Dear Graduates & Families:
The day you have been long-awaiting will soon be here! Commencement is a special time for you and for
all of us here at Castleton. We have done our best to plan a schedule of events which will make for a
joyous and memorable occasion.
As with any event of this magnitude there are a lot of details to keep track of and plans to make. The
enclosed information is designed to help you do so. This information is also available at
Please note that graduates and their families are receiving the same mailing, so please coordinate your
Best wishes for a happy and safe Commencement
experience! The Commencement Committee
Lyn Adams ’97
Victoria Angis, chair
Stephanie Blackwood ‘92
Justin Garritt ‘11
Bart Kallgren ‘11
Michael Miller ‘11
Heather Morrison ‘03
Lori Phillips ’82
Dana Pulkinen ‘11
John Schwaner ’77
Chad Voghell ‘99
WHEN IS COMMENCEMENT?
Day and Date: Saturday, May 14, 2011
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Place: Old Chapel Green
WHEN DO I HAVE TO BE THERE?
You will be expected to line up at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 14 at the following locations:
Associate Degree candidates on Leavenworth patio;
Bachelor of Arts and Bachelors of Music candidates on Library sidewalk;
Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Social Work candidates on Woodruff patio;
Master, PBE, and CAGS candidates on ground floor of Woodruff near the Financial Aid office.
WHO GETS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CEREMONY?
You must be matriculated,
You must have applied for a degree and received an audit report from the Registrar's Office,
You must have a 2.0 G.P.A. (may be higher for some majors), and a minimum of 122 credits (BA, BM,
BS, BSW candidates), 64 credits (AA and AS candidates), or 69 credits (Nursing candidates) and must
meet all degree requirements in your catalog (some older catalogs require more credits). MA candidates
require a minimum of 36 credits,
You must be wearing black academic regalia in order to process,
You must behave in a manner appropriate to the dignity of the occasion.
Remember, alcohol is not allowed.
Please note: If your attendance plans have changed since you applied for a degree, please notify the
Registrar's Office immediately at (802) 468-1274.
HOW LONG DOES THE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY LAST?
It depends on how many students are graduating; however, the ceremony usually is over by 4:00 p.m.
WHO WILL BE THE GUEST SPEAKER?
Professor Paul Albro is the Commencement speaker
HOW MANY TICKETS DO I GET?
Each student participating in the Commencement ceremony will have up to four (4) tickets reserved in
his or her name. These tickets are for seats under the Commencement tent.
HOW DO I GET THEM?
There are several opportunities to get tickets. Be sure you bring your valid I.D. with you when picking
up tickets. You may be asked to complete a brief survey before receiving your tickets. If you do not need
all of your tickets please leave them for those who need extras.
WHEN CAN I GET TICKETS?
Early Ticket Pick-Up is on Tuesday, March 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Glenbrook Gymnasium during
Ticket Pick-Up will also be held on Thursday, April 14 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Campus
Between April 15 and April 29, tickets may be picked up in the Student Life Office in the Campus
Center (weekdays) from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
If you are off campus this semester, you may request that your tickets be mailed to you. Requests must be
received by April 29. Requests should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT IF I NEED EXTRA TICKETS?
If you require more than four tickets for your guests, you may enter the lottery for extra tickets when you
pick up or request your original four tickets. If, after all have been distributed, there are any additional
seats, lottery tickets will be drawn. There is no guarantee that extra tickets will be available,
DOES A TICKET GUARANTEE A RESERVED SEAT?
Each candidate attending commencement may get up to four (4) tickets for seats under the tent on the Old
Chapel Green. We will only distribute as many tickets as there are seats available. Seating is not reserved,
however; it is on a first-come, first-served basis. Your guests may access the tent approximately one hour
before the ceremony. The ceremony will also be broadcast in the Casella Theater, Fine Arts Center, where
485 seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. A limited number of seats will also be available
outside the tent.
IS THERE SPECIAL SEATING AVAILABLE?
Some students have parents, grandparents or other guests who may need special assistance at the
ceremony. If you have guests who need special seating because they use a wheelchair, have difficulty
walking from the parking lots to the ceremony, have vision problems or other such disabilities, please let
Bob Godlewski, Director of Public Safety, know at (802) 468-1288. He will make arrangements for your
guests to receive the proper assistance. Please let us know your guests' needs well in advance of
Commencement day. Special seating may not be available on Commencement day unless prior
arrangements have been made.
CAN I GET FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENTS?
Two announcements are provided free of charge to each graduate. Announcements will be given to you
when you pick up your tickets. If you require more than two announcements, you may purchase a
reasonable number of extra announcements from the Student Life Office in the Campus Center at a cost
of $1.00 each.
