Commencement 2018

You’ve worked hard to reach this point, and we look forward to celebrating with you on Saturday, May 19, 2018 at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in Boston, MA. We hope that each and every one of you joins us in Boston to participate in this momentous occasion with the entire Lesley University community.

Here’s what you need to do before the big day

  • File your declaration of intent to graduate

    File your declaration of intent to graduate on LOIS. Declaring your intent to graduate requires a degree completion fee, and will place you in the queue for an academic audit. You must file this form whether or not you intend to attend Commencement, but please note, you’ll still need to submit a separate Commencement RSVP if you’re planning to walk at your ceremony.

    Once your audit is complete, the Registrar Office will contact you via email to let you know your status and provide ongoing graduation announcements.

    Be sure to check your email on LOIS under "personal profile" at the same time that you file your declaration of intent to graduate, and frequently check the email you use for Lesley communications.

  • Submit your Commencement RSVP

    If you’re intending to participate in your ceremony you must submit a Commencement RSVP

  • Purchase your cap and gown

    You’ll also need to purchase academic regalia. Regalia will be on sale at the Lesley University Bookstore  starting the first week in April. You can also purchase your attire online and have it shipped to your home via the Herff Jones website.  

    The academic attire worn at Commencement has its origins in the Middle Ages. The purpose of academic regalia is to display the academic and scholarly achievements of the wearer. From the cap, gown, and hood it is possible to distinguish the institution from which the wearer graduated, the field of learning in which his or her degree was earned, and the level of degree.

    All Lesley University hoods are green and gold. For master’s degree candidates, a hood also comes with the attire package. The colors of your hood reflect your degree and program:

    • Master of Arts: White velvet trim
    • Master of Education: Light blue velvet trim
    • Master of Fine Arts: Brown velvet trim

    The mortarboard hats and soft velvet tams are black. Prior to receiving the degree, the tassel is worn on the right. The graduates ceremonially turn the tassel to the left at the end of the Commencement ceremony.

    Gowns are normally black, and the level of the degree is indicated by the cut of the gown. Colored doctoral gowns represent the school colors of the college or university that awarded the doctoral degree. The green gowns of the president, trustees, and honorary degree recipients represent the Lesley University colors. The president wears the Lesley University presidential medallion.

    Cords worn by graduates of the College of Art and Design and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences indicate honors. Summa Cum Laude cords are gold, Magna Cum Laude cords are gold and white, and Cum Laude cords are white.  

    Please note that attire cannot be returned once purchased.

  • Diplomas

    Your diploma will be mailed to you following Commencement. As you cross the stage, you’ll receive a diploma case and a welcome letter from the Alumni Association. If you have questions, please contact the Registrar’s Office at 617.349.8740 or


Saturday, May 19, 2018
Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, 290 Northern Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts

Ceremony for the Graduate School of Education and the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences:

8:00 am | Gates open, graduates arrive for line-up
9:00 am | Ceremony begins
11:30 am | Ceremony concludes

Ceremony for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Art and Design:

12:30 pm | Gates open for graduates
12:45 pm | Gates open for guests
1:30 pm | Ceremony begins
3:30 pm | Ceremony concludes 


For your convenience, we do not require attendance tickets and there is no limitation on the number of guests per graduate.


The Lesley University Bookstore will be present on Commencement Day. Graduates and guests will be able to purchase sweatshirts, t-shirts, and other Lesley memorabilia, as well as place an order for a class ring or a diploma frame.

You can also purchase personalized graduation announcements through the Herff Jones' website.


The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion is an outdoor amphitheater in the Boston Seaport that seats approximately 5,000.

Please take into consideration that the venue is on the waterfront, therefore cool spring breezes coming in off the water may make the air significantly cooler than in other parts of the city. Appropriate dress and removable layers are key to staying comfortable in Boston’s unpredictable climate.

Due to the close proximity to Logan Airport, balloons are not allowed into the facility. Please plan accordingly.

  • Graduate entrance

    If you’re facing the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, the graduate entrance is to the left of the main gate and will be marked “GRADUATE ENTRANCE.” Commencement staff members will be on duty outside the venue to direct graduates to the appropriate entrance. Guests will enter using the main gates.

  • Food & drink

    Food and drink will be available via the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion concession booths.

  • Photos

    Professional photographers from Hockmeyer Studios will be present to take each graduate’s picture as they cross the stage.

    For those who RSVP'd to Commencement, Hockmeyer will send you a special mailing with ordering information. Contact Hockmeyer Studios with questions at 978.388.9832. Ordering information [PDF]. 

Disability access

If you anticipate having guests who may need disability related accommodations (e.g., vision impairment, hearing impairment, or physical disability requiring use of a wheelchair) or if you need a disability related accommodation, we ask that you contact Lesley University’s Disability Services by phone at 617.349.8655, TTY at 617.349.8544 or via e-mail at by May 1, 2018, so that we can make the necessary plans for meeting your needs.

In addition, American Sign Language Interpreters will be present at Commencement.

Commencement Office