May 2018

Dear Elon parents and families:

I am writing to make you aware of some changes that will take place for Commencement at the end of next academic year, which is scheduled for Friday, May 24, 2019.

During 2017’s Commencement the temperature reached 89 degrees. Sun exposure and high temperatures caused many guests and students to seek shade and air conditioning for much of the three-hour ceremony. Based on the considerable feedback about the heat and the length of the ceremony, along with the availability of a new and larger indoor venue (Schar Center), we are planning changes for the future.

We will begin the day at 8:45 a.m. with an outdoor ceremony lasting about an hour on Scott Plaza. This will include a processional of students, the student speaker, a Commencement address and the president’s charge to graduates. This is a university-wide event for all students, families and guests.

Following this outdoor ceremony, there will be two separate diploma-awarding ceremonies for the Class of 2019, both held in Schar Center. Elon College, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Education will award diplomas at 11:30 a.m. The Martha and Spencer Love School of Business and the School of Communications will award diplomas in a 3 p.m. ceremony. The ceremonies will last about two hours. Students will report to their respective diploma ceremony to form a line of march one hour prior to the start time.

The diploma ceremonies will include a brief program followed by the reading of names and awarding of diplomas. Each graduate will be issued six tickets for family/guests. Students will have the opportunity after the distribution period to request additional tickets that may be left unclaimed by students needing fewer than the allotted number of tickets. Other attendees will be able to watch the ceremony on Elon TV at locations across campus.

In case of inclement weather, the outdoor ceremony will be canceled and two complete ceremonies will take place in Schar Center.

Baccalaureate will take place on Thursday afternoon, May 23, in Alumni Gymnasium. “Baccalaureate” derives from a Latin term that means “to recognize and honor achievement and distinction.” At Elon, the service is celebratory and inspirational, and often includes reflections, readings and blessings from a variety of religious and cultural traditions.

We look forward to establishing these new traditions for our graduating seniors, their families and guests. We hope that sharing this information will be helpful for planning for Commencement 2019 travel and accommodations.



Jeffrey Clark

Executive Director

Cultural and Special Programs