Answers to all of your Commencement-related questions.
ScheduleWalking in the CeremonyTicket InformationThe PavilionDirections and Parking InformationDisability AccessAccommodationsDiplomas Lesley Memorabilia
When and where is Commencement?
Saturday, May 16, 2015 at the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, 290 Northern Avenue, Boston, MA.
What time is the ceremony?
9:30 am – Ceremony for the Graduate School of Education and the Graduate School of Arts and Social Sciences
2:00 pm – Ceremony for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Art and Design
Graduates are asked to arrive one hour prior to the start of their ceremony.
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What do I need to do in order to be part of Commencement 2015?If you're walking at Commencement, please submit your RSVP at www.lesley.edu/commencement/rsvp! Our office will then have your name on file as attending on May 16.
How do I purchase my cap and gown for Commencement?
Academic attire can be purchased online through Herff Jones, or starting in April, in person at the Lesley Bookstore. Please note that attire cannot be returned once purchased.
If I have submitted a Declaration of Intent to Graduate, does that mean I have RSVP’d to Commencement?
No, the two forms are entirely different. The Declaration of Intent to Graduate must be filed via your LOIS account regardless of whether or not you intend to participate in the Commencement ceremony. You must file your Declaration of Intent before submitting the Commencement RSVP.
Is there a fee to walk in the ceremony?
There is no fee to walk in the Commencement ceremony, although graduates must purchase their academic attire. (Please note that the Declaration of Intent to Graduate, filed with the Registrar’s Office, includes a Degree Completion Fee.)
Do I need tickets?
For your convenience, we do not require attendance tickets and there is no limitation on the number of guests per graduate.
What kind of facility is the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion?
The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion is an outdoor amphitheater that opened in 1994. It is owned and operated by Live Nation and seats approximately 5,000. During the summer months, the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion hosts music performances in the open-air venue. Due to the close proximity to Logan Airport, balloons are not allowed into the facility. Please plan accordingly.
Please take into consideration that the venue is on the waterfront, therefore cool spring breezes coming in off the water may make the air significantly cooler than in other parts of the city. Appropriate dress and removable layers are key to staying comfortable in Boston’s unpredictable climate.
Where is the graduate entrance?
If you are facing the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, the graduate entrance is to the left of the main gate and will be marked “GRADUATE ENTRANCE.” Guests will enter using the main gates. Commencement staff members will be on duty outside the venue to direct graduates to the appropriate entrance.
Is there a designated area where I can take a photograph of my graduate?
There is not a designated area where photos can be taken. The aisles in front and bordering the graduates seating areas are used for procession and recession and need to be kept clear. Professional photographers from Hockmeyer Studios will be present to take each graduate’s picture as they receive their diploma. The proofs will be sent to the graduate and these pictures may be purchased. For order information, contact Hockmeyer Studios at 978.388.9832.
Are food and drinks available at the Commencement Ceremony?
Yes, food and drink will be available via the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion concession booths.
Where can I find directions to the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion and information about parking?
From Logan International Airport and Route 1A South:Follow the signs towards I-90 West – Ted Williams Tunnel. Take the Ted Williams Tunnel/I-90 West to Exit 25 “South Boston”. At the top of the ramp proceed straight onto B Street. At the end of B Street, take a right onto Seaport Boulevard. Seaport Boulevard becomes Northern Avenue. The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion will be approximately 1/3 mile ahead on the left.
From Western Massachusetts via Massachusetts Turnpike:Follow the Massachusetts Turnpike /Interstate 90 East to Exit 25 “South Boston”. At the top of the ramp, bear left towards “Seaport Boulevard” and at the first set of lights proceed straight onto East Service Road. At the next set of lights, take a right onto Seaport Boulevard. Seaport Boulevard becomes Northern Avenue. The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion will be approximately 1/3 mile ahead on the left.
From Points South via I-93:Heading northbound on Interstate 93 towards Boston, take Exit 20, which will be immediately after Exit 18. Follow the signs towards “I-90 East”. Take the first tunnel exit to “South Boston”. At the first set of lights at the top of the ramp, proceed straight onto East Service Road. At the next set of lights, take a right onto Seaport Boulevard. Seaport Boulevard becomes Northern Avenue. The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion will be approximately 1/3 mile ahead on the left.
From Points North via I-93:Heading southbound on Interstate 93 Boston, take Exit 23 “Purchase Street/South Station”. At the top of the ramp, take a left onto Seaport Boulevard and proceed over the Moakley Bridge, Seaport Boulevard. Seaport Boulevard becomes Northern Avenue. The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion will be approximately 1.0 mile ahead on the left.
From Points West via Storrow Drive:Take Storrow Drive East to Leverett Circle and follow signs for Interstate 93 South. Once on Interstate 93 South, follow directions from “Points North”.
Public transportation is always encouraged. The MBTA subway is an easy alternative to driving. Take the MBTA subway, commuter rail, or bus to South Station and connect with the MBTA Silver Line Waterfront (one level above the Red Line, one level below the food court) to Silver Line Way. You will see The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion, which is a short walk from this stop.
Parking is available for The Blue Hills Bank Pavilion guests at the Seaport Hotel Garage and the EDIC Garage; both are within a short walk of the Pavilion. The Seaport Hotel Garage can be accessed from Seaport Boulevard. The Seaport Boulevard entrance is at the intersection of Seaport Boulevard and B Street, three blocks before the Pavilion. The EDIC Garage is on Northern Avenue. Follow Northern Avenue past the Pavilion, straight around the rotary and it will be ahead on the right.
What arrangements are available for guests who may need disability related accommodations?
If you anticipate having guests who may need disability related accommodations or if you need a disability related accommodation, we ask that you contact Lesley University’s Disability Services by phone at 617.349.8655, TTY at 617.349.8544 or via e-mail at email@example.com by May 1, 2015, so that we can make the necessary plans for meeting your needs. Any guest requesting special needs seating can request one person to sit with him/her in the special seating section.
In addition, American Sign Language Interpreters will be present on Commencement Day.
Where can I view a list of hotels?
There are numerous hotels located in the Seaport District. Please see our partial listing of nearby hotels.
Can my out of town guests stay in Lesley’s Residence Halls?
We have a limited number of rooms available for out of town guests. Please visit the on-campus housing page for more information.
Will diplomas be distributed?
All diplomas will be mailed to graduates. Each graduate will receive a case and welcome letter from the Alumni Association the day of Commencement as he/she crosses the stage.
I do not plan to walk in the Commencement ceremony. How do I make sure that my diploma is mailed to me?
The Registrar’s Office mails all diplomas to the permanent mailing address on file with the University. If you have questions, please contact the Registrar’s Office at 617.349.8740 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will I be able to purchase Lesley memorabilia for my graduate?
Yes, the Lesley University Bookstore will be present on Commencement Day. Graduates and guests will be able to purchase sweatshirts, t-shirts, and other Lesley memorabilia, as well as place an order for a class ring or a diploma frame.
How can I purchase graduation announcements to share with my family and friends?
Personalized graduation announcements will be available through Herff Jones' website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Past Honorary Degree Recipients