Commencement A-Z

A - E F - J K - O P - T U - Z


Reservations for on-campus dormitory housing will be available for friends and family of students participating in commencement as well as alumni celebrating a reunion beginning at the start of March 2016. Please contact the Office of Residential Life at (401) 863-3500.

For information about off-campus hotels and other lodging, please refer to Brown's Travel Portal Page.

This open meeting is designed for students in recovery and for their family members and friends. Local members of AA and Al-Anon are also welcome. Held the Saturday of Commencement weekend from 10:30am - noon, Salomon Center for Teaching, Room 203. For more information, please contact the Bruce Donovan Dean of Chemical Dependency at (401) 863-2536.

Official graduation announcements can be purchased in the Brown Bookstore. Visit the store's website or call (401) 863-3168 for more information.

Undergraduates do NOT need to apply to graduate to receive their degree. The Application to Graduate in Banner web for undergraduates is to provide a version of their name for diploma printing purposes that differs from the one in the student information system and to provide a diploma mailing address different from that of their permanent address should the diploma need to be re-printed for any reason.

Graduate and Medical students DO need to actually apply to graduate via Banner web. Instructions for doing so can be found at each school's Commencement website.

Since the majority of events are outside, guests are strongly encouraged to dress according to the weather - layers are usually a good recommendation overall. While some guests enjoy getting dressed up for Campus Dance, there is no formal dress code. For Baccalaureate and the Commencement ceremonies, guests are welcome to wear what they would like, but the majority of guests often wear business casual attire. Comfortable shoes and flats are also recommended since guest seating is on the Main Green. 

Please view the Baccauaureate page

While in Providence, be sure to stop by the Brown University Bookstore and Campus Shop, the official store for Brown clothing and Brown gifts. Located at the corner of Thayer and Angell streets, the Bookstore carries adult and children's sweatshirts and t-shirts, pennants, souvenirs, and more. Before or after you shop you can enjoy a beverage and snack at the Bookstore's café. Visit the store's website or call (401) 863-3168 for more information.

Each year, The Brown Daily Herald publishes a special Commencement Magazine for the graduating seniors, visiting friends, parents, and Alumni. This full color glossy magazine features content specific to the graduating class and is an excellent keepsake that can be found on newsstands throughout campus during the holiday weekend. For more information visit: Advertise With Brown Daily Herald

Call us at (401) 351-3260 or email us at to reserve your space today! Space is limited and fills up rapidly. We can also help you design your graphics at no additional charge. 

One of Brown's best-loved Reunion and Commencement traditions, Campus Dance brings over 11,000 people to Brown to dance the night away under a sky lit with over 600 paper lanterns. The evening joins together graduating seniors and their families, alumni of all ages, and Brown faculty and staff. Everyone enjoys meeting old classmates, seeing favorite professors, and being with friends and family. Call (401) 863-7783 for more information, or visit the Campus Dance website.

These may be purchased from the Brown Bookstore. Visit the store's website or call (401) 863-3168 for more information. Academic regalia is made of Greenweave(TM) material, which is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles.

Undergraduates may purchase cap and gown at the start of May; no pre-order required. Students should wear cap and gown for the Baccalaureate Service on Saturday, May 28, and the Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 29.

Graduate Students should refer to Academic Regalia instructions under Special Instructions for Graduate Students.

Medical Students should refer to Academic Regalia instructions under Special Instructions for Medical Students.

Brown Dining halls and most retail food locations will be open for Commencement Weekend. Please view the Brown University Dining Services Website for full information.

Graduate School and Medical School students receive their diplomas at their school's ceremony. All degrees are symbolically conferred during the University Ceremony. Undergraduate students who have completed their degree requirements in Summer 2014 or after will receive their diplomas at their diploma ceremony, which immediately follows the University Ceremony (view a list of ceremony locations).

Collegiate Video provides Brown graduates a chance to revisit highlights of Commencement weekend, from the eloquence of Baccalaureate to the colorful traditions of the march through the Van Wickle Gates. The Commencement video is approximately 100 minutes long and includes favorite campus landmarks and music. Copies of the Commencement video can be ordered directly from Collegiate Video.

For emergencies or urgent medical care, call (401) 863-4111 (3-4111 from a campus phone-indicated around campus by blue lights; you may also choose to use the red emergency button at these phones). Emergency medical personnel (EMS) will be available at major campus functions throughout the weekend and will be happy to assist you.

Brown Health Services, located at Andrews House at 13 Brown Street, will be open Friday from 9-5, Saturday 9-4, and Sunday from 9 to noon. 24-hour nursing advice is available by calling (401) 863-1330. 


