Skip To Content
Spelman College Graduates

Commencement Schedule of Events

Commencement UpdateCommencementHoldingHands-Feature

We cherish all of the ceremonies and activities that accompany Commencement - Baccalaureate, Class Day, Senior Soiree - and cannot imagine a year without them.

View Commencement Update

THURSDAY, May 14: Commencement Rehearsal

11 a.m. | Science Center NASA Auditorium *seniors should arrive by 10:00 a.m.
Attendance at graduation rehearsal is 
mandatory for all graduating seniors and limited exceptions will be made. Please report to the Science Center no later than 10:00 a.m. From there, you will process to Sisters Chapel for the Commencement rehearsal. Those who do not attend rehearsal will not receive Commencement tickets or honors cords.

At this meeting, you will receive instructions on how to wear your academic regalia, process to the stage to receive your diploma, and exit after receiving it, as well as other important graduation information.

FRIDAY, May 15: Senior Class Day Convocation

1:30 p.m. | Sisters Chapel
Seniors will assemble at 12:00 p.m. in the John D. Rockefeller Fine Arts Building Lobby

Spelman College launches its formal Commencement activities with Senior Class Day, an afternoon celebration for the senior class. The Class Day Convocation is unique because it is the only formal Commencement event in which the senior class is addressed directly by peers.

The class valedictorian delivers the Ivy Oration, an address in which she creatively compares the characteristics of the ivy plant to those of the graduating class. Other Class Day traditions include the passing of the Senior Bench and Mortar Board to the junior class, the passing of the class emblem to the incoming first-year class, and presentation of the class history.

LivestreamAll guest seating for the Class Day Convocation will be on the College Oval. The Ceremony will be broadcast on screens located on the Oval and streamed live via the Spelman web site. Guest seating on the Oval is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Guests will not be permitted to hold seats. No tickets are required for this event.

3 p.m. | The Spelman College Oval
March Through Alumnae Arch
After the Class Day Convocation, seniors will join the alumnae on the Oval for a processional through the Alumnae Arch, which symbolizes their leaving the College as students and entering into greater service as alumnae beyond the Spelman gates. Spelman alumnae, wearing white attire, lead the procession. Family and friends can view this exciting and beautiful procession on the Oval.

SATURDAY, May 16: Baccalaureate

9 a.m. | The Spelman College Oval
Seniors will assemble in Sisters Chapel at 7:30 a.m.
Campus will close at 8:30 a.m. and reopen after the processional
Baccalaureate Speaker: The Reverend Dr. Alisha Lola Jones

The Spelman Baccalaureate, a meaningful and joyous ceremony, reflects the breadth of faith traditions represented among the class and features a farewell address to Spelman College seniors.

Guest seating on the Oval is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Guests will not be permitted to hold seats. No tickets are required for this event.

Rain or shine, the Baccalaureate service will take place on the College Oval. Please plan accordingly.

LivestreamThe Baccalaureate service will be streamed live.

10:30 a.m. | Various locations around campus
Baccalaureate Reception for Students, Families and Guests

Immediately following the Baccalaureate ceremony, you are cordially invited to join President Mary Schmidt Campbell, Spelman faculty and staff at divisional receptions honoring the Class of 2020. Receptions will be held in the Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D. Academic Center Atrium, the Science Center Atrium, the Fine Arts Building, and the Upper Concourse of the Manley Student Center. These receptions afford a wonderful opportunity for you and your guests to celebrate with faculty and other graduates in your major field of study.

Baccalaureate Reception Locations

Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D. Academic Center

John D. Rockefeller Fine Arts Building

Albert E. Manley Student Center

Albro-Falconer-Manley Science Center

Comparative Women's Studies


Child Development/Education






Foreign Language


Human Services

Computer Science


Political Science

Dual Degree Engineering

International Studies


Environmental Science





SUNDAY, May 17: Commencement

3 p.m. | Georgia International Convention Center (GICC)
2000 Convention Center Concourse
College Park, Georgia 30037

Doors open at 12 p.m. and close promptly at 2:30 p.m.
12:30 p.m. – Seniors report to GICC
Procession begins 3 p.m. sharp

Commencement Speaker: TBD

The Commencement ceremony marks the culmination of your years of hard work and dedication to intellectual and personal development. The ceremony will take place Sunday, May 17, 2020, at the Georgia International Convention Center. In addition to highlighting senior accomplishments, we will recognize the distinguished contributions of individuals of national and international prominence.

On Sunday, May 17, graduates must report to GICC no later than 12:30 p.m. Please leave all personal belongings (cell phones, purses, etc.) with family or friends.

The Commencement ceremony is a milestone in the life of every graduate and is viewed with the utmost dignity and respect. In order to maintain the sanctity of the ceremony, please plan ample time for travel and a minimum of an hour-and-a-half for parking and admittance to the ceremony. The doors to the main exhibit hall will open to ticket holders at 12 p.m.

The academic procession will begin promptly at 3:00 p.m. Anyone not inside the doors of the Main Hall by 2:30 p.m. will be admitted after the processional has ended. At the request of the host facility, no one, regardless of age, will be admitted to the Main Hall without a ticket.

LivestreamThe Commencement ceremony will be streamed live on the Spelman website.

Diploma Distribution
Graduates will be able to pick up their diplomas immediately following the Ceremony in the Senior Holding Room at the GICC. You may also pick up your diploma on Monday from the Registrar’s Office beginning at 9 a.m. if your plans do not allow you to pick the diploma up on Sunday. Please contact the Registrar’s Office at 404-270-5230 if you have questions about receiving your diploma.


Photography and Videography Release

Please be aware that photographers and members of the media will be taking photographs and filming Spelman's Commencement activities. Your presence at the ceremonies constitutes your release, permission, and consent to be photographed and/or recorded. Pictures and/or recordings of you may appear in future printed materials and online, including in commercially available publications.

If you do not wish to be photographed and/or recorded, please be aware of the presence of photographers and members of the media and take steps to avoid contact.

Commencement Week Details

For the Media

Mashaun Simon

Media Credentials Request Form