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Commencement 2023

Saturday, May 20, 2023
Leader Bank Pavillion
290 North Ave., Boston

We are delighted to honor our graduates from the Class of 2023 during an in-person Commencement at the beautiful Leader Bank Pavilion, a tented outdoor venue in Boston’s Seaport District. We look forward to coming together as a community to honor the achievements, perseverance, and resilience of so many talented and hard-working Lesley students.

Graduates at commencement
Graduates pictured at the Pavillion at 2022 Commencement.

Here's some helpful information if you're planning to attend:

  • Invitations and Guests

    Graduates may bring up to 10 guests. You must RSVP for Commencement through the emailed invitation which will be sent in March. Please RSVP from your Lesley email account. No tickets are required for Commencement.

  • Commencement Regalia and Honors

    Honors and Cords/Stoles

    Latin Honors are awarded to qualifying undergraduate degree candidates and given out during student line-up the day of Commencement. Cords/stoles are awarded by the individual schools/programs and do not need to be purchased.

    Ordering Regalia

    Academic regalia is required. You may order standard black regalia (cap, gown, and tassel) at the Herff Jones website, where you’ll find the appropriate items for each degree type. Orders are due by Wednesday, April 17 for Herff Jones to guarantee receipt in time for the May 20 Commencement date. Any order placed after this date will incur additional shipping costs and Herff Jones cannot guarantee an on-time delivery.

    In addition for PhD Doctoral students, custom Lesley regalia can be ordered at Balfour’s University Cap & Gown CO. The gowns are made-to-order and require 6 to 8 weeks for completion. The university will provide the hoods to all 2023 doctoral graduates. Hoods will be mailed to students who are unable to participate in the ceremony.

    For questions regarding Commencement regalia, please email

  • Schedule, Ceremony Details, and Photography


    9:00 am: Ceremony for the Graduate School of Education and the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences

    • 8:00 am: Graduates arrive
    • 8:15 am: Gates open for guests
    • 9:00 am: Ceremony begins
    • 11:30 am: Ceremony concludes

    1:30 pm: Ceremony for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Art and Design, and the Threshold Program

    • 12:30 pm: Graduates arrive
    • 12:45 pm: Gates open for guests
    • 1:30 pm: Ceremony begins
    • 4:00 pm: Ceremony concludes

    Please note that graduates of the MFA in Visual ArtsMFA in Photography and Integrated Media, MBAMSM, and MSW graduate programs should participate in the afternoon ceremony, with the College of Art and Design and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

    Order of Procession

    Degree candidates march in order according to their degree level with the most advanced degrees first. Candidates are called to the stage to accept their degrees in order, with the most advanced degrees receiving their diploma cases first.


    The ceremonies will be livestreamed on Lesley’s YouTube channel and recordings will be made available on YouTube following the ceremonies.


    Professional photography company E-lluminations will be on-site to photograph each graduate as you receive your diploma and after you exit the stage. Find additional information and order photos at You can place orders before and after Commencement. Each graduate will receive a link that includes access to your photos and the ability to purchase them

Graduates smile during Commencement
Graduates in a group smiling at 2022 Commencement.

Planning Your Trip

See information on the venue, accessibility, hotels, parking, and transportation for the 2023 Commencement.
  • Hotels

    Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel

    606 Congress St.
    Boston, MA 02210
    4 min walk
    Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel

    Hyatt Place Boston Hotel

    295 Northern Ave.
    Boston, MA 02210
    2 min walk
    Hyatt Place Hotel

    Seaport Hotel Boston

    1 Seaport Lane
    Boston, MA 02210
    8 min walk
    Seaport Hotel

    The Envoy Hotel, Autograph Collection

    70 Sleeper St.
    Boston, MA 02210
    14 min walk
    Envoy Hotel

    Hampton Inn Boston

    670 Summer St.
    Boston, MA 02210
    14 min walk
    Hampton Inn

  • Parking and Public Transportation

    There are a variety of parking options* including:

    EDIC Garage

    373 Northern Ave.
    Boston, MA 02210

    South Boston Waterfront Transportation Center

    503 Congress St.
    Boston, MA 02210
    8 min walk
    Parking Reservation

    Seaport Hotel Parking Garage

    1 Seaport Lane
    Boston, MA 02210
    8 min walk
    Parking Reservation

    * Anyone requiring special attention or those who have mobility challenges may be dropped off curbside.

    Public Transportation

    Take the MBTA subway, commuter rail or bus to South Station and connect with the MBTA Silver Line Waterfront (one level above the red line, one level below the food court) to the Silver Line Way. The Leader Bank Pavilion is a short walk from this stop.

  • Accessibility Support

    ASL Interpretation

    American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters will be present at Commencement.

    Wheelchair Accessibility

    The venue is graded and accessible. There is a wheelchair lift to access the stage for individuals who need assistance. Please allow additional time. The Pavilion has a team of four stagehands that operate these lifts and will assist with any needs.

    Disability and Access Services

    Please make requests for any disability-related accommodations (e.g., vision impairment, hearing impairment, or physical disability requiring use of a wheelchair) during the event in advance, no later than May 12, 2023. Guests should contact Disability & Access Services by phone at 617.349.8655, relay 711 or via email at

    Oxygen Sources

    There are two box seats available for oxygen tanks with outlets for oxygen sources.

  • Venue Information, Guidelines and Restrictions

    Leader Bank Pavilion
    290 Northern Ave.
    Boston, MA 02210


    Animals are not allowed in the venue with the exception of service animals. We regret that emotional support animals are also not permitted.


    Strollers are permitted in the venue. Anyone with a stroller should sit toward the back, on the far left or far right side of the aisles so that the strollers do not obstruct the fire lanes.

    No Family on Stage

    We regret that we are not able to accommodate requests to bring graduates’ children or family members on stage to walk with them or to hand them their diplomas.

    Venue Policies

    The following venue bag policy applies to everyone in attendance, including students, guests, faculty, and staff:

    • Max size of 12”x 6”x 12”
    • All bags are subject to search

    Late arriving guests may be held at the entrance gate before being seated until the processional is over.

    Due to the proximity of the Harbor and Airport, the Pavilion does not allow balloons inside of the gates.

    Graduates should carry limited items as you will not go back to the same seat you started with.

    For more information on the venue, please visit the Leader Bank Pavilion website.

Covid-19 Protocols

The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and guests is of the utmost importance to us. We are taking all necessary steps to ensure a safe and successful event for everyone.

  • Staying Safe

    Requirements may change based on the conditions at the time of and leading up to Commencement Day. Currently masks are optional for this event. All students who wish to participate in Commencement are required to be vaccinated or have an approved exemption due to religious or medical reasons. At this time, guests are not required to show proof of vaccination. However, it is highly recommended that each attendee be vaccinated. If these requirements change, we will update this webpage with any new protocols.

Ph.D. ceremony, school celebrations, and more

We will share information soon about other Commencement-related events, such as the doctoral draping ceremony, the Threshold celebration, and school and college recognitions, which typically take place during the week of Commencement.

Questions? Contact us

For questions regarding Commencement regalia, please email

For other event-related questions, please contact the Lesley University Commencement Office at