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Skidmore College

Everything you need to know about 2018 Commencement

May 14, 2018

Nearly 700 members of the Class of 2018 will receive bachelor's degrees at Skidmore's 107th Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 19. The ceremony, open to the public, will begin at 10:40 a.m. at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Honorary degrees and speakers

Skidmore will award honorary degrees to two distinguished guests: Alison Bechdel and Robert S.D. Higgins. Bechdel and Higgins will also address the audience.

Following tradition, a speech will be given by  a Skidmore faculty member—this year, Assistant Professor of Political Science Chris Mann—chosen by the graduating class.

Read more about our honored speakers 

President Philip A. Glotzbach will address the graduates and their guests, as will Rachael Thomeer, president of the Class of 2018.

Attending Commencement

For those who will be attending the event and celebrating our graduates, here are a few tips:

  • Tickets. Tickets are not issued or required, except for those requiring the mobility accommodations section (three tickets per grad.) There's a drop-off point near the amphitheater for those with mobility limitations, and the ceremony is presented in sign language.

  • Timing. SPAC gates open at 8 a.m., but if you try "saving" amphitheater seats with jackets or other articles, staff will remove them. The opening processional requires clear pathways, so all audiences must be seated by 10:30 a.m.

  • Brrr... The amphitheater is covered but not enclosed. Even on a hot day it can be quite chilly. Dress in layers and maybe bring a blanket.

  • Packing. Guests can bring soft-sided coolers, umbrellas, binoculars and strollers, but not alcohol, pets, bikes or (go figure!) fireworks. Full do’s and don'ts here.

  • Getting there. Use the Route 50 SPAC entrance for parking. On the grounds, security officers and volunteers will help usher everyone to their seats. Here's a map, and here are more detailed directions. 
  • Photography. Photos may be taken any time, but only from your seats. A photo firm snaps each of the graduates as they receive their diplomas, and will invite grads to purchase photos via email.

  • Roses. Bouquets are available for purchase on the SPAC grounds, no pre-ordering necessary. Check out the Commencement map for the location.

  • Departure. The ceremony typically ends by 1 or 1:30 p.m., and is followed by a reception at Murray-Aikins Dining Hall on campus. Graduates, families, friends, faculty and staff are invited to attend.

    Don’t forget: Seniors must be cleared out of their rooms by 10 a.m. the next day—Sunday, May 20.

  • Online viewing. For those unable to be there in person, Skidmore will simulcast Commencement in its entirety. To view the livestream, go to The show starts at 10:40 a.m.

  • Questions? Friendly helpers, at the information table and roaming in yellow vests, can render aid for just about any problem on site.

Get details about all the logistics here.



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