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Commencement 2024

Saturday, May 18, 2024
Leader Bank Pavilion
290 Northern Ave., Boston

We are delighted to honor our graduates from the Class of 2024 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.

View the Commencement 2024 program.

We are also thrilled to announce that our 2024 Commencement speaker will be renowned naturalist Sy Montgomery. Read more about Sy Montgomery.

Watch the Commencement livestream here.

janet steinmayer addressing commencment, wide angle
President Steinmayer addressing 2023 graduates

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

  • Invitations and Guests

    Graduates may bring up to five guests each. Tickets will be required for this event. If you wish to bring more than five guests, we will have a waitlist, in which you can request additional tickets. This, however, does not guarantee that we can provide you with the requested number of additional tickets. The availability of extra tickets will depend upon how many students RSVP and how many guests each of those students will plan to bring.

    Please note: Any child over the age of two will require their own ticket/seat in order to attend the event and they will count towards your allotted number of guest tickets.


    Students must RSVP for Commencement through the emailed invitation which will be sent to your Lesley email account in mid to late February. Please RSVP for yourself and the number of guests you intend to have with you by Friday, April 19, 2024. If you are having trouble accessing your Lesley email account, please reach out to Lesley’s IT department at it@lesley.edu or submit a ticket through the help desk.

    MarchingOrder & GradPass

    Students will RSVP for Commencement using MarchingOrder, a graduation software that will integrate and incorporate many major Commencement components.

    All graduating students must bring their cell phones with them to the ceremony. When you register for Commencement, you will receive a unique QR Code in which, on the day of, a member of the event staff will scan, during the conferral of degrees. This code will generate your name and name pronunciation, when it is your turn to receive your diploma cover on stage. Please prepare ahead of time and charge your phone before arriving or bring a portable charger/power bank. There will not be outlets available to use cord chargers.

    If you don't have a smartphone, please contact commence@lesley.edu to make arrangements for a paper reader card.

    Additionally, tickets for guests will be provided by the graduating students. Once registered, each student will need to access their guest tickets on MarchingOrder and enter each of their guest's email addresses. After that’s been done, students will be able to email the tickets directly to their guests, however many times needed. Each guest's ticket will generate a unique QR Code, which will need to be scanned upon arrival, at the venue’s main entrance. Guest ticket sharing/duplication is prohibited. Please note: Tickets are not required for graduating students, only for their guests.

    Students who are registering guests must be aware that each guest will receive their own individual ticket, each assigned its own unique number. Upon arrival at the venue, please make sure each of your guests has their own ticket with their own specific ticket number. Alternatively, tickets can be printed out, and guests can provide those physical copies on the day of the event.

    Pre-Commencement Slideshow

    We will be accepting graduating student's submissions for a slideshow to be displayed on stage prior to the beginning of Commencement. To make a submission, you’ll need to register for the event via MarchingOrder, in which you can there add a quote, shoutout, gratitude, etc. and an accompanying photo which will be shown along with your fellow peer’s submissions to the attending audience. 

    Please note: The Commencement Office will review every submission and validate all approved submissions. Any unapproved/inappropriate submissions will not be used, and the creator of those submissions will be notified. 

  • Commencement Regalia and Honors

    Herff Jones organizes all Lesley regalia/cap & gown purchases. To order, please visit http://colleges.herffjones.com/college/_lesley/.  

    The cut-off date to order is Friday, April 19, 2024. If you happen to miss the cut-off, a small amount of late order gowns will be available only on a first come, first served basis. Please plan ahead to order on time and avoid being charged late fees or miss your opportunity to receive the order before graduation. 

    For questions regarding regalia/cap & gown orders, please email our Herff Jones representative, Brooke Sheerin, at bsheerin@herffjones.com.

    For PhD Doctoral students, custom Lesley regalia can be ordered at Balfour & Co Buildagrad.

    The gowns are made-to-order and require 6 to 8 weeks for completion. The website closing date is Monday, April 15 at 11:59pm.

    The university will provide the hoods to all 2024 doctoral graduates. Hoods will be mailed to students who are unable to participate in the ceremony. To verify your mailing address within our records, please contact the Registrar’s Office at degreeaudit@lesley.edu.


    Latin Honors are only awarded to qualifying undergraduate students and given out at the ceremony.


    Cords/stoles are awarded by the individual university programs and do not need to be purchased. Latin Honors cords are given out in the student line-up the day of Commencement and are only received by undergraduate degree candidates.

