Before Commencement

Here is a preliminary check-list with dates as you begin planning for graduation.  Please check back regularly as information/dates may be changed/updated as the schedule of events and deadlines are learned.

  • NOW! Check the list of Twin Cities hotels with special rates to reserve lodging for your family and friends attending graduation. (optional)
  • March 25, 2019: Last day to order cap and gown and personalized Graduation Packages online at Herff Jones, Inc. Orders placed after this date may incur additional fees. Personalized packages are optional, but make sure you order before the deadline.
  • April 9, 2019 from 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM: Attend the Senior Fair! Located in the Campus Center, Atrium. Learn more about what you need to do to prepare for Commencement. Offices in attendance include the Highlander – Shop at Mac, Registrar, Career Development Center, Senior Week, ITS, Financial Aid, and more!  Order your cap and gown in person!
  • Month of April 2019: Watch for invites to individual Academic Department Receptions, RSVPs may be required.
  • April 15, 2019: Check your student account status on 1600 Grand to confirm you are eligible to receive a diploma at Commencement. Contact Student Accounts with questions at
  • May 1, 2019: Check for diploma holds from Student Accounts to make sure you are eligible to receive your diploma at Commencement. Contact John at  in Student Accounts with questions pertaining to incomplete loan responsibilities.
  • May 10, 2019: Purchase generic graduation announcements in-store only, as supplies last, from Highlander – The Shop at Macalester  (purchase is optional)
  • May 13 – 17, 2019: All caps, tassels, and rental gowns ordered will be available for pick up all week at the Highlander – The Shop at Macalester.
  • May 13 – 16, 2019: Senior Week! 
  • May 13, 2019: Purchase tickets for the All Campus Brunch on May 18 – Brunch is free for Graduates, $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 10 and under. Reserve tickets to the All College Picnic on May 17 – Picnic is free for all. Picnic tickets can be reserved and Brunch tickets can be purchased after January 2, 2019, via our Online Store
  • May 14, 2019: Complete Graduating Senior Survey with Institutional Research.
  • May 15, 2019: Return all library materials or risk having a hold placed on your diploma.
  • May 16, 2019 at 10:00 AM: Commencement rehearsal / Class Photo (photo of the entire graduating class) in the Leonard Center, Fieldhouse / Alumni Gym.
  • May 17, 2018 from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Attend Academic Department Reception, various locations.  Locations will be posted on the website the week of Commencement.

Commencement Day

  • May 18, 2019 from 9:15 AM – 10:15 AM : Baccalaureate Service in the Weyerhaeuser Memorial Chapel (optional).
  • May 18, 2019 from 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Commencement check-in at McPherson Atrium, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center.
  • May 18, 2019 from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM: All Campus Brunch at Café Mac, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center. (optional)
  • May 18, 2019 at 12:45 PM: Line up for procession in the Alumni Gym, Leonard Center.
  • May 18, 2019 at 1:30 PM: Commencement begins on the Great Lawn (Leonard Center Fieldhouse in case of a weather event).
  • May 18, 2019: Class photo is available for download at (optional, no cost for download).
  • May 18, 2019: Return your gown to the designated area (tables by/in Campus Center if Commencement is held outdoors on the Great Lawn -OR- tables by Scotties if Commencement is held indoors in the Leonard Center) after the ceremony, otherwise your credit card will be charged $120.

After Commencement

  • May 19, 2019: Move out of residence hall by noon.
  • May 19, 2019: Update address and contact information with MacDirect to stay in touch with Macalester alumni.
  • October 1, 2019: Review the Graduation Technology Checklist to transfer any email, Google Drive documents, contacts, data, etc. before account is closed.
  • ASAP! Make a 2019 Senior Class Gift contribution!