WHY DO I HAVE TO GO TO REHEARSAL?
In order to have a ceremony that will be memorable for you and your family, rehearsal is essential. In
addition to finding out exactly where you will sit and where your spot is in the procession, a class photo
will be taken. Rehearsal takes place at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 12 under the tent on the Old Chapel
WHAT IF I AM A DECEMBER GRADUATE? DO I HAVE TO GO TO REHEARSAL?
If you are a December graduate, it may be difficult for you to make the rehearsal, but this does not reduce
its importance. If you do not attend rehearsal, you should plan to arrive at your designated assembly
location (see previous page) a little earlier on Saturday, and report to the administrator in charge.
DO I HAVE TO WEAR A CAP AND GOWN?
To participate in commencement, you must wear a black cap and gown. No three-dimensional objects
will be allowed on tops of caps. It is expected that all graduates will dress appropriately for the occasion.
In the words of Judith Carruthers, Director of Career Development, "Dress as if you were going to an
important job interview."
WHEN DO I GET MY CAP AND GOWN?
Most regalia will be available to be picked up in the College Store after March 22. You should be
prepared to pay in full when you pick up your regalia. (Cost is from $30.95 – $49.95 depending on what
you ordered.) Note that an early pick up allows time to verify sizes and hang up your gown to let the
wrinkles fall out. If pickup is a problem or if you have other concerns regarding regalia, please call the
College Store directly at 802-468-1229.
WHAT IF I HAVEN’T ORDERED MY CAP AND GOWN?
You should do so immediately. Go to http://www.castleton.edu/collegestore/regalia.html. We cannot
guarantee that orders placed after March 22 will be ready for Commencement, so please plan accordingly.
WHAT DOES “GRADUATING WITH HONORS” MEAN?
Students achieving academic distinction as of December 2010 will receive white tassels (to replace the
black tassels on their caps) at their department receptions on Saturday preceding the commencement
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM GRADUATING WITH HONORS?
Actual honors will be determined by your final cumulative GPA (as of May 2011) and will be indicated
on your diploma. Degrees with distinction for students in the 2002-2003 or later catalogs are summa
cum laude (cumulative GPA of 3.9 or higher), magna cum laude (cumulative GPA of 3.7-3.89) and cum
laude (3.5-3.69). Cumulative GPA is based on work completed at Castleton; and students must have
completed a minimum of at least 50% of the total credits required for graduation at the Vermont State
Colleges to qualify for degrees with distinction.
WHAT IF I AM IN AN HONORS PROGRAM?
Graduating from an honors program does not guarantee that you will be receiving a diploma with
THE PARKING LOTS ARE ALREADY FULL! WHERE DO I TELL MY GUESTS TO PARK
Since most underclassmen will no longer be on campus, there should be sufficient parking for all visitors
on the campus. Public Safety officials will be on campus all day to direct guests to available parking
areas, including the South Street parking lot. Please enter these areas from South Street. Shuttle service
will be available from the parking lots to the Chapel Green.
CAN I BRING MY PET?
Please leave your pet at home. Do not leave your pet in your vehicle. The only pets allowed at the
Commencement ceremony are service animals.
WILL FLOWERS BE AVAILABLE?
Flowers will be sold on Commencement day.
WHEN SHOULD I MAKE HOTEL RESERVATIONS?
If you have out-of-town guests coming who will need to stay in the area, we suggest you make hotel
reservations immediately. A list of area motels, hotels and bed & breakfasts can be found on the
Castleton web site at www.castleton.edu/visit/accommodations.htm.
WHAT IS CANDLELIGHTING?
Candlelighting is a traditional ceremony which has been held for many years at Castleton. Faculty and
students light candles at the front steps of Woodruff and process through the Alumni Gates to the Old
Chapel. It is short and sweet. Bring your candle from Orientation! Candlelighting will be held on the
steps of Woodruff on Thursday, May 12 at 8:30 p.m. (following rehearsal).
WHAT IS THE NURSES PINNING CEREMONY?
This symbolic ceremony has a long tradition for the Castleton Nursing Department. It is held in the
Commencement tent on Friday, May 13 at 5:30 p.m. and is open to the public. It is a capstone experience
for nursing graduates at which awards are given for outstanding performance. Candles are lit and a pledge
is recited by the graduates following the presentation of their Castleton nursing pins. The Pinning
Ceremony is not meant to replace the Commencement ceremony itself.
WHAT IS A DEPARTMENT RECEPTION?
