Dear Parents of the Class of 2021,
We are really looking forward to celebrating the graduation of our seniors and postgraduate students in the coming weeks. We are even more excited to share that we will be able to welcome parents to campus on May 15th for the commencement ceremony!
Given the pandemic, commencement will look a little different than it has in the past. That said, our seniors made it clear that the most important part of commencement is your presence, so we have created a plan that will allow us to celebrate with families, while also keeping our graduating students, underclassmen, and other community members safe.
When and where is Commencement?
Commencement will start promptly at 11 am on Saturday, May 15th. Rain or shine, the ceremony will take place on the fields behind the Williams Center. But don’t worry -- we’ll have a tent to help shield everyone from the elements.
Who can attend?
Each graduating student may invite up to three guests. Unused guest spots may not be shared with other students, unfortunately. Eligible guests include parents, guardians, grandparents, siblings, cousins, and other extended family and friends.
How do I RSVP?
Please RSVP by completing this form no later than Sunday, April 18th.
What do I need to do before I arrive on campus?
Guests traveling domestically
(including Maine residents)
Guests traveling internationally
(in adherence with Maine state mandates)
What will the day before commencement look like for visitors?
BinexNow testing will happen on campus between 7:30am and 5pm on Friday, May 14th. Please arrive for your BinexNow test at your scheduled time (as confirmed via email by the Health Center). If you think you may be late due to traffic or other delays, please call 207-966-5215 as soon as possible.
When you arrive, drive straight to Atwood Health Center. A nurse will come out to your vehicle to administer the BinexNow test, which only takes a few seconds. The nurse will then ask each visitor to complete a COVID Health and Safety Screening form.
You should then depart from campus and plan to return in the morning.
What will commencement day look like?
Guests should arrive between 9:30 am and 10:30 am. If your student is a boarding student, please try to arrive between 9:30 and 10:00 am. You will drive directly to the Williams Center Parking Lot, where faculty will be waiting to greet you, and if your student is a boarder, the faculty will help pack your vehicle with your student’s belongings. Students will be instructed to pack all of their belongings in the days leading up to the event, label them clearly, and leave them in the Williams Center, to eliminate the need for students to enter the dorms following the ceremony.
There will be a welcome tent behind the Williams Center, so families can leave their vehicles to socialize with select faculty and other families if they so choose. Students will not be in attendance, as they will be getting ready for the ceremony to begin. Water and restrooms will be available. However, we ask that family members remain masked and appropriately distanced (at least 6’) from those outside their family unit at all times.
At 10:45 am, the bagpipes will begin to play. At that time, guests will be led down the hill to the fields where the ceremony will take place. Seating will be arranged in family groups based on RSVPs, and each group will be at least 6’ apart from other groups. Students and faculty will be seated separately.
Following the ceremony, families will be released first and asked to return directly to their vehicles. All students whose families are in attendance, or who have their own vehicle on campus, will be expected to depart campus no later than 12:30 pm.
Hebron will coordinate transportation to the airport for any students whose parents will not be in attendance. However, all students should plan on departing from campus soon after the ceremony. If a student must stay an additional night for extenuating circumstances, they may be charged an additional fee to cover the cost of the additional supervision.
What if I can’t attend in person? What if my student is a distance learner?
Please don’t worry! The ceremony will be live-streamed so all families and distance learners can attend.
What other guidelines should I be aware of?
Guests may not arrive before 9:30 am on the day of the ceremony.
Guests are asked to remain in their vehicles when they are not in the welcome tent or at the commencement ceremony itself.
Students may not return to the dorms or enter into any other campus buildings after the graduation ceremony is complete and they have joined their family/guests.
Guests may not enter any building except for the designated visitor bathroom.
Guests should not bring any food or drink except for water.
Smoking of any kind on campus is strictly prohibited.
Guests must wear a mask at all times when on campus, including in all outdoor spaces.
Guests should socially distance themselves from all other visitors except their immediate family.
Guests should not interact with other students. We realize that families may want to congratulate their student’s friends and classmates, but doing so poses a transmission risk to our students and the greater community.
Guests must wait to be escorted to their assigned seating space at graduation. Please stay seated unless you need to use the bathroom. Do not visit other family units.
Graduating students and their guests must depart campus immediately following the ceremony in an effort to minimize contact between guests and, therefore, minimize risk of transmission.
Underclassmen will not be able to attend the ceremony, due to capacity limitations. However, all community members will be able to watch the event as it is live-streamed.
We understand that commencement this year will look different than it has in years past. Please note that we are striving to provide our students with a meaningful in-person celebration while also prioritizing the health and safety of our students, employees, families, and the greater community. We thank you all in advance for your flexibility and for your cooperation with our health and safety precautions.
Due to the nature of the pandemic and for the health and safety of our community, the guidelines for graduation may change at any time. Please watch for updates.