Commencement 2020: General Information




Please find below general information about the 2020 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 September 2019, fall semester 2019, and students who are candidates for graduation at the end of spring semester 2020 are invited to participate in the Spring Commencement Ceremonies.

Graduate Commencement Ceremony: Thursday, May 14, 2020

The Graduate Commencement Ceremony takes place Thursday, May 14, under a tent (rain or shine) on Westlands South Lawn. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and will last approximately 1 ½ hours.   A light celebratory reception in the Barbara Walters Campus Center follows the ceremony. The tent will open for seating one hour prior to the ceremony at 9 a.m. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony: Friday, May 15, 2020

The 92nd Undergraduate Commencement ceremony will be held Friday, May 15, under a tent (rain or shine) on Westlands South Lawn. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and generally lasts two hours. A light celebratory reception on the North Lawn follows the ceremony. Please note: This is a ticketed event. Tickets are required for entry under the tent.

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. The 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.

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 1, 2020. 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 in need of this service, please send an e-mail to by April 3, 2020.

Parking on Campus

On both Commencement days, you may park in any Sarah Lawrence parking lot. Campus Safety 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 with shuttle service to and from 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 and from the Metro-North Bronxville station before and after each ceremony.

Live Broadcast On Campus

Live broadcast of the Commencement ceremonies will be available in Reisinger Auditorium. This open, general seating will be available after the processional has entered the tent: 10:05 a.m. on Thursday, May 14 for the Graduate ceremony and 10:10 a.m. on May 15 for the Undergraduate ceremony.


Because we know how important this day is to students and their families, the College has arranged for a professional photographer, Island Photo, 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 still photographs will each be emailed 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 photographic recording of this very special moment. For those parents and guests who feel they must take a photograph with their own camera, 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 15. There can be no exceptions. Residence halls close on May 9 at 5 p.m. for students not graduating.

Cap & Gown

Cap and gown are provided to the graduates complimentary for the ceremony. Measurements must be given College Events by March 13. An email will be sent to graduates mid-February requesting this information. Regalia is for the students to keep and includes a cap and tassel. Graduate students receive the degree hood at the commencement ceremony, and 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 "SLC College" rate when booking or making a reservation.