The College’s 57th Commencement Ceremony Will Take Place In-Person on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 11 AM.

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Congratulations, Graduates!

Graduates from the Class 2022 are invited to attend Villa Maria College’s in-person Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 11 AM.

This year’s exercises will take place on May 21, 2022 inside the College’s auditorium. All students are expected to attend all Commencement-related activities, including rehearsal, the hooding ceremony and liturgy and the formal exercises. Students should plan to attend not only as an active participant, but also in support of their fellow classmates.

Graduates should arrive on campus promptly at 10:30 for line-up and further instruction on the day’s events. Guests may go right to the auditorium to find their seats.

The College’s traditional liturgy and hooding ceremony will precede the exercises. The liturgy and hooding ceremony will take place on May 21 at 9 AM in the Villa Maria Convent Chapel located at 600 Doat Street. Students should arrive in the chapel by 8:30 AM and will be given further instruction upon arrival in the chapel’s lobby. Guests may go immediately to find their seats.

If there are any changes to Erie County’s or New York State’s social gathering policies students will be notified via email as soon as possible.

Details of the Day of Commencement

For more information, contact: DJ Schier at 716-961-1878 or [email protected] or Joanna Zadvorney at 716-961-2868 or [email protected]

Graduation is a very special time — a time to acknowledge you for all your hard work and honor you for all you have achieved.  As a graduate of Villa Maria College, you are expected to attend all Commencement Exercises. If you are unable to attend, please contact DJ Schier, dean of students, at 716-961-1878.

Full Schedule of Events

Thursday, April 21, 2022 – Graduate Gathering: 4-6 PM in the College Dining Hall

Get all the information about graduation in one place!  Talk with Service Directors to make sure you are as prepared for graduation as you can be!  Get information on class rings and joining the Alumni Association. Enjoy food, libations and entertainment—all free!  This event is exclusively for graduates.

Tuesday, May 3 – Friday May 20, 2022: Cap, Gown, and Hood pick-up in Felician Hall.

Academic attire can be picked up between May 3 & May 20 at the front desk of Felician Hall between the hours of 8 AM and 3:30 PM.

Thursday, May 19, 2022 – Commencement Rehearsal: 2 PM in the College Dining Hall

The seating chart and final instructions will be distributed at this time.  Dress is casual. Do not bring your associate or bachelor hood, cap and gown.  Please be on time.

Thursday, May 19, 2022 – Graduate Reception: Immediately following the rehearsal in the College Dining Hall

Reception in the Dining Hall and one last opportunity to celebrate with other graduates, faculty, and staff.

Saturday, May 21, 2022 – Hooding Ceremony and Commencement Liturgy: 9 AM in the Villa Maria Convent Chapel

Graduates will gather in your academic gowns (no cap) by 8:30 AM in the entrance to the convent chapel, 600 Doat Street.  Bring your academic hood with you—you will be hooded during a special ceremony. Family members are to go directly to their seats.

Saturday, May 21, 2022 – Commencement Exercises: 11 AM in the College Auditorium

Graduates are to assemble in the Dining Hall by 10:30 a.m. Wear your cap, gown, and hood. Procession is to be ready by 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, May 21, 2022 – Reception: Immediately following Commencement Exercises on front lawn of the College (weather permitting)

Light refreshments will be served.

If you have any questions, please contact DJ Schier, dean of students, at 716-961-1878 or [email protected]

Academic Attire

All graduates participating in the Commencement ceremony need to wear academic regalia: black gown, black cap, tassel, and an academic hood.

Order your academic regalia through this link: All orders need to be placed by March 27, 2022.

Associate Degree (Two Years)
Associate Degree Complete Package — includes cap, gown, tassel, and hood — $38.50

Bachelor Degree (Four Years)
Bachelor Degree Complete Package—includes cap, gown, tassel, and hood — $40.50

You will be asked to provide your payment information at the time of the order. Your order will be for the complete package which includes cap, gown, tassel, and hood. You will be asked if you want to purchase extra items (e.g., an extra cap or tassel). You do not need to order these as they are included in the complete package. To save on shipping costs, all orders will be assembled and shipped to the College. Orders can be picked up between May 3 & May 20.

Women & men: black gown, black cap, academic hood, dark shoes
Delta Epsilon & Phi Theta Kappa members: follow above, plus honors stole if applicable.
Military: follow military protocol

Graduation cap must be worn according to regulation: level with ceiling when on your head, tassel on the right-hand side; hoods should be worn to the ceremony.

