Commencement

The College’s 56th Commencement Ceremony Will Take Place In-Person on Saturday, May 22, 2021

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Congratulations, Graduates!

Graduates from the Classes of 2021 and 2020 are invited to attend Villa Maria College’s in-person Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at 10 AM.

Exercises will take place outside, in front of the Main Building, rain or shine. Due to state and county COVID-19 restrictions, each student participants is able to invite two guests to attend the ceremony. If there are any additional changes to New York State’s social gathering policies students will be notified via email as soon as possible.

Graduates should arrive on campus promptly at 9 AM for line-up and further instruction on the day’s events. At this time, there is no Commencement ceremony rehearsal scheduled. All information about where to be and when will be conveyed to you via e-mail and on the day of the Ceremony.

Details of the Day of Commencement

For more information, contact: DJ Schier at 716-961-1878 or [email protected] or Lisa Kraska at 716-961-1899 or [email protected].

Academic Attire

  • Gown Only – $27.92
  • Cap Only – $9.75
  • Tassel Only – $5.50
  • Bachelor Hood Only – $28.17
  • Associate Hood Only – $26.83
  • Associate Package (consists of: Cap, Gown, Tassel – either 2020 or 2021 & Hood) – $62.74
  • Bachelor Package (consists of: Cap, Gown, Tassel – either 2020 or 2021 & Hood specific to your degree) – $64.08

*Prices listed are pre-tax.

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.

Bookstore

The bookstore will be open from 9 AM until 12 PM on the day of Commencement.

Check-In

Beginning at 9AM on the day of graduation all attendees, including students and guests, may check in at the registration tables that will be in two areas: the breezeway adjacent to the Music Building and the breezeway adjacent to the Library Building. At the check in tables, all students and guests must provide the following:  

  • Valid identification.  
  • Contact information, including a phone number that can receive text messages.  
  • Have a simple health screening and temperature check.   

Children

Children may attend Commencement and will need to follow all protocols outlined above.. Children do count in your guest count.

Clothing

All graduates are asked to be in their cap, gown, and hood upon arrival.
For all questions related to caps and gowns, please contact the bookstore directly at [email protected] or (716) 896-0177.

COVID-19 Safety Measures

There will be hand sanitizer stationed around campus for the duration of the event.
Masks and physical distancing are required of everyone in attendance.

Diplomas

Students will be given their diploma holder by Dr. Giordano, who will be wearing gloves, during the ceremony. Once the ceremony is over, students who are eligible to receive their diploma on the day of Commencement will pick it up at a table near the Library Building breezeway.

Entrances to Campus

Faculty & Staff – Please enter campus from the Persia Street (off Doat St.) entrance near the Athletic Center. You can then park behind at the Art Shop and in the Athletic Center Parking Lot.

Students and Guests – Please enter campus using the two main parking lots from Pennock Place.

Guests

Each participating graduate may invite two guests to attend the May 22nd exercises. In order to attend the ceremony, which will still take place outside in front of the Main Building, all students and their two guests must RSVP at Villa.edu/commencement by Tuesday, May 18.

Line-Up

Students: After checking in, students will line up in the Dining Hall.

Board members: Please meet at the Beltz family art gallery for line up.

Faculty members: Please get meet at the “matrix room” to get your regalia and then line up along the main building ground floor hallway outside rooms 12 and 14.

Livestream

In order to allow the greater College community to view the ceremony and celebrate along with the graduates, the event will be livestreamed on the College’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/c/VillaMariaCollegeBuffalo.

Parking

Entryways to campus will be limited on Commencement Day, so please enter the college from the two parking lot entrances on Pennock Place.

Post-Ceremony

Following the Commencement Ceremony, all Graduates will have the opportunity to pick up a gift from the Student Life Office and Alumni Affairs. These will be situated near the breezeway heading towards the parking lot behind the library. Graduates and their guests can use the time after the ceremony to take pictures on campus. There is no post ceremony receiving line or reception.

Rehearsal

There is no rehearsal scheduled. All information that students and guests need to know will be communicated to the graduating students leading up to Commencement and day of.

Restrooms

Per NYS guidelines, there will be limited access to restrooms. Restrooms will be located on the ground floor of the Music Building and the Library Building. College employees will be around to help monitor access to restrooms.

RSVP

All graduates who plan on attending the in-person ceremony on May 22 must RSVP to the College by Wednesday, May 18, 2021. If applicable, the names and contact information of both guests must be included in the student RSVP. You can RSVP by completing the form below.

Seating

Graduates will be lined up by degree type and will process to their seats assisted by ushers. Guests will be ushered to their seats by college staff members. If a guest does not want to remain seated in their seats, they may stand at the back of the seating area and must be socially distanced.

Testing/Vaccination
New York State changed the guidance on large events again and we will not require testing or proof of vaccination for employees, students, and guests.

Timing

Students and guests should arrive at 9 AM. The ceremony will start at 10 AM.

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.

Weather

This event will take place rain or shine. Please bring an umbrella or poncho with you if there is rain in the forecast.
If weather conditions are too severe and unsuitable to host Commencement, a rain date has been scheduled for Sunday May 23, 2021 at 10 AM.

RSVP for Commencement

Please complete the form below to let the College know that you plan to attend the in-person Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 22. At this time, the ceremony is limited to two guests per student participant.