Graduation 2018

Thursday, May 31 – Friday, June 1

If you have any questions please call or email Lisa Brown, senior events manager, at (860) 435-3188.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, May 31, 2018

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

Celebration of Senior parent project (Unlimited number of guests)
Main Building - Lower Level

2:15 – 3:15 p.m.

Cum Laude ceremony and tea (By invitation only)
Chapel and Tremaine Patio

4:00 p.m.

Senior music recital (Unlimited number of guests)
Katherine M. Elfers Hall, Esther Eastman Music Center

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Welcome dinner for Class of 2018 and their guests (Limit four guests, plus graduate)
Main Building

Jazz reception (Limit four guests, plus graduate)
Main Building

7:30 p.m.

Senior awards ceremony (Limit four guests, plus graduate)
Katherine M. Elfers Hall, Esther Eastman Music Center
Extra seating and live feed in Walker Auditorium

10:00 p.m.

Dorm check in for all students

Friday, June 1, 2018

9:30 a.m.

Baccalaureate (Mandatory for Seniors: limited seating for immediate family only)

10:30 a.m.

Commencement ceremony (Unlimited number of guests)
Harris House Lawn or MAC Field House

11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Luncheon (Unlimited number of guests)
Main Building

All graduates are required to be off campus by 4 p.m.

Prior to Graduation


A list of area lodging can be found here. Remember, Hotchkiss is located in the northwest corner of Connecticut, so lodging in both New York and Massachusetts are options and should be considered for the busy Graduation weekend.


If you are interested in ordering formal Graduation announcements to share with family and friends, please click here for more information.


It is a long-standing Graduation tradition at Hotchkiss that Seniors wear white dresses or blue blazers, white pants, a blue or white dress shirt, and a tie. Since very few shops near the School carry these items, we strongly urge you to purchase these clothes well in advance and before you arrive on campus for Graduation.


The family of the graduating Senior will receive an invitation with registration details in early April. Each graduate can receive five more invitations, if they would like. The Senior may pick these invitations up in the Head of School’s Office starting April 15th.


For dinner and the awards ceremony on Thursday evening, there is a limit of four (4) guests for each graduating senior. This is a fixed number per family, regardless of whether every family brings its full complement. Extra seating and a live feed will be available in Walker Auditorium for additional guests. There is no limit to guests attending the commencement ceremony….we just ask that you let us know how many to expect!


We will have parking available at all the lots on the perimeter of campus starting on Thursday afternoon and then again on Friday morning. Convenient shuttles will be provided. Handicapped parking will be available to those who have a designated license plate. And as always, the option to drop off those with limited mobility will be available.

Pet Policy

In order to provide a safer and more positive experience for all attendees, please refrain from bringing your pets to this important, celebratory event. Service animals, however, are always welcome to accompany their owners.

Moving Out

The UPS Store can store students' items over the summer, then ship them to college. Seniors are required to be off campus by 4:00 p.m. on Friday. After the commencement ceremony, cars will be allowed to drive and park on campus close to the Senior dorms to help facilitate the moving out process. We will remind Seniors to pack in the week leading up to Graduation but a timely reminder from parents always helps too!

Senior Dance Information

The Senior Dance will take place on Sunday, May 27, at Fairfield Farm.
Formal Wear Rentals

Do you need formal wear for the Senior Dance? Barrington Outfitters will be on campus to properly fit anyone interested in renting formal wear.

  • Tuesday, May 1 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (in front of the student bank) 
  • Thursday, May 3 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (in front of the student bank) 
  • Tuesday, May 8 – 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (upstairs main hallway)

They will also be offering navy blazers for $149.00, white dress shirts for $24.95, and pure white "wrinkle free" Docker trousers for graduation, at a cost of $55.00.

Payment must be made at the time of order.  They will accept credit cards, check, or cash. Your Hotchkiss debit cards cannot be used for this transaction, but your card can be conveniently used at the student bank to withdraw cash for payment. Please remember the student bank closes at 3:30 p.m. and withdrawals must be made before the evening fittings.

Call for Parent Volunteers

Parent volunteers are needed to help set up decorations on the day of the Senior Dance. Volunteers will meet at Fairfield Farm on Sunday, May 27, at noon and will be putting out linens, silverware and glassware, and possibly arranging centerpieces and hanging lights.
At least a dozen volunteers are needed, though the more, the merrier! The tasks should take no longer than two hours, and parents will be back on campus in time to take pictures of the students before the dance. If you would like to help, contact Lisa Brown at Thank you for your consideration and support!

Senior Dance Photography

Professional photographer Jennifer Moriarty will be taking couples photos and candids of Senior Dance attendees at Fairfield Farm on May 27 and will be making those photos available for purchase online. More information about Ms. Moriarty's photography site is available at

What to Expect on Graduation Day

Continental Breakfast

A continental breakfast will be available from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. in the Student Center only. The Dining Room will be closed in preparation for lunch.

Baccalaureate Service

This service is required for Seniors; it's their last Chapel as the Class of 2018. Families may or may not attend, as you choose. The Chapel has very limited seating, so if you do choose to attend, we ask that only immediate families join us for this service. Seniors will need to line up for Commencement ceremony immediately after the service, so please say a quick goodbye and make your way to the Commencement ceremony seating outside.

Commencement Seating Map

Please find below a quick visual aid highlighting the seating arrangements for Commencement. Weather permitting, it is a Hotchkiss tradition that the entire student body participates in the procession at Commencement. Underclassmen will form a path through which the Class of 2018 will process at 10:30a.m. The seats will be set up by 8:45 a.m. on Friday, June 1, so families can arrive in advance to secure seats independently if they would like to do so. Multiple water stations will be available throughout Harris House Lawn to help keep everyone cool and hydrated.

2018 Commencement Seating Map

Photos and Video

The Commencement ceremony at 10:30 a.m. EDT will be live-streamed. Each graduating Senior will also receive a digital copy of the ceremony after the event. In addition, there will be professional photographers on hand to get that special picture of your children walking up to the stage and receiving their diplomas. We will post many of them on our Flickr site. In the days following Graduation, photographer George Chambers ((781) 834-9954) will contact you with information about how to purchase the pictures. If you decide you want more photos than those the photographer takes, please feel free to shoot from your seat or politely scoot to the front for a shot or two and return back to your seat so others can do the same.


A buffet luncheon is available to everyone in the Dining Room, the Student Center and a few other places in the Main Building immediately following the ceremony. We are anticipating many visitors, so if you could please clear your table and plates once you are finished it would be very much appreciated. Finally, please plan your lunch accordingly and remember that Seniors need to be off campus by 4:00 p.m.

Livestream Information

We will be livestreaming the Senior Music Recital, Senior Awards Ceremony, and Commencement Service.


Graduation Photos

We will post photos of the day's festivities on our Flickr site. George Chambers will also take photos of all the graduates as they receive their diplomas on stage. A link to these images will be sent one week after Graduation for you to view and order if desired. Please contact George Chambers at or (781) 834-9954 with any questions.

Senior Induction Dinner and Class Photo

On May 11, the Class of 2018 was formally inducted into the Alumni Association. Many photos from the evening are posted on our Flickr site. In addition, pictures from the event, including the senior class photo, are available for purchase here from professional photographer Brian Wilcox. Look for and click on the folder "2018 Hotchkiss Class Photos and Dinner." Please use the password "bearcat" to access the images.

Senior Dance

We have posted many photos on our Flickr site.  In addition, professional photographer Jennifer Moriarty took photos which are available for purchase. Click here to access her gallery of images.


Registration has now closed.
If you still need to RSVP or want to update your numbers, please e-mail Lisa Brown, or call 860-435-3188.