Class Day is a special event that celebrates GS graduates. Each GS degree candidate ascends the stage, is presented by the Dean of Students, and shakes hands with the Columbia President or Provost and the Dean of GS. The ceremony will also include speeches by a keynote speaker, typically a GS alumnus, and the class valedictorian and salutatorian, as well as the presentation of the GS Alumni Key Award and the Campbell Award. Following the ceremony, a reception will be held until 11:30 a.m. in Avery Plaza.
The Class Day Ceremony and reception will be held under tents on Low Plaza, and will proceed rain or shine.
Tickets are not required for Class Day, however, when completing the senior survey, students will be asked to specify the number of guests they are bringing.
For information about cap and gowns and purchasing required dress for Class Day, see the Academic Regalia page.
Graduate Assembly and Procession
Time: 7 a.m.; Graduates who arrive late risk not being part of the ceremony.
Location: Roone Arledge Auditorium, Lerner Hall
Academic Regalia: Graduates who wish to sit with the class and be presented at Class Day must wear the Columbia gown (cap optional). Graduates who wish to attend the ceremony without participating may sit in the audience.
Please note: Guests are not permitted in Lerner Hall for the assembly. Graduates are encouraged to give their personal possession, including bags, to their guests as there will be no storage in Lerner Hall.
Graduates will process from Roone Arlege Auditorium in Lerner Hall, up the ramps and out through the double doors towards Bulter Library and on to South Lawn. The graduate procession will follow the procession of faculty, administrators, and alumni.
Graduates whose grades have been turned in and cleared for graduation will have their Latin honors and departmental honors announced. In some cases, we cannot announce these honors because we or a department are waiting on a grade in order to make a determination on honors. For more information about Latin and departmental Honors, visit the Academic Honors section of the website. In additional to departmental and Latin Honors, graduates who are members of Phi Beta Kappa, the GS Honor Society, and joint- and dual-degree programs will also be recognized.
Cords are also distributed to those who earn specific honors. More information can be found on the Honor Cords page.
The ceremony will be webcast live, as well as archived, on the webcast page of the Commencement website. Video recordings of the Class Day ceremony event will be available on Columbia University’s YouTube and iTunes U channels. Videos are expected to be up on YouTube and iTunes U 24-48 hours after the event concludes.
An official photographer will take students' pictures as they cross the stage and receive their diploma. Students are not obligated to purchase these photos, but once they see the proofs, they may elect to order copies.
Prior to Class Day, students should visit the Grad Images website to pre-register their email address, as well as the email addresses of up to six additional people. After Class Day, an email will be sent to each pre-registered email address with a link to view and order prints of that student's photos.
Students who are considering purchasing photos are encouraged to pre-register, as they will receive a $5 discount on orders of $25 or more.
Note: Photos will be mailed to the diploma address on file in SSOL.
Visit the Guests page for information on seating, directions, parking, and travel arrangements.
All alumni are invited to attend the Class Day ceremony to celebrate and support the graduates. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
GS sends invitations to all faculty members in the Arts & Sciences. Faculty members are more likely to attend GS Class Day if they know a specific student is graduating and are personally invited by them. We strongly encourage students to use our online form to invite faculty members who have served as their advisors and mentors.