This is your chance to introduce your family and guests to the faculty in your department and to spend
some time with your fellow majors. Light refreshments will be served. Receptions are held in various
academic buildings on campus on Saturday, May 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Please R.S.V.P. for the
reception(s) at email@example.com or call (802) 468-6033
WILL THE CEREMONY BE VIDEOTAPED?
Yes, a professional videographer will tape the entire ceremony. VHS copies will be sold for $25 each and
DVD copies will sold for $30 each. An order form is enclosed with this mailing.
WHAT ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHS?
In addition to the videographer, a professional photographer from Island Photography will record the
moment when you are awarded your diploma folder. Shortly after Commencement, you will be mailed
two complimentary wallet size full-color proofs. If you wish to get prints of the photo, you will have the
option of ordering from a variety of photo packages. For more information on Island Photography, visit
MY PARENTS WANT TO VIDEOTAPE THE CEREMONY. WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?
Guests taking photographs or taping are asked to refrain from blocking the aisles or interfering with other
guests’ views of the ceremony. Please be respectful of all graduates and guests and comply with ushers’
WHEN DO I GET MY DIPLOMA?
Your diploma will be mailed to you in early June to the address on file in the Registrar's Office. If that
address is incorrect, please notify the Registrar’s office at (802) 468-1274 immediately.
HOW DO I GET MY TRANSCRIPT?
Transcripts should be available in early June and will be furnished upon written request to the Student
Services Center. Please include your student ID, last date attended, address to send the transcript to, and
your signature on any request. There is a $5 charge for each transcript.
IS THERE ANY REASON WHY I MIGHT NOT GRADUATE?
The most common reasons for students being disappointed at the last minute are:
1. Final cumulative average falls below 2.0;
2. Transcripts not received from other colleges attended;
3. Incomplete grades not submitted;
4. Not passing the Writing Portfolio;
5. Failure to complete degree requirements.
WHAT IF I OWE THE COLLEGE SOME MONEY?
Occasionally a few students forget to clear all their accounts with the College. Don't be one of them. By
Friday, May 6, all outstanding accounts with the Student Services Center, Library, Public Safety,
Residence Life, etc. should be resolved. Diplomas and transcripts will be delayed if this is not done.
IF I HAVE A STUDENT LOAN, IS THERE SOMETHING I NEED TO DO?
If you have borrowed a Federal Student Loan (Stafford and/or Perkins Loan) federal regulations require
that you complete Loan Exit Counseling if you are graduating or dropping to below half time. There will
be an in person session held on April 14 from 12:30 p.m.—2 p.m. in the Jeffords Auditorium. Also,
emails will be sent out to potential May graduates with a reminder. The counseling session can also be
completed online at www.mappingyourfuture.org. For students with both Perkins and Stafford loans
separate online sessions must be done for each loan type. If you have questions, contact Student Services
at (802) 468-6070.
HOW DO I JOIN THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION?
Once you graduate you are automatically a member of the Alumni Association! You will be receiving an
official Alumni Association membership card which entitles you to 10% off all Castleton logo items in
the College Store and discounted admission to athletic and cultural events.
I LIVE ON CAMPUS. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO KNOW?
Graduating seniors must make arrangements with their CA to check out of their residence hall room by
6:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 14. Regular meal service in Huden will end with lunch on Friday, May 13.
For general information, contact Victoria Angis, Assistant Dean for Campus Life, at 802-468-1231 or
If you have questions about your eligibility to graduate, please contact Heather Morrison in the
Registrar’s Office at 802-468-1274.
For questions about Senior Class activities, contact one of the officers: Justin Garritt (Box A18), Bart
Kallgren (Box 1776), Michael Miller (Box 254), or Dana Pulkinen (Box A29).
SPECIAL INFO FOR
MASTER DEGREE GRADUATES
Tickets and Announcements
Graduate students will have their tickets (4) and announcements (2) mailed to their home address
on file with the Registrar’s office on March 23. If you have any questions call Liz Phillips at (802)
The only additional information you need as a graduate student pertains to your hood. If you
have not already ordered your hood from the College Store, you must do so immediately. The College
Store will retain your hood, and it will be presented to you during the Commencement ceremony. Contact
the store at (802) 468-1229.
Graduate students are asked to attend rehearsal to find out the order of exercises, locate your
place in the procession, and practice receiving your hood. If you do not attend rehearsal, please arrive at
your assembly location (ground floor of Woodruff Hall) promptly at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Graduate students and their families are invited to attend all Commencement activities. The
department receptions on Saturday may be of particular interest to you.