  • Schedule, Ceremony Details, and Photography


    All undergraduate, graduate, and Threshold students planning to participate in Commencement on Saturday, May 18, 2024 will attend one all-inclusive graduation ceremony, beginning at 10:00 am.

    • All participating students must arrive at 9:00 am
    • Gates will open for guests at 9:15 am
    • Ceremony will conclude around 1:00 pm

    Post-Commencement Reception

    Directly following the ceremony’s conclusion until 3:00 pm, there will be an open reception held at the Pavilion, inclusive of all graduating students, their families, and their friends. This will be a time where graduates can connect with their peers, their professors, and university dignitaries. Food and beverages will be served. Please join us for this celebratory occasion once the event has concluded!

    Order of Procession

    Candidates will march and receive their degrees within their designated areas of study and in order according to their degree level with the most advanced degrees walking first.

    The order in which students will receive their degrees by area of study will be as follows: Education, Mental Health & Well-being, Threshold, College of Art + Design and Liberal Arts & Business. If you have questions about what area of study you belong in, please view this table.

    Please note: During conferrals, please do not leave any personal belongings in your seat once you are led up to stage, as you will not be returning to the same seat.

    Areas of Study

    When you arrive for Commencement, you will be placed with your fellow peers within your designated area of study. Additionally, the line-up team will place you in order of your degree levels. Among those receiving degrees within either the study of Education or Mental Health & Well-being, PhD recipients will go first (in alphabetical order by last name), followed by those receiving a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study, then Masters recipients, then Dual Degree recipients (receiving both a Masters and Bachelors degree) and finally, Bachelors candidates. For the non-graduate level degree recipients, the conferral order will be Masters degrees followed by Bachelors. 

    If you are unsure of what area of study/degree you fall under, please refer to this table.


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


    Professional photography company E-lluminations will be on-site to photograph each graduate as you receive your diploma cover and after you exit the stage. Find additional information and order photos at e-lluminations.com. 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

    Lesley University does not produce yearbooks, however, you can download your program booklet once it’s posted on this site.


    If you would like to purchase a personalized video clip of you receiving your degree during conferrals, this will be available to buy for $19.99 via Herff Jones, when you purchase your cap & gown.

    StageClip inquiries can be directed to the StageClip Student Support Center.

  • Commencement Participants

    Lesley University offers three degree conferral dates: one in September, one in January, and one in May. The May conferral corresponds with our annual Commencement ceremony. However, graduates who receive their degrees in September or January are invited to participate in the May ceremony. May is the only in-person ceremony/graduation that we hold. There are no formal graduation ceremonies for September or January conferrals, as these students will walk in May with all other graduating students.

    To verify your eligibility/graduation status, please reach out to the Registrar’s Office at degreeaudit@lesley.edu.

emily haranhas in regalia
Student speaker Emily Haranas at 2023 Commencement

Planning Your Trip

See information on the venue, accessibility, hotels, parking, and transportation for the 2024 Commencement.

  • Hotels

    Hyatt Place Boston Hotel

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

    Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel

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

    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 stagehands that operate these lifts and will assist with any needs.

    Disability & Access Services

    Any guest who may need disability-related accommodations (i.e., vision impairment, hearing impairment, or physical disability requiring use of a wheelchair) should contact Disability & Access Services by phone at 617.349.8655, relay 711 or via e-mail at disabilityaccess@lesley.edu.

    Please make requests for disability-related accommodations for the event in advance, by no later than Friday, May 10, 2024.

    Oxygen Sources

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

    ASL Interpretation

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

  • Venue Information, Guidelines and Restrictions

    Family Member Handing Diploma to Student on Stage

    We regret that we are not able to accommodate this request.


    Animals and pets are not permitted within the venue, with the exception of service animals. We regret that emotional support animals/pets are also not permitted.


    Strollers are permitted in the venue, but we ask that anyone with a stroller 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.

    Bringing Children/Family on Stage to Walk with the Graduate

    We regret that we are not able to accommodate this request.

    Venue Policies

    Venue Bag Policy (applies to all in attendance including students, guests, faculty, and staff):

    • The Pavilion only allows a max bag size of 12”x 6”x 12”
    • All bags are subject to search

    Late arriving guests may be held at 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 or umbrellas inside of the gates.

    Students should carry limited items as the graduates will not go back to the same seat they started with.

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

Ph.D. Ceremony and Threshold Program Ceremony & Celebration

The following Commencement-related events will be held in various locations on South Campus on Friday, May 17, 2024. These events are by invitation only, and you'll receive an email invitation with further details in late March.