A series of informative colloquia given by faculty, distinguished guests, and alumni. Free and open to all. Visit our Forums page to view the complete 2016 listing. 

See Accommodations.

The Commencement Welcome Center is located on the first floor of the Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center.

International students in F1/J1 nonimmigrant status who wish to invite family members to attend Commencement may request a formal invitation letter from the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISSS). An invitation letter will be required of the family member when s/he applies at a U.S. consulate for a visitor visa and/or when s/he requests entry at the U.S. border in visitor status. The request form is available online here.


Brown's Department of Public Safety coordinates the lost and found desk. If you find an item, bring it to Department of Public Safety headquarters, 75 Charlesfield Street. Call (401) 863-3322 regarding any lost items.

Undergraduate mid-year completers are welcome to "walk" in either the May ceremony preceding or following their December completion. All mid-year completers should check in with their concentration directors to learn about their concentrations' specific guidelines. Diplomas are issued the May following the December completion.


In addition to the streets around the Brown campus, you may park your car in any of the University lots anytime beginning 5 p.m. Friday through the weekend.  Click Here for more infomation on this website. Click Here for more information from Brown University Transportation Department.

If you must bring a pet to Commencement, please remember that the weather is unpredictable and the College Green is very crowded. All pets should be kept on leashes while on campus throughout the entire weekend. Pets are not allowed indoors, unless the pet is for medical assistance.

The best place to take a photograph of your graduating student is at the afternoon diploma ceremony following the University exercises on the College Green. In addition, the Van Wickle Gates will remain open through 6 p.m. on Monday, May 30. The Brown bear statue, "Bruno," on the College Green near Faunce House Arch is another favorite location for photos.

See our links at the bottom of this page for local information about accommodations, dining, and more in Providence.

Visit our Procession page for more information.

A complete list of religious services will be available in the Commencement - Reunion brochure, which is available online in early May and on campus starting Friday, May 27th.

Brown's alumni reunion takes place during the same weekend as Commencement. The Maddock Alumni Center at 38 Brown Street (corner of George and Brown streets) is the official hospitality center for Reunion Weekend. Reunion student staff will be available throughout the weekend to offer assistance with event locations, directions on campus and in Providence, and any questions you may have concerning Reunion Weekend.

For additional reunion information, please see the Brown Alumni Association.

SEAS (Student and Employee Accessibility Services)
Student and Employee Accessibility Services (SEAS) provides assistance to graduates, alumni, and guests who will be attending events over Commencement Weekend.
For a map indicating handicapped accessibility points to buildings, please view Brown's accessibility map.  To arrange for a wheelchair or other medical needs, see our list of local wheelchair rentals.
For further information, please contact SEAS at (401) 863-9588 or via email at

Seating on the College Green is on a first-come, first-served basis. The reserved sections of open seats in the center are for the seniors, graduate and medical students when they return for the University Ceremony. 

SHUTTLE SERVICE for Guests with mobility concerns
The Accessibility Services (SEAS) shuttle provides on-request rides for people with disabilities or medical conditions to locations throughout the campus during Commencement/Reunion Weekend. The service is wheelchair accessible. Please indicate if wheelchair access is needed when you call. 

Rides should be scheduled in advance if possible. Due to heavy ridership, Sunday rides must be planned in advance. To reach the SEAS shuttle dispatcher call (401) 225-9572.  The SEAS Shuttle operates during the following time frames: Friday: 11 am–3 amSaturday: 7 am–1 amSunday: 6 am–6 pm

Shuttle service will be provided to and from the Van Wickle Gates and Alpert Medical School (222 Richmond St.) on Friday, May 27, from 12 PM to 6:30 PM, and on Saturday, May 28, from 9:00 AM to 3 PM.

View the Storm Plan page for more information.

In order to accommodate the Baccalaureate and Commencement Processions, several streets will be closed on Saturday and Sunday. 2016 closures will be announced on our Parking Information page. More information can also be found on the Brown University Transportation Website Here.

Tickets are NOT required for commencement ceremonies.


You are able to download a presentation which gives an overview of what Commencement is all about, including photos and key information. This document was presented to families during Family Weekend 2014. Download the presentation.

Collegiate Video provides Brown graduates a chance to revisit highlights of Commencement weekend, from the eloquence of Baccalaureate to the colorful traditions of the march through the Van Wickle Gates. The Commencement video is approximately 100 minutes long and includes favorite campus landmarks and music. Copies of the Commencement video can be ordered directly from Collegiate Video.

View a listing of local wheelchair rental locations.


Yearbooks will be on sale outside of Sayles Hall over Commencement weekend. Please check back for specific tmes. 

Liber Brunensis Website (

Questions? E-mail: