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Commencement Weekend 2019 – May 17-19


Ian Johnstone, Dean ad interim, and the faculty and staff of the Fletcher School cordially invite you and your guests to the annual Commencement Weekend exercises and events of the Fletcher School to be held from May 17-19, 2019.

All graduates are expected to participate in the Saturday Class Day Ceremony and both parts of Sunday’s Commencement ceremonies: the All-University Commencement and the Fletcher School ceremony.  We hope that graduates and families will consider attending the Friday evening clambake and the luncheon receptions on both Saturday and Sunday.  A full schedule of the weekend’s activities will be available at a later date.

Members of the class of 2019 who will not be graduating are welcome and indeed encouraged to attend all the events of the weekend.

The following information about the ceremonies should assist you in planning your participation.

Saturday, May 18

The Fletcher Class Day Ceremony

The Fletcher School’s class day ceremony begins at 11:30am (assembly at 11:15am).

The ceremony will include:

  • Entrance processional
  • Dean’s welcome
  • Songs by the Ambassachords

Remarks by a distinguished Fletcher alumnus

  • Presentation of the Stewart Prize to an outstanding first-year Fletcher student
  • Presentation of the Gullion Prize to an outstanding second-year Fletcher student
  • Presentation of the Leo Gross Prize to a student who has excelled in the law-related courses
  • Presentation of the Peter Ackerman award for an outstanding doctoral dissertation
  • Presentation of class gifts
  • Award of the Dean’s medal to the Keynote Speaker
  • Address by the Keynote Speaker
  • Recessional

The ceremony will be held under a tent on Fletcher field (between Mugar Hall and Professors Row) adjacent to the tennis courts. Graduates do not need to line up in alphabetical order nor wear gaps and gowns.  Business attire, military uniform, or national dress are appropriate.

Sunday, May 19

All-University Commencement Ceremony

The All-University Commencement in which all schools participate includes the entrance processional, the awarding of honorary degrees by Schools including the official award of the Fletcher degree, the awarding of honorary degrees and the All-University Commencement Address.

This ceremony will be held on the lawn between Ballou and Bendetson Halls.  It is at this ceremony that Ian Johnstone, Dean ad interim, asks our graduates to stand as a group and formally confers Fletcher degrees.   All Fletcher graduates are expected to participate.  Formation for the Fletcher School student procession will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Blakeley Courtyard.  There is no alphabetical marching order.

At 7:30am (before the All University Commencement Ceremony), a light breakfast for Fletcher students will be served, under a tent in Blakeley courtyard, including champagne toasts delivered by several members of the graduating class. Please arrive at the breakfast in cap and gown.

The Fletcher School Commencement Ceremony

The Fletcher School will hold its diploma awarding ceremony at approximately 11:15 a.m., immediately after the All-University Ceremony ends.  It will be held under the same tent on Fletcher field that was used for the Class Day ceremony.

All Spring 2019 Fletcher degree candidates and Fall 2018 degree recipients should assemble inside Blakeley Hall Courtyard by 11:15 a.m. or immediately after the conclusion of the All-University ceremony, whichever occurs first.  For this ceremony graduates will march in alphabetical order.  Students who received degrees last Fall may march in the May ceremony if they have not marched in a prior Commencement ceremony.

The ceremony will include:

  • Entrance processional
  • Dean’s welcome
  • Presentation of the James L. Paddock Teaching Award to a faculty member who best exemplifies excellence        in teaching
  • Faculty address by the Paddock prize recipient
  • Remarks by two graduating students selected by the Class of 2019
  • Presentation of degrees to individual students and doctoral hooding
  • Closing remarks
  • Recessional

Saturday and Sunday Luncheon Receptions

Following both the Fletcher Class Day Ceremony on Saturday and the Fletcher Commencement Ceremony on Sunday there will be luncheon receptions for all members of the community and their families.

The receptions will occur under the “clambake” tent on Fletcher field, adjacent to the commencement ceremony tent.


Tickets are not needed for the Saturday and Sunday ceremonies nor are they needed for the Saturday and Sunday post ceremony luncheon receptions.  Seating for guests at the ceremonies is on a first-come first served basis.  The tent is very large and easily accommodates all guests.  If you have guests who need special accommodations (i.e, use wheelchairs), please notify Mary Dulatre ASAP so that we can make special arrangements for their seating at

Friday Night May 17

New England Clambake

Students and their guests are invited to join the Fletcher community and Fletcher alumni at the annual alumni reunion Clambake on Friday evening, May 17.  The event will take place on Fletcher Field, under a tent, and will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are necessary to attend the clambake. Information regarding the purchase of tickets will be available in mid April from the Fletcher School’s Alumni Relations Office.  The deadline for requesting tickets will be announced at a later date.

Academic Robes

All degree recipients are expected to be attired in appropriate academic robes for both Sunday ceremonies.

Ph.D. recipients should be attired in academic robes to receive their Ph.D. hoods.  The Ph.D. hoods will be provided by the Fletcher School, and recipients will be “hooded” at the Fletcher School’s Sunday Commencement ceremony.  Academic robes can be purchased at most university bookstores.  If a Ph.D. recipient wishes to purchase a Tufts Ph.D. cap and gown, these will be available for $72.98 from the Bookstore on or after April 3rd.  For those Ph.D. candidates unable to come to Medford before Commencement, please call the Tufts University Bookstore at 617-627-5292 to either purchase or rent a cap and gown.

Caps, gowns, and hoods for Master’s recipients will be available for purchase beginning April 3rd at the Bookstore.  Graduates need to wear all three items. Caps and gowns cost $60.98, Hoods cost $42.50.  Rentals are available at the Bookstore for both Ph.D. and Master’s degree recipients and orders can be placed beginning on March 1st.  Rentals can be picked up from the Bookstore any time after May 13th. For more information, please go to 

Photographs at the Fletcher School Commencement Ceremony

A professional photographer will take photos on Sunday as each graduate crosses the Fletcher stage and is congratulated by the Dean. To expedite the ceremony, it is important that the area in front of the stage be kept clear. Photographs will be posted online for review and purchase approximately one week following the ceremony. The URL will be announced via Fletcher’s faculty, staff and student listservs as soon as they are posted.


Because hotel and motel space in the Boston area is at a premium this time of year, we urge you to make your reservations as soon as possible if not already arranged.

The University’s Conference Bureau will provide on-campus dormitory housing.  This year’s rates are $75.00 per night for a single and $95.00 per night for a double.

To make a reservation for on-campus housing, please do so via online registration starting February 1st, 2019 by going to: There will be no refunds after 5:00pm on May 2nd, 2019. 

All reservations must be received by 5:00pm on May 3, 2019.  Any changes to reservations resulting in a refund will be subject to a 10% processing fee.  If an online cancellation is received on or before 5:00pm on May 2nd, a full refund will be made, minus a 10% processing fee.  After 5:00pm, on May 2nd, all payments are non-refundable.

There are a number of hotels in the Boston area.  Please inquire with the hotels to see if they offer special Tufts rates.  Your guests are urged to make reservations as soon as possible.


Given the larger number of visitors to campus on commencement day, parking will be scarce.   Parking in all university lots will be on a first-come, first-serve basis so early arrival is recommended.  Parking will be available in the parking lot across from Cousens Gym, the Stearns Village lot between Cousens and Eliot-Pearson, and in the Dowling Hall parking garage on Boston Avenue.  Shuttle service will be available from College Avenue to the Commencement site from 7:00 a.m – 4:00 p.m.

Graduation Travel Offsets

At the request of students, please find below information that you and your guests may want to consider when planning graduation travel:

By promoting travel carbon offsets, we give students (and staff and faculty) a tangible option to do something to reduce their own carbon footprint. Two recommended offsetting websites that are rated “Excellent” by the Tufts Climate Initiative in 2007 (the project is now hosted by the Stockholm Environment Institute, just across Curtis St) are found immediately below. The rating criteria include the accuracy of the emission calculator, the project type/location, the offset quality (best market practices with respect to implementation and verification of the relevant projects is key) and overall transparency of the scrutinized organizations.

In conclusion, if you have any questions about commencement weekend, please do not hesitate to contact Shelley Adams at (617) 627-3085 or   We look forward to seeing you and your family and guests during the weekend.