Fletcher Commencement 2014


Dean James Stavridis and the faculty and staff of the Fletcher School cordially invite all members of the Fletcher community  and their guests to the annual Commencement Weekend exercises and associated events to be held from May 16-18, 2014.

All graduates are expected to participate in the Saturday Class Day Ceremony and both parts of Sunday’s Commencement ceremonies: the All-University Commencement and the Fletcher School ceremony.

We hope that graduates and families will consider attending the Friday evening clambake and the luncheon receptions on both Saturday and Sunday.

Members of the class of 2014 who will not be graduating are welcome and indeed encouraged to attend all the events of the weekend.

Friday Night May 16
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 16.  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. Information regarding the purchase of tickets will be available in mid April from the Fletcher School’s Alumni Relations Office.
  • Tickets can be purchased online at http://fletcher.tufts.edu/commencement/clambake.
  • The deadline for purchasing tickets will be May 6th. For further information, please contact Caroline Caldwell at 617-627-2372 or Caroline.Caldwell@tufts.edu

Saturday May 17
The Fletcher Class Day Ceremony

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

Farah Pandith '95
Farah Pandith '95

The ceremony will include:

  • Entrance processional
  • Dean’s welcome
  • Songs by the Ambassachords
  • Alumni greeting by Farah Pandith, F '95 and a member of the Fletcher Board of Advisors; she was the first ever US State Department Special Representative to Muslim Communities
  • Presentation of the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Public Diplomacy to Aaron Snipe, Foreign Service Officer,
    Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
  • Rajiv Shah
    Dr. Rajiv Shah

  • Presentation of the Robert B. Stewart Prize to an outstanding first-year Fletcher student
  • Presentation of the Edmund A. 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 at Fletcher
  • The Peter Ackerman Award for the Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation
  • Presentation of class gifts
  • Presentation of the Dean’s medal to Dr. Rajiv Shah, 16th Administrator of The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Address by Dr. Rajiv Shah
  • 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 is appropriate.

Sunday May 18
All-University Commencement Ceremony

The All-University Commencement in which all schools participate includes the entrance processional, the awarding of degrees by Schools including the official award of the Fletcher degree, the awarding of honorary degrees and the All-University Commencement address given by Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter the President and CEO of the New America Foundation, a public policy institute and idea incubator based in Washington and New York. She is also Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and a former Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.  Dr. Slaughter is a former Director of Policy Planning at the US Department of State, a former President of the American Society of International Law, and a frequent commentator in the media on foreign policy.

Honorary degrees will be awarded to Dr. Slaughter; James Lawson (social activist, architect of the non-violence movement in pursuit of Civil Rights, educator, and religious leader); Jill Lepore (historian, writer, and Tufts alumna); Haruki Murakami (novelist); and James Stern (financier and philanthropist).

This ceremony will be held on the lawn between Ballou and Bendetson Halls. It is at this ceremony that Dean Stavridis 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 7:30 a.m. (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

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 2014 Fletcher degree candidates and Fall 2013 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 Fall 2013 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 excellence in  teaching
  • Faculty address by the Paddock prize recipient
  • Remarks by two graduating students selected by the Class of 2014
  • Presentation of degrees to individual students and doctoral hooding 
  • Closing remarks
  • Recessional
Saturday and Sunday Luncheon Receptions

Following both the Fletcher Class Day Ceremony on Saturday and the Fletcher Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, there will be luncheon receptions for all members of the community and their families.

The receptions will occur under the “clambake” tent on Fletcher field, adjacent to the commencement ceremony tent. 

Tickets are not needed for the Saturday and Sunday ceremonies nor are they needed for the Saturday and Sunday luncheon receptions.  Seating for guests at the ceremonies is on a first-come first served basis.  The tent is very large and easily accommodates all guests. If you have guests who need special accommodations (i.e, use wheelchairs), please notify Michelle Frankfort ASAP so that we can make special arrangements for their seating at Michelle.Frankfort@tufts.edu

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 $60.98 from the Bookstore on or after April 11th.   For those Ph.D. candidates unable to come to Medford before Commencement, please call 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 on or after April 11th  at the Bookstore.  Graduates need to wear all three items. Caps and gowns cost $49.98.  Hoods cost $39.98.   Rentals are available at the Bookstore for both Ph.D. and Master’s degree recipients and orders can be placed now thru April 11th.    Rentals can be picked up from the Bookstore anytime after May 12th.

Photographs at The Fletcher School Commencement Ceremony
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 as they are posted.

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 as they are posted.

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 $59 per night for a single and $74 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 starting February 1st, 2014. There will be no refunds after 5:00pm on May 1st, 2014. 

There are a number of hotels in the Boston area.  Please inquire with the hotels to see if they offer special Tufts rates.  Your guests are urged to make reservations as soon as possible. 

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

Graduation Travel Offsets
At the request of students, please find below information that you and your guests may want to consider when planning graduation travel: By promoting travel carbon offsets, we give students (and staff and faculty) a tangible option to do something to reduce their own carbon footprint. Two recommended offsetting websites that are rated "Excellent" by the Tufts Climate Initiative in 2007 (the project is now hosted by the Stockholm Environment Institute, just across Curtis St) are found immediately below. The rating criteria include the accuracy of the emission calculator, the project type/location, the offset quality (best market practices with respect to implementation and verification of the relevant projects is key) and overall transparency of the scrutinized organizations.


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