Weekend and Traditions

Traditional activities are organized by the senior class beginning Friday evening and will continue throughout the day on Saturday. These gatherings and events are open to the entire community of graduates and attendance is voluntary.

Wednesday, June 2

4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Native American Indigenous Students Alliance

Ceremony via Zoom

Native American Indigenous Students Alliance

Alumnae/i of Indigenous descent and faculty are invited to join identifying seniors for a celebration of their remarkable success graduating from Vassar during such difficult times. This will be the College’s first-ever Indigenous Graduation Ceremony, gratefully organized by the Native American Indigenous Students Alliance with help from the President’s Office and the Office of Alumnae/i Engagement.

6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Latinx Student Union (​​LSU) Stole Ceremony

Library Lawn Tent

Latinx Student Union (​​LSU) Stole Ceremony

Faculty, college administrators, and alumnae/i will offer congratulations to graduating Latinx identifying seniors and present them with sarapes 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 alumnae/i.

Friday, June 4

5:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.

Phi Beta Kappa Reception

Chapel Lawn: By Invitation Only

Saturday, June 5

9:30 a.m.–10:30 a.m.

Awarding of Prizes

Chapel Lawn Tent

Awarding of Prizes

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.

Program

11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.

Snacking @ The Sculpture Garden

Lehman Loeb Art Center

The Sculpture Garden

Iced tea, lemonade, and treats.

1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.

Asian Pacific Islander (API) Graduation Ceremony

Chapel Lawn Tent

Asian Pacific Islander (API) Graduation Ceremony

Faculty and alumnae/i will offer congratulations to identifying senior graduates and present them 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 alumnae/i community.

Program

2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.

AAAVC Kente Cloth Ceremony

Library Lawn Tent

AAAVC Kente Cloth Ceremony

The Co-Chairs of the African American Alumnae/i of Vassar College (AAAVC), along with faculty and administrators, will celebrate Black seniors and their families at the Annual Kente Cloth ceremony. Alumnae/i will officially welcome the seniors to the alumnae/i community as kente cloths are bestowed, which will be worn with caps and gowns at Commencement.

Program

4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Baccalaureate Service

Sponsored and planned by the Council of ALANA Seniors (formerly 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.

5:30 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Posse Veterans Reception

Library Lawn Tent

Posse Veterans Reception

We will hear from Vassar faculty, representatives from the Posse Foundation, as well as our Posse veterans.

7:30 p.m.–9:00 p.m.

Bonfire

Ballantine Field

Bonfire

9:30 p.m.–11:55 p.m.

Last Late Night

Gordon Commons

Gordon Commons

Sunday, June 6

10:00 a.m.

Vassar College’s 157th Commencement Ceremony

Outdoor Amphitheater

Vassar College’s 157th Commencement Ceremony

The ceremony will be webcast live on the home page as well as on the College’s Facebook page.

2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.

Refreshments

Noyes Circle tent

Refreshments to-go will be available for pick up.

2:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m.

Photography

Vassar Campus locations

Vassar Spark Background

There will be several opportunities for photos centrally located on campus for students and guests following the ceremony, including:

  • Professional photographers will take a downloadable complimentary photo at two campus locations: on Main Drive (with Main Building in the background) and in front of the Library
  • Commencement Stage on Sunset Hill
  • Vassar-themed back-drops will be available outside the Chapel and at Rockefeller Hall

Traditions

African Violets

African Violets

First-, second-, and third-year students of color assist the Council of ALANA Seniors (formerly the Council of Black Seniors) in activities during the academic year, notably the all-campus Baccalaureate Service, which the Council of ALANA Seniors has sponsored since 1991 to complement the academic rites of the Commencement ceremony.

Daisy Chain

Daisy Chain

This tradition dates from the late 1880s, when second-year students decorated the Chapel for Class Day with daisies picked in nearby fields. The decorations later took the form of a floral rope. Today the Daisy Chain leads the recessional of seniors to Main Circle, where it is displayed for the graduates and their guests. See the video, Daisy Chain: Then and Now.

The Lavender Reception

The Lavender Graduation

The Lavender Graduation is sponsored by the LGBTQ Center for graduating seniors who identify as queer, questioning, and allies to the queer community. Lavender tassels are given to all seniors in attendance to demonstrate their pride and support for Vassar’s LGBTQ community.