Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Commencement Reunion

Information for Parents & Families

For parents and families

Here are some important details for the big weekend. Please take careful note of these, and share them with other members of your family who plan to be with us for the festivities.

Congratulations on arriving at this important milestone in the life of your family.


Commencement details
Commencement luncheon
Private Parties
Weekend activities for graduates and families
Senior Week Highlights
Parking and shuttle buses
Special needs
Accommodations - Seating
Hospitality on Saturday morning
Graduation photos and announcements
Graduation press releases
Moving out
Weekend dining
Traveling to Wheaton, local restaurants, and area accommodations
For further information

COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY ... open seating outdoors; no tickets required!

The Commencement exercises officially begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 17, 2014.

The ceremony will be held indoors in the Beard Field House in the Haas Athletic Center. Seniors and families are able to "self-reserve" seating beginning at 8:30 a.m. You may bring as many family members and guests as you like to Commencement—no tickets are required-but for the comfort and the safety of everyone, we ask that you consider inviting eight or fewer guests per graduate.


At noon, immediately following Commencement, there is an all-college luncheon, also in Beard Field House. Some families choose to participate in this luncheon (for which your graduate will need to purchase tickets in advance—see next paragraph), while others bring a picnic lunch and gather informally about the campus. 

Later in the semester, your graduate will receive information regarding the purchase of tickets for Friday evening dinner on campus and the Saturday luncheon. Should you wish additional information about this, please call Dining Services at 508-286-8209.


We understand how exciting the event of Commencement is, and everyone’s desire to celebrate the special occasion is expected. The college has planned many activities to do just that--celebrate and honor our graduates and alumnae/i classes.

In order to do this all college services will be committed to such events. This means that, unfortunately, we will be unable to accommodate requests or provide services on campus for private parties during Senior Week and the Commencement/Reunion weekend.

You are welcome to picnic on campus with your family and friends; however, we ask that no charcoal grills be used, the State of Massachusetts alcohol laws are followed, and all picnic supplies brought to campus are removed.

We thank you for your cooperation and understanding.


There are a variety of events on campus Friday afternoon and evening specifically for parents, families, and guests. The President's Reception honoring members of the graduating class and their guests will be held at 5 p.m. Dinner is available beginning at 6 p.m. for all guests on Friday evening in Emerson Dining Hall provided your graduate purchases tickets from Dining Services in advance.

Other events beginning at approximately 2 p.m. on Friday and continuing throughout the afternoon and into the evening include the Greenhouse Open House, Alumnae/i College,  Phi Beta Kappa Initiation, an exhibition of work by senior Studio Art majors, Theatre Ensemble Experiments, and a concert by the student a cappella groups.  Please consider joining us on Friday.

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The Senior Class Officers have been busy planning a fun-filled week for the class to enjoy during their last days on campus. These events include both on- and off-campus activities such as barbeques, a trip to Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, and the Senior Ball at Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. Campus traditions such as Senior Sentimental Night & Superlatives (for seniors only), the Candle Lighting Service on Peacock Pond, and the Last Chance Balfour Dance will all take place on Friday evening.

Up-to-date information about senior class activities can be found on the senior class website at: wheatoncollege.edu/sail/involvement/senior-class/

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SATURDAY PARKING . . . and other important transportation details

Campus parking is always tight on this big weekend. Overflow parking will be available at off-campus parking lots when space on the campus is filled. Campus parking will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Traffic will be heavy, and we urge you to arrive on campus as early as possible on Saturday morning. Signs will be posted, and the Norton Police and Wheaton Public Safety officers will be on hand to direct you. Shuttle buses will run regularly beginning at 8:30 a.m. through 3 p.m. to and from these overflow lots. These shuttle buses will drop off passengers at the Nursery School/Clark Center parking lot. The shuttle buses will pick up passengers from this same location.

Those wishing to drop off elderly persons or small children should do so by entering Howard Street from Route 123. A Public Safety officer will direct you to a location where you may drop off those who cannot walk from the regular parking lots. You will, however, need to park your car following this drop off, as handicap parking is at a premium and taken on a first-come, first-served basis. Please allow plenty of time.


If you are in need of disability assistance, please contact Eileen Bellemore, Coordinator for Academic Support and Disability Services, by April 18. Ms. Bellemore can be reached at 508-286-8215 or via email at: bellemore@eileen@wheatoncollege.edu.


Persons with disabilities, who intend to request seating accommodations for the Commencement ceremony, should contact the Dean of Students Office at 508-286-8218 by April 18. Please note that seating space is limited to the individual with the disability and one family member. Additional family members may sit in the general seating area.


On Saturday morning, Commencement Day, there will be a hospitality center located in the Balfour-Hood Center Café. Coffee and beverages will be available for purchase for those who arrive early and wish to visit with graduates, friends and family members before the ceremony begins.


A photographer from GradImages will take individual photos of graduates as they cross the Commencement platform.  Students will receive an email at their Wheaton email address with information about how to order their Commencement photos online soon after graduation. Inquiries about photographs can be made to GradImages at 800-261-2576 or by going to gradimages.com.

Graduation announcements by Jostens (non-personalized) may be purchased at the Wheaton College Old Town Hall Bookstore (508-286-3430) beginning in mid-March.  The Senior Class officers will provide information to their classmates about ordering personalized announcements through Jostens (jostens.com) in the early spring.


Please remind your graduating senior to confirm their correct local newspaper information via the WINDOW (Wheaton Information Delivered Over the Web) before May 17. Per federal law, only your graduate can authorize the release of this information (reminders and instructions will be sent via e-mail to all seniors). Should you have questions about graduation press releases, we suggest you send an e-mail to: hometownnews@wheatoncollege.edu.


Students will need to move out of their residence halls and houses by late Saturday afternoon, May 17.  Seniors who live in the New England area generally cope with their final departure by starting to move things home in the final weeks of the semester. While we don't expect those living at a greater distance to do this, we do encourage students to pack during Senior Week, prior to Commencement, so they are ready to move by Commencement Day. In order to avoid last-minute packing at the end of Commencement Day, please remind your graduate to prepare in advance to leave campus.  They should remember to return their keys to either the Locksmith (open until 8 p.m. on Commencement Day) or Public Safety before leaving campus. Seniors should also pay close attention to communications from Residential Life for more details.


In the spring your graduate will receive information regarding the purchase of tickets for the Friday dinner and the Saturday luncheon. For additional information, please call Dining Services at 508-286-8209.


Information about directions to Wheaton, local restaurants and area accommodations may be found on the Wheaton web site at wheatoncollege.edu/about/our-location.

For further information

General inquiries
Dean of Students Office: 508-286-8218
Office of Alumnae/i Relations & Annual Giving: 508-286-8207

Dining questions
Aramark Food Service: 508-286-8209

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