2023 Weekend & Traditions

Thursday, May 18

3:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m.

Sigma Xi Induction Ceremony

Aula, Ely Hall

Sigma Xi is an international scientific research honor society dating back to 1886. It is one of the oldest and largest scientific organizations in the world. This ceremony will honor members and their invited guests to celebrate their current and future accomplishments to science, technology, and engineering.

Friday, May 19

Lavender Cord Ceremony

The Lavender Cord Ceremony and Reception honors lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer students, and they are presented with lavender cords to wear with their caps and gowns during Commencement.

4:15 p.m.–5:15 p.m.

Transitions Cord Ceremony

ceremony where people are waiting in line to receive a purple transition cord

Villard Room, Main Building

We will celebrate the Transitions Class of 2023 with students, families, and supporters!

Refreshments will be served and cords will be distributed to wear with their caps and gowns during Commencement. Ceremony Program

5:30 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Phi Beta Kappa Induction Ceremony 

Aula, Ely Hall

Since 1776, Phi Beta Kappa has been regarded as one of the most prestigious honor societies. Eligible graduates will be inducted at this ceremony, and their invited guests are able to attend to celebrate their current and future contributions to the arts and sciences.

Saturday, May 20

10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Awarding of Prizes

Villard Room, Main Building

Main Building with tulips in springtime

Presented by the Dean of the College and the Dean of Studies. The senior prize recipients will be awarded scholarship prizes and awards. Recipients will be notified in advance.

12:15 p.m.–1:15 p.m.

Latinx Student Union (LSU) Stole Ceremony

Aula, Ely Hall

seated people at ceremony smiling and wearing multicolored stoles

An alum of Latinx descent will present graduating Latinx identifying seniors with a stole to wear with their caps and gowns during Commencement. This ceremony marks the seniors’ transition to the world outside Vassar and welcomes them into the ranks of the alums. Ceremony Program

1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.

African American Alumnae/i of Vassar College (AAAVC) Kente Cloth Ceremony

The Chapel

group of ceremony attendees posing with their kente cloths

Members of the African American Alumnae/i of Vassar College (AAAVC) will celebrate with Black seniors and their families. Alums will officially welcome seniors to the alum community as they bestow kente cloths to be worn with caps and gowns at Commencement. Ceremony Program

2:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Performances by Vassar College A Cappella Groups

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

2:45 p.m.–3:45 p.m.

Asian, Asian-American, Pacific Islander Stole Ceremony

Villard Room, Main Building

smiling ceremony attendee receive a red satin stole from a presenter

An alum of Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islander descent will present identifying senior graduates with a red satin stole to wear with their caps and gowns during Commencement. This ceremony marks the seniors’ transition to the world outside Vassar and welcomes them to the alum community. Ceremony Program

2:30 p.m.–3:15 p.m.

Commencement Concert

Skinner Hall of Music

Exterior view of Skinner Hall on Vassar campus

An annual tribute to the graduating seniors presented by the Music Department Faculty.

4:00 p.m.—5:30 p.m.

Baccalaureate Service 

The Chapel

A dancer and two drummers performing

Sponsored and planned by the Council of ALANA Seniors (formerly the Council of Black Seniors) student organization. A celebration, rooted in traditions of the African diaspora, of faith and spirituality in recognition of academic achievement. Open to the entire community of graduates and families. Ceremony Program

5:30 p.m.—6:30 p.m.

Affinity Reception

Tent on Noyes Circle

two people smiling for the camera

Graduating seniors and their families attending AAAVC Kente Cloth, AAPI, Baccalaureate, Lavender, Latinx, and Transitions affinity ceremonies are invited to join in this collective celebratory reception.

6:30 p.m.

Vassar Veterans Cord Ceremony

Alumnae House

group of people wearing red/white/blue cords posing for the camera

Vassar community members, family, and Posse Foundation staff will gather to offer congratulations and celebrate graduating veterans. Each senior veteran will be presented with red/white/blue cords to wear with their caps and gowns during Commencement.

8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.

Champagne Reception

Bridge Building

Sponsored by the Class of 2023 and the Alumnae/i Association of Vassar College (AAVC). Bring your family and friends to enjoy champagne and light desserts.

Sunday, May 21

10:00 a.m.

Vassar College’s 159th Commencement Ceremony

Outdoor Amphitheater

view from behind the speaker at an outdoor commencement ceremony on Vassar campus

Reception immediately following Commencement exercises on Noyes Circle