Commencement Logistics

Friday, May 19

New England Clambake

Students and their guests are invited to join the Fletcher community and Fletcher alumni at the annual alumni reunion Clambake on Friday evening, May 19. The event will take place on Fletcher Field, under a tent, and will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are necessary to attend the clambake. To RSVP, please click here.

Saturday, May 20

The Fletcher Class Day Ceremony

The Fletcher School’s class day ceremony begins at 11:30am (assembly at 11:15am).

The ceremony will include:

  • Entrance processional
  • Dean’s welcome
  • Songs by the Ambassachords
  • Alumni Greeting by Dr. Lisbeth Tarlow (F84, F97), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and member of The Fletcher School Board of Advisors
  • Presentation of the Fletcher First Ten Award to José Luis Stein (F08)
  • Presentation of the Stewart Prize to an outstanding first-year Fletcher student
  • Presentation of the Gullion Prize to an outstanding second-year Fletcher student 
  • Presentation of the Leo Gross Prize to a student who has excelled in the law-related courses
  • Presentation of the Peter Ackerman award for an outstanding doctoral dissertation
  • Presentation of class gifts
  • Award of the Dean’s medal to Richard Engel
  • Address by Richard Engel,  Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, NBC News
  • Recessional

The ceremony will be held under a tent on Fletcher field (between Mugar Hall and Professors Row) adjacent to the tennis courts. Graduates do not need to line up in alphabetical order nor wear gaps and gowns.  Business attire, military uniform, or national dress are appropriate.

Saturday Luncheon Reception

Immediately following the Class Day Ceremony there will be a luncheon reception for all members of the community and their families. The reception will occur under the second tent on Fletcher field, adjacent to the Class Day ceremony tent. No tickets are necessary to attend the luncheon reception.

Sunday, May 21

All-University Commencement Ceremony (Phase 1)

The All-University Commencement in which all schools participate includes the entrance processional, the awarding of honorary degrees by Schools including the official award of the Fletcher degree, the awarding of honorary degrees and the All-University Commencement Address by Kenya Barris. 

This ceremony will be held on the lawn between Ballou and Bendetson Halls.  It is at this ceremony that the Dean asks our graduates to stand as a group and formally confers Fletcher degrees. All Fletcher graduates are expected to participate. Formation for The Fletcher School student procession will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Blakeley Courtyard. There is no alphabetical marching order.

At 7:30am (before the All University Commencement Ceremony), a light breakfast for Fletcher students will be served, under a tent in Blakeley courtyard, including champagne toasts delivered by several members of the graduating class. Please arrive at the breakfast in cap and gown.

The Fletcher School Commencement Ceremony (Phase 2)

The Fletcher School will hold its diploma awarding ceremony at approximately 11:15 a.m., immediately after the All-University Ceremony ends.  It will be held under the same tent on Fletcher field that was used for the Class Day ceremony. 

All Spring 2017 Fletcher degree candidates and Fall 2016 degree recipients should assemble inside Blakeley Hall Courtyard by 11:15 a.m. or immediately after the conclusion of the All-University ceremony, whichever occurs first.  For this ceremony graduates will march in alphabetical order.  Students who received degrees last Fall may march in the May ceremony if they have not marched in a prior Commencement ceremony.

The ceremony will include:

  • Entrance processional
  • Dean’s welcome
  • Presentation of the James L. Paddock Teaching Award to a faculty member who best exemplifies teaching excellence
  • Faculty address by the Paddock prize recipient
  • Remarks by two graduating students selected by the Class of 2017
  • Presentation of degrees to individual students and doctoral hooding
  • Closing remarks   
  • Recessional

Sunday Luncheon Reception

Immediately following the Fletcher Commencement Ceremony there will be a luncheon reception for all members of the community and their families. The reception will occur under the second tent on Fletcher field, adjacent to the commencement ceremony tent. No tickets are necessary to attend the luncheon reception.

Your guests who may need special accommodations

If you have guests who need special accommodations (i.e, use wheelchairs), please notify Mary Dulatre ASAP so that we can make special arrangements for their seating at

Academic Robes

All degree recipients are expected to be attired in appropriate academic robes for both Sunday ceremonies.

Ph.D. recipients should be attired in academic robes to receive their Ph.D. hoods. The Ph.D. hoods will be provided by the School, and recipients will be “hooded” at the Fletcher School’s Sunday Commencement ceremony. Academic robes can be purchased at most university bookstores. If a Ph.D. recipient wishes to purchase a Tufts Ph.D. cap and gown, these will be available for $69.98 from the Bookstore on or after April 5th. For those Ph.D. candidates unable to come to Medford before Commencement, please call the Tufts University Bookstore at 617-627-5292 to either purchase or rent a cap and gown.

Caps, gowns, and hoods for Master’s recipients will be available for purchase beginning April 5th at the Bookstore. Graduates need to wear all three items. Caps and gowns cost $59.98. Hoods cost $40.98. Rentals are available at the Bookstore for both Ph.D. and Master’s degree recipients and orders can be placed beginning on March 1st. Rentals can be picked up from the Bookstore any time after May 15th.

Photographs at The Fletcher School Commencement Ceremony (Phase 2)

A professional photographer will take photos on Sunday as each graduate crosses the Fletcher stage and is congratulated by the Dean. To expedite the ceremony, it is important that the area in front of the stage be kept clear. Photographs will be posted online for review and purchase approximately one week following the ceremony. The URL will be announced via Fletcher's faculty, staff and student listservs as soon photos are available.


Because hotel and motel space in the Boston area is at a premium this time of year, we urge you to make your reservations as soon as possible if not already arranged. The University’s Conference Bureau will provide on-campus dormitory housing. This year’s rates are $68.00 per night for a single and $85.00 per night for a double. To make a reservation, please contact the Conference Bureau, 108 Packard Avenue, on the Medford Campus at 617-627-3568 or fax at 617-627-3856. Reservations for on-campus housing can be made via online registration by going to:

All reservations must be received by 5:00pm on May 1, 2017. Any changes to reservations resulting in a refund will be subject to a 10% processing fee. If an online cancellation is received on or before 5:00pm on May 2nd, a full refund will be made, minus a 10% processing fee. After 5:00pm, on May 2nd, all payments are non-refundable..


Given the large number of visitors to campus on Commencement Sunday, parking will be scarce. Parking in all university lots will be available on a first come, first serve basis so early arrival is recommended. Parking will be available in the parking lots across from Cousens Gym, the Stearns Village lot between Cousins and Eliot-Pearson, and in the Dowling Hall parking garage on Boston Avenue. Shuttle service will be available from College Avenue to the Phase 1 commencement site from 7:00am to 4:00pm.

In conclusion, if you have any questions about commencement weekend, please do not hesitate to contact Shelley Adams at (617) 627-3085 or We look forward to seeing you and your family and guests during the weekend.