Information for Families & Visitors

For information on the Commencement Ceremony, departmental ceremonies, tickets, etc. see General Information section. We encourage families of graduating students to attend and participate in Commencement weekend traditions and look forward to celebrating with you!


Families may sign-up to receive regular email updates leading up to Commencement Weekend. We will use that information to also keep you updated on any changes or inclement weather during Commencement weekend. 

Questions?  Who do I contact?
Graduation/Academic Requirements

Office of the University Registrar
[[wendy.urbano, Wendy Urbano]]

Commencement General Information
Office of Student Affairs

[[commencement, Commencement Planning Team]]

Regalia and General Graduation Merchandise

W&M Bookstore
(757) 221-1651

Other Viewing Options

Live streaming of the main ceremony is available for those who are unable to obtain tickets to Kaplan Arena:

  • Sadler Center, Commonwealth Auditorium (8:30 a.m. - end of ceremony)
  • Mason School of Business, Brinkley Commons (8:30 a.m. – end of ceremony)
  • Online at

Most events are designed for graduating students and their families. We encourage you to dress comfortably for the weekend, taking weather conditions into account. There are no formal expectations for what guests should wear during the weekend.

  • Most guests tend to dress up more for the Baccalaureate Service and the main ceremony (what might be worn to a religious service, for example)
  • Consider the venue and weather. We recommend that you dress in layers or bring a sweater.
  • Seating may require climbing stairs to quite high levels. We recommend wearing comfortable, stable shoes.

Williamsburg offers a wide range of lodging accommodations for visitors to William & Mary, but we recommend you plan early. Commencement Weekend takes place during one of the area’s busiest tourist seasons, and we urge families to make and confirm their reservations well ahead of time.

Colonial Williamsburg

Located adjacent to campus, Colonial Williamsburg lets you experience 18th-century life at America's largest outdoor history museum. Whether you're a history buff or just looking for a little something different, this is a great way to experience the historic side of town — find accommodations, access to the historic area and museums, and more.


Visit Williamsburg

Search for hotels, packages and activities in and around Williamsburg with Visit Williamsburg. Once your visit to campus is complete, we hope you can take the time to explore the surrounding area — we boast some of the top museums and amusements in the nation (if not the world).



Inclement Weather

If a Commencement weekend event might be affected by inclement weather, a rain plan location (or a notice of cancellation) will be listed in the weekend schedule. Should we be required to implement any of our rain plans for the weekend, an announcement to that effect will be announced via email, text, Facebook and Twitter, on the website and on the Special Events Information Line: 757-221-3868. Information will be updated as necessary throughout the weekend.

Stay up to Date


Concessions are available for purchase at the main ceremony.

On-Campus Commencement Lunch Saturday

Form will be available in the spring 2018.

W&M Catering Services offers lunch for families and guests in the Commons (across from Kaplan Arena). 
Reservations will be by seating time
This is an all you care to eat lunch. 
Graduating students also need a purchased ticket to eat at this luncheon. Non-alcoholic beverages are included in the price. 

The Menu - EXAMPLE

Tossed Caesar Salad, Confetti Salad, Southern Potato Salad, Couscous Salad, Texas Coleslaw, Commons Signature Pasta Salad, Red Red Pepper Hummus and Baked Pita Chips, Chef Carved Roast Turkey, Chef Carved Ham, Grilled Vegetables and Pesto Wrap, Assorted House Made Artisan Breads, Selection of Condiments, House-made Flavored Chips, Fresh Fruit Salad, W&M Themed Cookies, and Strawberry Shortcake (Build at the station)

Please direct any questions regarding your order to [[wmconf]] or call 757-221-4084.


The Williamsburg area offers a wide variety of dining options, ranging from local restaurants to national chains. Here are some resources to help you decide where you may want to plan your weekend dining:

Graduation Announcements
  • Generic W&M graduation announcement may be purchased at the Bookstore, usually beginning in mid-March.
  • Personalized William & Mary graduation announcements imprinted with an individual's name and degree may be purchased online at the Jostens website.
Flowers for your Grad

Fresh flowers will be available for purchase at the College of William and Mary Commencement Ceremony.  You may browse available products to pre-purchase and reserve your flowers ahead of time by clicking the following link:  Order Flowers