Important Dates and Information

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Office of Student Affairs
Macalester College

What follows is an overview of Commencement related events that will occur in the coming months.  Each of these items will be advertised in a variety of ways closer to the relevant date.

Selection of Senior Commencement Speaker

Selection of the student who will speak at the commencement ceremony will take place in February 2015.  At the beginning of Spring term, all seniors, as well as faculty and staff, will be invited to nominate a senior to give this address.  The Selection Committee consists of two faculty, two students and two staff.

Selection of Speaker for Commencement Address

Questions are often asked about how the Commencement speaker is chosen.  A list of potential speakers is developed from nominations from the Senior class and a nominating committee.  The final selection rests with the College President.  Generally, speakers are selected because their work or activities embody Macalester’s core values; they have a record of outstanding achievement or they have a special attachment to the College.

Senior Class Gift

Macalester’s annual senior Class Gift Campaign is led by a committee of students supported by staff in Macalester’s Annual Fund Office. The campaign is a longstanding tradition and encourages all seniors to give a gift to begin a lifetime of giving back in celebration of their graduation.   

Caps and Gowns and Graduation Announcements

Caps and gowns can be ordered on-line at  The charge for cap and gown rental is $25.00 and the gown must be returned after the ceremony.  The student may keep the cap and black tassel.  You may also order an additional souvenir blue and orange tassel for $5.00.

The last day to order a cap and gown online is April 2, 2015.  They will also be available to order on March 26th in the lower level of the Campus Center between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.  Delivery of the cap and gown will be after May 6th.  You will be advised when they are available for pick-up.  If your gown is not returned, your credit card will be charged $115.

Standardized non-personalized graduation announcements are available at the Highlander: The Shop at Macalester. If you wish to purchase personalized announcements, they can be ordered online at

Rehearsal and Class Photo

A photo of the entire graduating class will be taken at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 14. This is followed by commencement rehearsal. Free downloads of the Class Photo are available at commencement time.

Senior Week Activities

Senior Week ’15 will take place May 11-16, 2015.  This culminating week for the Class of ’15 is planned by and for Macalester students. Please contact Allison Greenlee, Senior Week adviser, at if you have questions.

Commencement Location

There is room, either on The Lawn or in the Leonard Center Field House, for all family members and friends of graduates to attend the ceremony. Rain or shine, tickets are not necessary for attendance at the Commencement ceremony. 

Reservation forms for other scheduled events will be available on the web in March. A mailing will be sent out prior to that time with registration information.

Directions and Parking

Macalester College is located at the intersection of Grand Avenue and Snelling Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota. View directions to campus for details or call 651-696-6006 to hear an announcement.

GPS driving directions to parking: Use the following address for GPS driving directions which will bring you directly to available parking located near 130 Macalester Street, St. Paul, Minnesota. There is no charge to park in Macalester's lots or on the streets close to campus. View the parking map (PDF) and accessibility map (PDF) for details.

Commencement Photos and DVDs

Photographs are taken of the individual graduates receiving their diplomas. Soon after Commencement you will be contacted by the official photographer, Grad Images, 1-800-424-3686, for an opportunity to order. DVDs of the graduation ceremony will be available for purchase from an official videographer.
DVD order form

Live Streaming of Commencement

The Commencement ceremony itself will be streamed live from 1:30 p.m. CST to 3:45 p.m. on the Macalester web page at


Handicap parking is available on campus. There will be signs posted and volunteers available to shuttle those who need it between the lots and the Commencement site. The College does not provide wheelchairs or walkers for guests. If you are in need of handicap seating for Commencement, please contact the Student Affairs Office ( or 651-696-6220. You are limited to two tickets per family for special seating. A sign language interpreter is available for anyone needing this service.

Information and Assistance

If you need additional information or assistance concerning Commencement 2015, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 651-696-6220. Staff members will be happy to assist you. You may also reach them via email: and