Frequently Asked Questions

Commencement 2017
Frequently Asked Questions  

When is graduation?

Thursday, May 18, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. We ask that all graduates arrive at 3:00 p.m. and report to the McCann Ice Arena.

Where is the graduation ceremony?

This year’s graduation will be held at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center.

How long is the ceremony?

The graduation ceremony begins promptly at 4:00 p.m. and usually lasts two hours. Please note that during the procession, guests will not be able to enter the venue until the procession is complete. Please be on time.

Do I have to stay for the whole ceremony?

Yes. After receiving your diploma jacket from the President of the College, you will be directed back to your seat. A reception for graduates and their families will take place immediately following the ceremony at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel.

When do I pick up my cap and gown?

Monday, May 15 and Tuesday, May 16, from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in Dutchess Hall, Room 202. This is the only time caps and gowns will be available for pickup.

Do I have to return my cap and gown?

No. This is yours to keep.

What is an honors stole?

If you have an overall grade point average of 3.2 or higher you may purchase an honors stole for $15.00 when you pick up your cap and gown. If you are a member of Phi Theta Kappa, you may purchase a stole directly from PTK.

How many guests can I bring?

Each graduate will be given 4 admission tickets for their guests. No exceptions. Tickets must be presented to gain entry to the venue. No one will be admitted without a ticket. This includes small children: tickets are per person, not per seat.  Please note:  The ceremony begins promptly at 4:00 p.m., during the procession, guests will not be able to enter the venue until the procession is complete. Students will receive their tickets when they pick up their cap and gown.

What if I have more than 4 guests?

Guests will be able to see the ceremony simulcast from Dutchess Hall in the James and Betty Hall Theatre, East Lounge and Room 205; in addition to first floor classrooms in Washington Hall.

Will graduation be shown on the Web?

The graduation ceremony will be streaming live at

What is the Line of March?

This card will be given to you when you pick up your cap and gown. The label will have your name and line placement location for the graduation procession and seating. The other use for this card is for the reader once you are on stage. You will give this to the Dean as you go on stage and then the Academic Dean will read your name as you receive your diploma. If your name is often mispronounced, please write it phonetically above your name on the label. They keep the card and give them all to the photographer after the ceremony. You must bring this card with you.

Is there a rehearsal?

No. The processional is quite simple. You will be given a Line of March Card when you pick up your cap and gown. This card shows you where to line up by row and seat number. When the ceremony begins, a faculty marshal will lead the procession and you will be ushered to your seats.

When do I receive my diploma?

Your actual degree or certificate will be mailed to you several weeks after the ceremony.

What do the different colored tassels mean?

The colored tassels are indicative of the academic area in which you are graduating. A.A. – white, A.A.S. – yellow, and A.S. – gold, and Certificate programs – blue. This tassel is also a keepsake of the ceremony. They should be worn on the right side of the cap.

Will there be a photographer?

GradImages will be at the ceremony taking a candid photograph of you at your special moment of recognition. You will be able to access a free proof of this photo at Since professional photographs will be available, family members and guests are encouraged to remain in their seats, relax and enjoy the ceremony.

What should I wear?

As your gown will be covering your attire, there is no formal dress code.

Where do I park?

Parking is available in any of the City of Poughkeepsie Municipal lots and metered parking.  All city parking will be free between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. One parking pass per graduate will be available for parking. Students will receive their parking pass when they pick up their cap and gown. The parking pass will be available in Student Activities Dutchess Hall Room 201. We encourage students to arrive early as parking may take time. Graduation begins promptly at 4:00 p.m. Do not be late.

Is there handicapped parking?

Handicapped parking and access will be available in the parking garage behind the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel for students and guests with a handicap placard only.  

Do you have more questions? Please call (845) 431-8050.