Commencement 2016

Fletcher Commencement 2016


LOGISTICS for Commencement Weekend – May 20-22, 2016

Dean James Stavridis and the Fletcher School's faculty and administrative staff cordially invite you and your guests to the annual Commencement Weekend exercises and events of the School to be held May 20-22, 2016. 

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, the Saturday later afternoon cocktail reception, and the Sunday afternoon luncheon. Tickets are required only for the Friday evening clambake.  

Members of the class of 2016 who will not be graduating are welcome and indeed encouraged to attend all weekend events.

The following information should assist you in planning your participation.

Friday May 20

New England Clambake

Students and their guests are invited to join the Fletcher community and Fletcher alumni at the annual Clambake on Friday evening, May 20.  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. The deadline for requesting tickets will be May 9.

Saturday May 21

The Fletcher Class Day Ceremony

The Fletcher School’s class day ceremony begins at 3:00pm (assembly at 2:45pm).

The ceremony will include:

  • Entrance processional
  • Dean’s welcome
  • Songs by the Ambassachords
  • Alumni greeting by  Susan Livingston, F’81, Partner at Brown Brothers Harrima
  • 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 law-related courses       
  • Presentation of the Peter Ackerman award for the outstanding doctoral dissertation
  • Presentation of class gifts
  • Presentation of the Dean’s Medal to Keynote Speaker Arianna Huffington
  • Keynote Address by Arianna Huffington
  • Recessional  

The ceremony will be held under a tent on Fletcher field 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.

Saturday Cocktail Reception

Immediately following the Class Day Ceremony, there will be a reception for all members of the community and their families under the second tent on Fletcher field, adjacent to the class day ceremony tent.

Sunday May 22

All-University Commencement Ceremony

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 Hank Azaria. 

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.

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

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 2016 Fletcher degree candidates and Fall 2015 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 excellence in teaching
  • Faculty address by the Paddock prize recipient
  • Remarks by two graduating students selected by the Class of 2016
  • Presentation of degrees to individual students
  • Hooding of PhD recipients
  • 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. 


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 large and easily accommodates all guests.  If you have guests who need special accommodations (e.g., use wheelchairs), please notify Mary Dulatre so that we can make special seating arrangements:

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 $62.98 from the Bookstore on or after April 1st. 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 on or after April 6th 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 6th. Rentals can be picked up from the Bookstore any time after May 13th.

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 Dean Stavridis. 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 listserv 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 $63 per night for a single and $79 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, 2016  by going to: There will be no refunds after 5:00pm on May 1st, 2016.

All reservations must be received by 5:00 pm. on May 1, 2016.  Any changes to reservations resulting in a refund will be subject to a 10 percent processing fee.  If an online cancellation is received on or before 5:00 pm. on May 1st, a full refund will be made, minus a 10 percent processing fee. After 5:00p.m. on May 1, all payments will be non-refundable.

There are a number of hotels in the Boston area. Please inquire with the hotels to see if they offer special Tufts rates.


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.

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.

2016 Commencement Timeline