Information for Family and Friends

February 2018

Dear families of graduating students:

We are pleased to share the following information with you about Westfield State University’s 179th Commencement ceremony.  Commencement is among the highlights of the academic year and represents a significant academic milestone.  This year’s ceremony will be held at the MassMutual Center in Springfield on Saturday, May 19, beginning at 4 p.m., and lasting until approximately 7 p.m.

Admission and Seating

The MassMutual Center doors open at 2:30 p.m.  Please enter through the main entrance on Bruce Landon Way (formerly Falcons Way) across from the parking garage.

Graduating seniors may request up to four guest tickets.  Tickets are free and each guest must have a ticket to enter. All tickets will be scanned upon entrance. Each ticket has a distinct bar code and may only be used once - anyone with a duplicated ticket will not be allowed to enter.  Graduates may enter a lottery for one or two additional tickets should extra tickets become available. Commencement registration and ticket requests will be available online between April 4 and April 11. Seating is open.

If a guest is deaf, he or she may request a seat directly in front of the interpreter by calling 413-572-8801 or e-mailing mmccartney@westfield.ma.edu. Those with other needs should advise us in advance.

Guests attending Commencement in a wheelchair may be dropped off at the main entrance of the MassMutual Center.  The Center will also have some wheelchairs on hand.  An usher will direct the guest to the seating areas.

Graduating students must pick up tickets at the Ely Campus Center service window.  For those traveling extensively to attend, tickets will be held at the Will Call Window of the MassMutual Center beginning at 2:30 p.m. on the afternoon of Commencement.  Tickets will not be mailed.

Those not in attendance wishing to view the ceremony may watch a live streaming of the Commencement online via the Westfield State University home page.

Parking

In addition to the parking garage, parking is available at several lots around the MassMutual Center.  Please note that the main parking garage does not accept credit cards.

Photography

We know that having photographs of this occasion is very important to family and friends. Therefore, to clearly capture the moment when each graduate walks across the platform, the University has engaged the services of an experienced professional photographer. High-quality color photographs will be offered to every graduate for purchase soon after Commencement. Additional information on this service will be emailed to your graduate prior to the event, and will be available on the University’s Commencement website.

Caps and Gowns

Students who are confirmed eligible to participate in Commencement may purchase a cap and gown at the Campus Bookstore beginning in mid-April.  All students participating must wear a cap and gown.

***  We hope all of our graduates, their family, and friends have the opportunity to enjoy the full ceremony.  As you can imagine, early departures of graduates disrupts the proceedings for those remaining. As a courtesy, we respectfully request that you remain for the entire event. It is a good idea to arrange for a meeting place at the conclusion of the ceremony! Also, please do not bring food, noisemakers or balloons to the ceremony since the facility does not allow these items in the arena.

We send a letter to the families of students who, based upon their academic credits earned at this time, may be eligible to participate in the ceremony.  Some students whose family receives this letter may not meet the requirements necessary to participate in the ceremony this year.  This determination is made by the Registrar's Office and will be communicated directly to students after spring break.  Students should address their questions directly to the Registrar's Office, Parenzo Hall, Room 107.  Final confirmation of eligibility is made afer semester grades are received and processed and all requirements filled.

Please share this information as necessary with other family members and friends.

We are extremely proud of our graduating students, and we look forward to welcoming you to the 179th Commencement Ceremony of Westfield State University on May 19.

Warm regards,

Dr. Parviz Ansari
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs