Elms College 91st Commencement Ceremony

The Elms College 91st commencement ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA. 


Opening Academic Convocation for 2021-2022 will be held Wednesday, September 29, 2021, starting at 4:00 p.m. in Veritas Auditorium. All seniors are welcome to attend as well as your families.

Opening Convocation is the official start to your final academic year! This event is a long standing tradition and includes officially robing the Senior Class President with their academic regalia.

Classes scheduled for 4:15 p.m. on that day will have a one hour delayed start. In addition, afternoon classes that normally end at 4:05 p.m. will end at 3:40 p.m. to give instructors and students time to get to the convocation in Veritas Auditorium.

Seniors, you will wear your academic gowns and caps, no tassel. Please gather in Berchmans Hall Room 207 by 3:30 p.m.

If you ordered your cap and gown over the summer, you will be notified by the bookstore when they arrive. If you did not order your cap and gown ahead of time, you are still invited to walk with your senior class! Dress is business casual.

Convocation Speaker, Aaron Vega

Aaron Vega, the new Director of the Office of Planning and Economic Development for the city of Holyoke, in his neighborhood where he lives in Holyoke.

Aaron finished his fourth term as State Representative for the 5th Hampden district which is made up of the entire city of Holyoke at the end of 2020. Over the past 10 years Aaron has been involved in a number of local non-profit boards, volunteer projects and is committed to the city and people of Holyoke.

Aaron was born in South Holyoke, attended Morgan Elementary School and eventually followed his parents’ footsteps by attending Holyoke Community College. He graduated from Keene State College with a dual bachelor degree in film and psychology. Aaron soon became a film editor, working on projects for Ken Burns, PBS, TLC and HBO.

During his time in office, from being elected in 2010 as an At Large Holyoke City Councilor to his time as State Rep, Aaron has continued his focus on providing great constituent services, education policy and economic development.

Separate of his public life Aaron is also a yoga instructor who co-owns VegaYoga with his wife Debra. Together with their son Odin they live in Holyoke and are excited about all the positive things happening in their city. As a proud parent of daughters in their late 20’s and a young son Aaron knows how important education and ensuring opportunities for all young people is.

Commencement Speaker and Honorary Degree Recipient

Elms College is pleased to announce that this year’s Commencement Speaker is Haitian-American novelist and short story writer Edwidge Danticat, MFA. Danticat, who delivered her address remotely from her home in Miami, has been praised for her sparse, emotionally evocative prose and for highlighting the stories of the Haitian diaspora. Her first novel, Breath, Eyes, Memory, which deals with questions of racial, linguistic and gender identity in interconnected ways, went on to become an Oprah’s Book Club selection.

Danticat earned her master of fine arts degree from Brown University. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including The National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and Autobiography, The Story Prize, and a MacArthur Fellows Program “genius grant.”

The 90th Commencement ceremonies also featured the awarding of honorary degrees. In addition to Danticat, another recipient of Doctor of Humane Letters degree was Hampden County Sheriff Nicholas Cocchi, a 2013 graduate of the Elms College MBA program.

The College of Our Lady of the Elms’ 91st Commencement Ceremony, will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

To make sure you’re ready for commencement, we will be holding Countdown to Commencement on March 25 from 12:15-1:15 am and 5-6 pm.

If you have general commencement inquiries or questions, please email studentaffairs@elms.edu or call 413-265-2210.

Ordering Caps and Gowns

Students can pick up their regalia in the college bookstore.

Bookstore hours:

  • Monday, May 3- Friday May 7- 10 am – 4 pm
  • Monday, May 10- Friday, May 14- 10 am – 5 pm
  • Saturday, May 15- CLOSED

If you have any questions, please contact the bookstore at 413-265-2273.

Information for Students

For detailed information for students click here.

Information for Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff should arrive at the MassMutual Center located at 1277 Main Street, Springfield, MA 01103 by 9:00 a.m. Parking is available in the parking garage for a fee or there may be free on street parking.  Faculty and Staff in academic regalia will process into the arena beginning promptly at 9:30 a.m.

Accessibility Arrangements:

  • An interpreter for those who are hearing-impaired will be part of the commencement ceremony.
  • Graduating students attending the commencement ceremony or any other Elms sponsored event that may require accessibility related accommodations should contact Hillary Gregory to discuss the necessary arrangements no later than April 1, 2021.
  • Family and friends attending graduation events that may require accessibility related accommodations should contact Tiffani Ashline, Director of Student Accommodations and Support Services, directly at 413-265-2333 or ashlinet@elms.edu.
  • The MassMutual Center has reserved seating sections available for individuals who use wheelchairs or who have mobility challenges. The spaces are limited, so please plan accordingly. A MassMutual attendant may be able to assist you in locating these sections and may be able to assist any person in need of mobility support, including escorting guests to accessible seating areas.
  • The MassMutual Center offers drop-off and pick-up areas at the Box Office entrance on the corner of Bruce Landon Way and Main Street for guests requiring mobility assistance. https://www.massmutualcenter.com/accessibility
  • If you have specific accommodation needs not listed above nor on the MassMutual Center Accessibility link, please contact Tiffani Ashline at 413-265-2333 or ashlinet@elms.edu.