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Skidmore College

The graduates

General Information and Frequently Asked Questions...

Below are questions that parents frequently ask us about Commencement. If you have other questions, please call the Office of Alumni Relations and College Events at 518-580-5670 or e-mail us at  

Where is Commencement held?

Skidmore's Commencement Exercises are held annually at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), located in the Saratoga Spa State Park on Route 50, several miles from campus.  Directions and Parking Information are found here. The SPAC amphitheater is covered but not enclosed. Commencement will be held at SPAC rain or shine.  Please note that the temperature in the amphitheater can be very cool in the spring.  We recommend that you dress in layers, and even consider bringing a lap blanket, to ensure a comfortable experience.

When should we plan to arrive in Saratoga Springs?

Activities begin on Friday, May 15, and Commencement Exercises will be held on Saturday, May 16, at 10:40 a.m. Please review the schedule of events to determine the arrival day and time that works best for you and your family and guests. General directions and travel information for Skidmore College are located here.

Will we need tickets?

No.  Seating for more than 5,000 in the SPAC amphitheater makes it possible to accommodate all guests.  Tickets are not issued or required, except for those whose party requires seating in the Mobility Impaired section  reserved for those with mobility impairments. (Mobility Impaired form). For SPAC lawn rules, click here.

When should we make hotel reservations?

Reservations for accommodations and dining out should be made as early as possible. For a brochure of area hotels and restaurants, please call the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce at 518-584-3255 or visit (Please note that many area hotels require a two-night minimum during this weekend; we advise you to discuss such issues when making reservations.)

Will the Commencement ceremony be simulcast and available for viewing online?

Yes. Skidmore College will simulcast the Commencement Exercises in its entirety.  To view the live stream, go to the Skidmore home page at The simulcasting will begin at 10:40 a.m. on Saturday, May 16.

How do we get to SPAC? Where should we park?

As the SPAC map in this packet indicates, entrances to the Saratoga Spa State Park are located on Route 50 and Route 9. Please use the Route 50 parking lot. More detailed directions to SPAC are found on their website. Please note that New York State Law prohibits the possession or use of alcohol and narcotics within the state park grounds.

What time should we arrive at SPAC?

You may arrive at SPAC as early as you like. Please note, however, that you must be sitting in your seat in order to hold it, and articles such as jackets and programs that are left on seats will be removed and held at the information table at the top of the hill. In addition, please note that the processional is an integral and traditional part of Commencement; to ensure that it goes smoothly, we ask that you take your seat by 10:30 a.m. Please leave all aisles clear throughout the ceremony.

Can we take photographs during the ceremony?

Guests may take photographs from their seats; however, in order to avoid obstructing the view of others, you are asked not to approach the stage area. Skidmore has contracted with GradImages Studios to take photographs of each graduate receiving his/her diploma from President Philip Glotzbach. GradImages will contact graduates via email regarding the possible purchase of these photographs. The College does not benefit financially from this arrangement; it is provided as a service to graduates and their families. You are not obligated to purchase the photographs. 

Can we purchase flowers at the Commencement ceremony?

Flowers are available to purchase on SPAC grounds on May 16, no pre-ordering necessary.

A member of our family has mobility impairment and requires seating arrangements at SPAC. How may we arrange for this?

Seating for persons with mobility impairment is available in a designated section of the amphitheater. Due to space limitations, up to three requests (per party) for mobility impaired seating accommodations will be considered; additional requests can be considered only as space permits. There is a designated drop off point just steps away from the amphitheater. In order for us to arrange for your needs, seniors will need to indicate the need for seating arrangements on the Mobility Impaired form available by clicking here. If you have more than three (3) members in your party, additional guests will be seated in the general seating areas of the amphitheater. Please note: 1) Tickets and parking passes for the mobility impaired seating section are required and will be checked when you arrive to be seated.  2) A sign language interpreter will be on stage to interpret the ceremony. 3) Listening centers are available; please note your request for them on the mobility impaired form. Reserved listening centers will be available for pick up at the Information Table at the top of the hill at SPAC on Saturday, May 16 prior to the Commencement Ceremony.

What time will the ceremony be over?

The ceremony typically lasts between 2½-3 hours, beginning promptly at 10:40 a.m. and ending approximately between 1-1:30 p.m. The post reception will be held at the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall on Skidmore College campus immediately following the ceremony. Graduates, families, friends, faculty and staff are invited to attend.

When do I need to vacate my dorm/apartment?

You need to vacate your dorm/apartment by Sunday, May 17 at 10 a.m.  Please be sure to take all of your belongings with you when you leave.

Can we purchase gifts at the Commencement ceremony?

An assortment of gift items will be available on the SPAC grounds for your convenience.

Whom should I contact with questions about…

  • Eligibility to participate in Commencement '20
    Sharon Clemmey, 518-580-5713
  • The Commencement schedule and the ceremony
    Office of Alumni Relations and College Events, 518-580-5670
  • Seating arrangement for mobility impaired and drop off pass
    Office of Alumni Relations and College Events, 518-580-5670
  • Purchasing Academic Regalia,  College rings, and Commencement announcements 
    Contact the Skidmore Shop between April 10-May 15. 
    Web site: Skidmore Shop
  • Commencement flowers, etc.
    Flowers are available on SPAC grounds on May 16, no pre-ordering necessary.
  • Commencement Photographs
    Contact Information for Graduates and Families is:
    GradImages Photography, 1-800-261-2576
    Web site:

  • Lodging and dining in Saratoga Springs
    The Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce 
    Web site:

  • The Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau 
    518-584-1531 or 855-424-6073
    Web site:

  • Saratoga Downtown Business Association 
    Web site:

Please contact the Office of Alumni Relations and College Events with any additional questions at 518-580-5670; email:

Please note that New York State Law prohibits the possession or use of alcohol and narcotics within the state park grounds.