Please do not bring purses or any other item that you need to carry. Leave all items with family members or lock them in your car trunk.


The Spirit Store is now located on the ground floor of Felician Hall. College apparel and other branded items can be purchased here. The Spirit Shop will be open from 9 AM to 12 PM on Commencement Day.


All graduates are asked to be in their cap, gown, and hood upon arrival.
For all questions related to caps and gowns, please visit

Commencement Exercises

Commencement Exercises will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 11 AM in the College auditorium. Graduates should assemble in the dining hall by 10:30 AM.  Wear your cap, gown, and hood. Guests may go immediately to the auditorium to find their seats.

Commencement Reception

A Commencement Reception will be held on the front lawn of the College on Saturday, May 21, immediately following the exercises. Light refreshments will be served.  Graduates, family and friends are invited to share in the celebration!

COVID-19 Safety Measures

Villa Maria College will follow all guidelines outlined by New York State and Erie County. The College’s COVID protocols can be found here: Effective March 2, masks are optional while on campus. The College strongly encourages people who are not vaccinated and/or boosted to wear a mask on campus, and to get vaccinated and/or boosted.

The College recognizes that some individuals will choose to continue to wear a mask on campus, and we ask that you show respect for people who do so.  College administration will continue to monitor the policy guidance from local and state officials, as well as local Covid statistics, and may adjust our campus policy in the future.


Students will be given their diploma holder by Dr. Giordano during the ceremony. Once the ceremony is over, students who are eligible to receive their diploma on the day of Commencement during the outdoor reception.

Graduate Gathering

Villa Maria will honor the Class of 2022 at a Graduate Gathering on Thursday, April 21 from 4-6 PM. Graduates, this is your best opportunity to ensure you’re prepared for graduation. At this event, multiple service providers here at the College will be available to help you get prepared for graduation, including Financial Aid, Career Services & Internships, and Campus Ministry. Our Alumni Services will also be available to speak with regarding how you can stay involved with Villa Maria College after you graduate. Also in attendance will be a representative from Josten’s to share information about ordering class rings. With all of this being said, this event is exclusively for upcoming graduates.

Guest Policy

Students may invite as many guests as you wish to the Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 21, at 11 AM.  Guests do not need tickets for the graduation ceremony.

Hooding Ceremony & Commencement Liturgy

A Hooding Ceremony and Commencement Liturgy will be held on Saturday, May 21, 2022.  The Hooding Ceremony and Commencement Liturgy will be celebrated at 9 AM in the Villa Maria Convent Chapel. Graduates are asked to arrive by 8:30 AM, and gather in the Chapel’s entrance on 600 Doat Street for final instructions. Graduates should wear their gown only (no cap) and bring their hoods. Guests may go immediately to their seats.


Students: Check-in in the lobby space outside the dining hall, and then proceed to the hallway on the ground floor of the Main Building for procession line-up.

Board members: Please meet at the Paul William Beltz Family Art Gallery for procession line-up.

Faculty members: Please get meet at the Matrix Room to get your regalia and further instruction.


Following the Commencement Ceremony, the Class of 2022 and their families are invited to celebrate at an outdoor reception. The reception will take place on the lawn outside of the Main Building and will be held rain or shine. Light refreshments will be served. Diplomas can be picked up during the reception.

All graduates will have the opportunity to pick up their diplomas and a gift from Student Life and Alumni Affairs. Graduates and their guests can use the time after the ceremony to take pictures on campus.


All graduates are required to attend a short rehearsal for this year’s Commencement ceremony.

Commencement Rehearsal will be held on Thursday, May 19, 2022 at Villa Maria College. Please come to the dining hall for rehearsal at 2 PM sharp. Please arrive on time. The seating chart and final instructions will be distributed at the rehearsal. Dress is casual — do not bring your hoods, caps or gown.

A graduate reception will immediately follow the rehearsal. This is an opportunity to gather with your fellow graduates one last time before the big day. Faculty and staff who have worked with you throughout your time at Villa will  be present to share in your success. This is your moment. Come and celebrate! Refreshments will be served.


Graduates will be lined up by degree type and will process to their seats assisted by ushers. Seating in the auditorium is available for all guests on a first-come, first-served basis. Families and friends are welcome to sit in any section that is not marked as reserved. A section of the auditorium will be reserved for guests who prefer to continue social distancing.



Tuition and Fees

All tuition and fees must be cleared before participation in the May Commencement activities. Graduates may not be permitted to attend Commencement if financial obligations are not settled. Please settle all financial obligations by May 6.