Event: Threshold Program Ceremony & Celebration
Time: 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Location: Washburn Auditorium
Event: Doctoral Draping Ceremony
Time: 3:00 - 4:30 pm
Location: St. John's Chapel

Doctoral Draping Ceremony

  • Invitations

    Invitations will be sent in mid to late March to the graduate’s Lesley email address. Please RSVP no later than Friday, May 3.

  • Guests

    Each attending student will be allowed to bring up to four guests in total. Please make sure to add them to your registration.

  • Regalia and Hoods

    Academic regalia is required. You may order standard black regalia from Herff Jones. The deadline to order is Friday, April 19. Any order placed after this date will incur additional shipping costs and Herff Jones cannot guarantee an on-time delivery. For questions regarding regalia, please email bsheerin@herffjones.com.

    The university will provide the hoods to all 2024 doctoral graduates. Hoods will be mailed to 2024 graduates who are unable to participate in the ceremony.

    If you’d like to verify your mailing address within our records, please reach out to the Registrar’s Office by emailing degreeaudit@lesley.edu.

    Custom regalia

    For PhD Doctoral students, custom Lesley regalia can be ordered at Balfour & Co Buildagrad.

    The gowns are made-to-order and require six to eight weeks for completion. The website closing date is Monday, April 15 at 11:59pm.

  • Photos

    A photographer will take a photo of each graduate as they receive their hood and directly after.

  • Directions and Parking

    Due to campus renovations, there will be no parking on South Campus for this event. We encourage students and their guests to park on either Porter or Doble Campus. There will be shuttles running regularly from both campuses to South. To view the Lesley shuttle schedule, please click here. If you'd like to be able to track the shuttles on the day of, you can do so by downloading the Lesley Shuttle app.

    Alternative options

    Public Parking: There are several parking lots in the Harvard Square area that are open to the public. Any charges/rates are subject to the garage. We cannot offer free or discounted parking.

    Public transportation: The Harvard T-stop on the red line is closest to South Campus. It is about a 10-minute walk to St. John’s Chapel. There are also several MBTA buses that run a route through Harvard Square.

    Walking: It is approximately a 10 to 15-minute walk from Doble to South and a 20 to 25-minute walk from Porter to South. If you do plan to walk from one campus to another, please anticipate arriving ahead of schedule, to give yourself the time to get to South Campus.

    Drop-off: You are welcome to drop off guests at South Campus before parking. The drop-off address is at 10 Phillips Place. There will be signage directing guests to St. John's Chapel from there. Students and their guests are additionally welcome to use a ride-share app to get to South Campus.

    Street parking: There is plenty of available metered street parking in the City of Cambridge. Spots will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be aware that most spots come with a fee and time limit. We urge attendees to pay attention to street signage to avoid any ticketing.

    Accessible parking: Handicap parking is available on South Campus also on a first-come, first-served basis. If you know you will need an accessible space, please contact Maureen Creegan-Quinquis at mcreegan@lesley.edu as soon as possible and we will contact the Public Safety team.

  • Restrooms

    Accessible restrooms are available in Sherrill Library and Washburn Hall on South Campus.

  • ADA Accommodations

    Any guest needing disability-related accommodations should contact Disability & Access Services at 617.349.8655, relay 711, or via e-mail at disabilityaccess@lesley.edu as soon as possible.

  • Pre-draping Ceremonies

    There will be two pre-Draping ceremonies for students and their guests, one for those receiving their degrees within the Education area of study and the other for those receiving their degree within the Mental Health & Well-being area of study.

    The pre-Drapings are smaller, more intimate, area-specific ceremonies held and hosted by the faculty and staff within your academic program.

    During the pre-Draping, more time is dedicated to celebrating you and your colleagues individually, giving each one of you your own opportunity to be congratulated.

    Pre-Draping: Education
    Friday, May 17
    1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
    Sherrill Library, Room 350
    South Campus

    Pre-Draping: Mental Health & Well-being
    Friday, May 17
    1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
    Sherrill Library, Room 251
    South Campus

    If you have questions about the pre-Draping ceremonies, please reach out to Yazmin Colon Garcia for Education at ycolon@lesley.edu or Venise Murphy for Mental Health & Well-being at venise.murphy@lesley.edu.

    The Draping ceremony will directly follow the pre-Drapings. Students and their guests, along with the attending faculty and staff, will walk over to the Chapel and line up for the formal procession.

Questions? Contact us

If you have any remaining questions, did not find an answer to what you were searching for or need further clarification, please feel free to reach out to Lesley’s Commencement Office at commence@lesley.edu and a member of the team will be happy to assist you.