Commencement 2019: General Information




Please find below general information about the 2019 Sarah Lawrence College Graduate and Undergraduate Commencement Ceremonies. If you have any questions or concerns, you are welcome to contact the Office of College Events at 914.395.2412 or

Remember: Graduation and Commencement are two separate events. All students must complete their graduation application in order to graduate. Please contact the Registrar’s Office for information about submitting graduation forms.

Students who graduated in August 2018, fall semester 2018, or who are candidates for graduation at the end of the spring 2019 semester or in August 2019 are able to participate in the Spring Commencement Ceremonies.

Graduate Commencement Ceremony: Thursday, May 23, 2019

The Graduate Commencement Ceremony takes place Thursday, May 23, under a tent (rain or shine) on Westlands South Lawn. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and will last approximately 1 ½ hours. The tent will be open for seating one hour prior to the ceremony. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note: This is a ticketed event. Tickets are required for entry. A light reception on the North Lawn follows the ceremony.

Our 2019 Graduate Commencement Speakers are Diane Baker MS ’79, former director of the University of Michigan Genetic Counseling Graduate Program, and Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, who will jointly deliver the address as a dialogue.

Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony: Friday, May 24, 2019

The 91st Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony will be held Friday, May 24, under a tent (rain or shine) on Westlands South Lawn. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and generally lasts two hours. Please note: This is a ticketed event. Tickets are required for entry. The Deans’ reception on the North Lawn follows the ceremony.

Our 2019 Undergraduate Commencement Speaker is Maggie Haberman ’96, White House Correspondent for The New York Times and political analyst for CNN.

Seating for Undergraduate Commencement

Space at the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony is very limited. We can accommodate four guests for each undergraduate and each undergraduate will receive only four tickets. A ticket is required for admittance to the ceremony. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and begins at 8:30 a.m.  Undergraduates will be notified when tickets are available for pick up in the Office of College Events. This is usually in late April. Lost or misplaced tickets cannot be replaced.

President's Reception in Honor of the Undergraduate Class of 2019: Thursday, May 23

3:30–4:30 p.m.
President’s House Backyard
Rain location: Heimbold Visual Arts Center

The Class of 2019 and their family and friends are invited to join President Cristle Collins and the entire Sarah Lawrence community for a celebration on the eve of Undergraduate Commencement.

Additional Information

Seating Accommodations

Sarah Lawrence College works to ensure that appropriate accommodations and services are provided for students and their guests at the commencement ceremonies in accordance with The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. If you anticipate needing accommodations for a ticketed guest, please request seating through College Events at by May 8, 2019. In your request, kindly include which ceremony, the graduate’s name, the guest’s name, and the person who will be escorting or staying with the guest in the special seating area. (The escort must be a ticketed guest.) Guests must be pre-registered for special seating as limited space is available. Sign language interpreters may be arranged by advance request, based on availability. If you are of need of this service, please send an e-mail to by April 17, 2019.

Parking on Campus

On both Commencement Days, you may park in any Sarah Lawrence parking lot. College Security will direct you to the open parking areas when you arrive on the campus. Once all lots are full, there will be a designated overflow parking area at the Cross County Mall and shuttle service to/from the Sarah Lawrence campus. Please note that parking on any side street or Kimball Avenue may result in a ticket from the City of Yonkers.

There will be shuttle service to/from the Metro-North Bronxville station before and after each ceremony.

Live Broadcast On Campus

Live broadcasts of both Commencement ceremonies will be available in Reisinger Auditorium. This open, general seating will be available after the processional has entered the tent (approximately 10:05 a.m.)


Because we know how important this day is to students and their families, the College has arranged for a professional photographer to take two pictures of every student. The first picture is taken as the student receives their diploma case from the president, and the second after the student has exited the stage, diploma case in hand. Graduate students will also be photographed as they receive their hood. These pictures will be available for purchase a few weeks after Commencement; an order form for the for the still photographs will be e-mailed as well as mailed to the student’s home address. We hope that this will enable families to sit comfortably in their seats with the reassurance that they will have a professionally produced photograph of this very special moment. For those parents and guests who feel they must take a photograph with their own camera, we ask that they please be considerate of those around them and make note of our guidelines:

  • Parents and guests should not stand up in their row, as this will block the view of those seated behind them.
  • Please do not block or stand in the aisles.

Commencement Week Activities/Residence Hall Closings

Traditionally, Commencement week is a wonderful opportunity for graduates to relax and spend time with their fellow graduates and faculty at events like the Senior Lecture and the Senior/Don Dinner. Seniors are welcome to remain in their residence halls during this week, but students must vacate their rooms before 8 p.m. on Friday, May 24. There can be no exceptions. Residence halls close on Sunday, May 19 at 5 p.m. for students who are not graduating.

Cap & Gown

Cap and gown are provided to graduates complimentary for the ceremony. Measurements must be given to College Events by March 15. An e-mail will be sent to graduates in mid-February requesting this information. Regalia is for the students to keep and includes a cap and tassel. Graduate students receive a degree hood at the Commencement ceremony, which is the student’s to keep.

Video Information

Each ceremony will be videotaped and, when available, the video will be posted on the Sarah Lawrence College website.

Flowers & Graduation Gifts

The Sarah Lawrence College Bookstore has class rings and other graduation items for sale. In addition, flowers will be available for purchase on Commencement Day. Please visit to shop the wide selection of graduation items available.

Ordering Graduation Announcements

Graduation announcements are available from Jostens. Order announcements online or by calling 1.800.854.7464.

Lodging & Restaurants

Several nearby hotels and restaurants offer discounted rates or specials for Sarah Lawrence College friends and family. Ask for the "Sarah Lawrence College rate" when booking or making a reservation. A list of area hotels and restaurants is available here.