to the College
• Complete exit interviews if they have any federal loans  
Complete the Career Survey
Students eligible to participate in Commencement May 2015 typically include potential May 2015 bachelor's and master's graduates, January 2015 bachelors and master's graduates and August 2014 bachelor's and master's graduates who were not eligible to participate in Commencement May 2014.
What is the date and time of Commencement?
Commencement will take place on the College’s River Lawn on Saturday, May 23, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. The Undergraduate College graduates, which includes all bachelor and nursing students except for accelerated nursing students, will begin lining up at 9:30 am. Master’s and accelerated nursing graduates will begin lining up at 9:00 a.m for their Hooding Ceremony. The procession will begin promptly at 10:30 a.m.

How long does the ceremony last?
The ceremony is expected to last approximately 1.5 hours.  

Do you know who the speaker will be?
This announcement is usually made in mid-April. 

Will my graduate be individually recognized?
Yes, each graduate's name will be announced and the graduate will cross the stage. Graduates will be called to the stage by major (i.e. nursing, psychology). For example, nursing graduates will be called to the stage individually and in no particular order.

What is the Baccalaureate Award and Hooding Ceremony? When and where will it be held?
The College sponsors a Baccalaureate Awards and Hooding Ceremony to recognize the academic achievements of Undergraduate College graduates and to celebrate their hooding as college graduates. The ceremony will be held Friday, May 22, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. in Hayes Auditorium, Grace Center. Graduates are expected to wear their caps and gowns to the ceremony. All Undergraduate College graduates will receive their hoods at this time. Hoods will not be available at any other time. The ceremony will last one hour. Tickets are not necessary. 

What is the Baccalaureate Mass? When and where will it be held?
All graduates and their guests are invited to attend the Baccalaureate Mass celebrated in their honor. Tickets are not necessary. The mass will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 22, 2015 in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, on the second floor of Founders Hall.

Is there a reception following the Baccalaureate Mass?
All attendees are invited to a reception immediately following the mass in Smith Hall, The Academy, Founders Hall 2nd floor. Finger food and beverages will be served.

Are there announcements available that may be sent to relatives and friends?
Personalized Commencement announcements will be available for order and purchase online on or around February 26, 2015 at

Are tickets required and is there a limit to how many guests can be invited?
Tickets are not required for the Commencement ceremony. There is no limit to the number of guests a graduate can invite to the ceremony. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Saving seats will not be allowed. 

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Information for Guests
What is the suggested guest attire?
Weather conditions have varied from picture-perfect to extreme rain or heat. Graduates and guests are advised to dress comfortably and be prepared for the weather. If it is raining, you may want to bring umbrellas, appropriate rain gear, and a covering for your chair. Bring sun block and hats for sunny conditions. Wear shoes appropriate for grassy areas.

When should guests plan on arriving?
Guests are encouraged to arrive before 9:45 a.m. to better ensure a parking space and seating. Guests will not be permitted to enter the tent before 8:30 a.m.

Is there reserved seating for Commencement?
No. Seats are reserved only for the graduates and special Commencement guests.

Are there any special arrangements needed for guests with physical disabilities?
Requests for disabled seating tickets, disabled parking permits, and sign language interpreting can be made to the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students no later than Friday, May 1, 2015. There will be a designated seating section to accommodate disabled guests.   

A limit of one disabled parking permit and two disabled seating tickets per graduate will be issued. As guests enter the campus, they should be prepared to show their disabled parking permit to the security guard, who will direct the guest to the appropriate parking area. Parking spaces are reserved for vehicles with handicapped license plates, handicapped parking placards issued by a municipality, and special parking permits issued by the College.  

Is indoor seating available in the event of rain or extreme heat?
Unfortunately, indoor seating is not available. 

What about parking?
Family and guests are encouraged to arrive before 9:45 a.m. to better ensure a parking space. Vehicular access to the campus will become increasingly difficult as the parking lots fill. Guests should make arrangements to obtain from their graduates the two parking passes that were distributed to them. Graduates with current campus parking permits will be able to park on campus on Commencement Day; they will not need to use one of their guest parking permits. 

What happens if it rains or if there are severe weather conditions?
Commencement will take place rain or shine on the River Lawn. 

Will I be able to take pictures during the ceremony? 
The College has hired Island Photography to photograph all graduates as they shake hands with President Charles Flynn and receive their diplomas. Island Photography will photograph each student as he/she receives the diploma and again right after he/she leaves the stage. To receive a direct link to the photos and to register to receive photos on line visit

You may register several emails to allow your friends and family to receive a direct link to your Commencement photos. Images will be posted within 72 hours of the Commencement ceremony. For further information contact Island Photography at their address above or at (800) 869-0908.

As a courtesy to the graduates and all in attendance, we ask that you remain in your seats during the Commencement ceremony. Our staff is instructed to restrict access to the stage and the graduates' seating area. Guests will not be able to walk or stand in the aisles to take photographs or videotape. Please be considerate of the families around you. 

Will flowers be available for purchase on campus at Commencement?
Yes, the No-Book Store will be selling flowers in various locations by the commencement tent. Additionally, the store, located on the first floor of Founders Hall, will be open from 8:00 am to 2:00 p.m. on Commencement Day. The store offers a variety of CMSV spirit wear, cards, gifts and snacks.

Is it possible for students to schedule a Senior/Graduation Portrait?
Yes, Thornton Studios is taking appointments for senior/graduation portraits. Photos are typically taken at the Grotto next to the campus entrance. You can schedule a time by visiting Specific instructions for scheduling a time on line will be sent to graduates directly.

What if my guests need overnight accommodations?
For guests who need overnight accommodations, below is a list of local hotels within 20 – 30 minutes from the College: 
• Hampton Inn & Suites - 160 Corporate Drive South, Yonkers, NY  (914) 377-1144 
• Ramada Inn - 125 Tuckahoe Road, Yonkers, NY - (914) 476-3800
• Royal Regency Hotel - 165 Tuckahoe Road, Tarrytown, NY - (914) 631-1122
• Courtyard by Marriott - 475 White Plains Rd., Tarrytown, NY (914) 631-1122

Is there a lost and found on campus?
Lost items will be turned in at the Security Office in the Maloney Center located in the lower level of the library. Inquiries about lost articles may be made in person or by calling (718) 405-3722.

Is medical assistance available?
Yes. The nurse’s station will be located immediately outside the tent next to the musicians. 

When do the residence halls close?
All residence halls will close at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, 2015 for graduating seniors.

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