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Davidson College’s 182nd Commencement Activities (A-Z)

by | May 14, 2019 | News

Davidson’s 182nd Commencement will be held Sunday morning at 10 a.m. Weather permitting, the ceremony will be held on the front lawn of campus. In the event of inclement weather, it will be held in Belk Arena.


Davidson College Commencement Weekend Activities


Friday, May 17, 2019

4 p.m. –  Senior Soiree, Alvarez College Union in Knobloch Campus Center on Alvarez-Mariam Cannon Hayes Outdoor Amphitheatre. (Rain Plan: Tyler-Tallman Hall, Sloan Music Center.) The Davidson College Jazz Ensemble performs its final concert of the year, featuring the seniors as soloists.


Saturday, May 18, 2019

10-11 a.m.   – The Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony will be held in Davidson College’s Tyler-Tallman Hall. There will be a reception immediately following the ceremony. Contact Captain Luis Sanchez at 704-894-2165 or [email protected] for more information.


4:30 p.m.   – Baccalaureate Service, John M. Belk Arena in Baker Sports Complex

Drawing on the college’s Presbyterian heritage, the Baccalaureate Service is an inclusive, non-denominational spiritual celebration for faculty, staff, seniors, parents and their families. The seniors will process in wearing caps and gowns. It will last about an hour. Claire George-Drumheller, Parish Associate, and Chaplain Rob Spach preside, and Chaplain Spach will offer a sermon with words of blessing for the seniors. Casual dress clothes are appropriate and attendance is encouraged but optional.


7:15 p.m.   – Farewell to Seniors Concert, Davidson College Chorale, Davidson College Presbyterian Church

10 p.m.-12 a.m.    – Senior Class Party, Greenhouse Parking Lot behind the Armfield apartment building.


Sunday, May 19, 2019

8:30 a.m.  –  Seating for Commencement Ceremony opens for family and friends.

9 a.m.  –  Required meeting for graduating seniors, Lilly Family Gallery, Chambers. Wear caps and gowns. (Rain Plan: Lowest level of Baker Sports Complex, far basketball practice court)

9:50 a.m.  –  Academic Procession

10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.    –  Commencement, Front Campus. (Rain Plan: John M. Belk Arena in Baker Sports Complex).

A live stream will be available in the C. Shaw Smith 900 Room, in the Alvarez College Union, for those visitors who would like to watch the ceremony in a climate-controlled environment. The 900 Room, as well as the Duke Family Performance Hall, will serve as overflow locations should the ceremony move to the Belk Arena due to inclement weather.

Tickets will only be required in the case of inclement weather.



Davidson College works to ensure that Commencement is an accessible experience for students, families and guests.

Wheelchair Rental – For our commencement visitors needing mobility assistance, Davidson has made arrangements with No Excuse Medical (704-873-9000) to provide wheelchairs. They deliver to the college and hotels in the area. Weekend and weekly rates are available. Note: The company needs seven or eight days lead time to ensure timely delivery. A second rental company is National Seating Mobility (704) 333-8431. They will deliver for an additional fee.

Drop-Off Locations – There will be a drop-off location for visitors with limited mobility at both the outdoor (PDF) and indoor rain location (PDF) venues. For more information about parking locations and handicap parking, please review the parking information page.

Outdoors – The Lawn – Located at 310 North Main Street at the corner of Griffith and Main Streets, the Cunningham Theatre parking lot will serve as a drop-off location. Visitors will be able to pull into the parking area to drop off members of their party and then circle back out to park in other designated areas. There will be a limited number of handicap parking spots in this area.

Indoors (Rain Location) – Baker Sports Complex, John M. Belk Arena – Located at the four-way stop sign intersection of Baker and Faculty Drives, visitors may pull into a half-circle drop-off location for members of their party to gain more immediate access to the Vance entrance of the Baker Sports Complex. Visitors should utilize the red brick pathway to enter the complex on the 2nd floor for closest access to the accessible seating areas of the gym.

Roaming Golf Carts – If anyone requires an escort from their parking location to the Lawn, there will be golf carts making rounds between parking locations and the Lawn.

Accessible Seating – Outdoor accessible seating on the Lawn will be designated as a specific section with blue ribbons. This area is available on a first-come, first-serve basis for visitors with disabilities, in particular those individuals with physical disabilities or who will need to be close enough to see the sign language interpreter. In order to accommodate visitors who need accessible seating, we encourage visitors to have only one accompanying person with them. Please be aware that this area, like all seating areas in the outdoor venue, is on grass.

  • In the event of inclement weather and Commencement takes place indoors, accessible seating in the John M. Belk Arena will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis around the perimeter of the arena and will be designated by red chairs. In order to accommodate visitors who need accessible seating, we encourage visitors to have only one accompanying person with them. The first two rows of Section 11 will be reserved for the best view of the sign language interpreter.

Remote Viewing – Visitors wishing to stay in-doors in a climate-controlled environment may watch Commencement in the Alvarez College Union in the C. Shaw Smith 900 Room. If inclement weather necessitates moving Commencement indoors to the John M. Belk Arena in the Baker Sports Complex, the Duke Family Performance Hall, in addition to the 900 Room will serve as overflow seating.

(For those taking advantage of these alternate viewing options in the Alvarez College Union, Davis Café will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Sign Language Interpreters – A sign language interpreter will be standing beside the stage on the right when you are facing the stage in order to communicate what is spoken during the ceremony. For the best view of the interpreter on the Lawn, we recommend that visitors in need of interpretation sit in the accessibility seating area.

Inclement Weather Plan

In the event of inclement weather, the commencement ceremony will be held in Belk Arena.

No one may be admitted to Belk Arena for graduation without a ticket.

Those without tickets may join current students, staff, faculty emeriti, townsfolk and other members of the college’s extended family for a “watch party” in the Alvarez College Union. The ceremony will be streaming live in two locations there: the C. Shaw Smith 900 Room and the Duke Family Performance Hall.


Commencement, Sunday, May 19, 2019

  • 6 a.m. The decision will be made on either an indoor or outdoor ceremony. If indoors, notice will be posted to the college website homepage, as well as Facebook and Twitter.
  • 8 a.m. Will Call opens at Belk Arena; seating opens for ticket holders.
  • 9:50 a.m. Academic Procession
  • 10 a.m. Commencement Ceremony

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