Commencement 2020

Due to the pandemic, Wells College's 152nd Commencement ceremony has been tentatively rescheduled for Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020.
view of Commencement from the stage
Rebecca Haag '74 gives the Commencement 2019 keynote address
graduating seniors at Commencement
A graduating student and her family pose for a picture
Toni Oliveri '19 gives the student address at Commencement 2019
President Gibralter and a graduating senior ride the stagecoach


Wells College
152nd Commencement
RESCHEDULED DATE: Saturday, August 8, 2020
Location TBD

Congratulations to the Class of 2020!

Click here to see a full list of graduates, who earned their degree in May.

UPDATE: As of June 18, Wells College has not yet made a decision about the status of the August 8 Commencement ceremony. This decision is dependent on numerous factors, including New York State's progress in advancing to "phase 4" of its reopening plan; our ability to host an in-person gathering while providing sufficient health and safety precautions for our students, employees and guests; and (of course) the weather. We expect to make an announcement by mid-July.


Academic Obligations

The Registrar's office staff  communicates throughout the year with students eligible to graduate regarding degree requirements. All requirements must be fulfilled to receive a diploma during the ceremony. Contact the Registrar's office with any questions: 315.364.3215,

Accessible Seating

Reserved seating is available for guests with limited mobility or who require special accommodation. Ushers will direct guests to the reserved seating.

Billing – Student Accounts

Student accounts must be paid in full in order to receive a diploma during the Commencement ceremony. Transcripts are also held until full payment is made. As a reminder students may check their account balance on the Globe

Caps and Gowns (Academic Regalia)

All seniors wear the traditional black gown, black cap, and black tassel to the ceremony. Wells is one of the few colleges that still awards undergraduate hoods during the ceremony. The hood is included in the academic regalia.

Commencement Ceremony

The 10:00 a.m. ceremony will be held in the circle outside the front of Macmillan Hall. No tickets are required, and seating cannot be reserved. Guests may begin being seated at 9:00 am. Please note ushers will not allow "early-birds" to save blocks of seats.

Class Rings

Information regarding class rings is available on the Jostens website. Prices vary.

Dining Options

Information related to on-campus dining options will be available closer to the ceremony. 

In addition, the Aurora Inn will be serving breakfast and brunch. Reservations for brunch are recommended and can be made by calling the Inn at 315.364.8888.

Diploma Frames

Order Wells College diplomas frames from Church Hill Classics.


In case of emergency, dial 911 or contact Campus Safety at 315.364.3229.


Flowers will be available for purchase on campus the day of Commencement — look for our table on the rear side of Zabriskie Hall, facing toward Stratton Hall. Cash and credit cards are accepted.

Future Commencement Dates

2021: Saturday, May 22, 2021
2022: Saturday, May 21, 2022

Golf Course

Did you know that Wells College owns a beautiful 9-hole golf course, complete with a pro shop and snack bar? Located near the athletic fields, the course is open seven days a week, dawn to dusk. Wells College students can play for free (there is a nominal fee for cart and club rentals). Visit, email, or call 315.364.8024 for more information.

Graduation Announcements

Students can order personalized graduation announcements from the Jostens website.


Limited on-campus housing for families and their guests will be available for the Thursday and Friday nights prior to Commencement. Housing can be reserved for a nominal fee on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve a room, please use this online form; payment is due at the time of reservation. The deadline to request housing is Monday, May 11, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. Please contact Emily Burt, director of residence life and student conduct, at if you have any questions about on-campus housing.

Lost and Found

Check with Campus Safety for items lost or found during Commencement. Bellinzoni Building, 315.364.3229.

Media Inquiries

Members of the media are encouraged to contact the Office of Communications and Marketing by emailing


Cars may be parked in all of the residence hall parking lots and Woods Lot. In preparation for the stagecoach rides, parking will not be permitted on the Main or Macmillan Circles.


Pets are not welcome at the ceremony. Please do not bring your pet on campus or to any Commencement activity. Of course, service animals will be permitted.


Personal photography is permitted from designated areas during the ceremony. Ushers will direct guests to the appropriate locations. Guest activity should not interfere nor distract from the ceremony.

Rain Location

In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the Schwartz Athletic Center. No tickets will be required.


There will be a mandatory rehearsal for seniors participating in the rescheduled Aug. 8 Commencement on the front steps of Macmillan Hall. The date and time for this rehearsal will be announced in the near future. Students should check their Wells email before leaving for rehearsal for any additional information.

Schedule of Events

A full listing of events and activities happening during Commencement weekend will be available later this spring; please check back.


The speakers for the 2020 Commencement ceremony will be announced later this year; please check back.

Stagecoach Rides

Traditional senior rides in the Wells Fargo stagecoaches will begin at 7:00 a.m. in front of Main Building and will continue until 9:00 a.m. Time permitting, family members may ride the coaches after all seniors have enjoyed the traditional ride.


Airport and Bus Transportation
(Please note: new dates/times for transportation will be announced soon for the rescheduled August ceremony. The information that follows was announced prior to the postponement.)
Shuttle service from the Rochester, Syracuse and Ithaca airports and bus stations is available for families and guests staying in on-campus housing on Thursday, May 14, and Friday, May 15, 2020. Shuttles are available to pick up friends and families of graduates at noon and 5:00 p.m. both days. On Saturday, May 16, shuttles will depart from the Wells College campus at 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. for the Rochester, Syracuse and Ithaca airports and bus stations. Should you wish to make a shuttle reservation, please call Raymond Lupo at 315.364.3321 or email Deadline for reservations is Friday, May 8, 2020.

Commencement 2019 Photo Gallery
Wells College celebrated its 151st Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18, 2019.

Our mission is for every student to think critically, reason wisely and act humanely as they cultivate meaningful lives. On our beautiful lakeside campus, students gain the knowledge, skills and experience to create their own unique path.

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General Information: 315.364.3266
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