Elms College will hold is 90th commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 15, 2021.

Honor Cords

Honor cords for undergraduate students will be available for pick-up both the week leading up to Commencement, and the morning of the ceremony.  Students who earn honor cords will be notified via email once all spring grades have been posted.  Students will then be able to come into the Registrar’s Office on the 1st floor of Berchman’s Hall on the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday before Commencement; no appointment is needed.  Honor cords will also be available for pick up on the morning of the Commencement ceremony outside as students are arriving and lining up.  If you have any questions, please email registrar@elms.edu.

Arrival Information

  • Arrive on campus- 291 Springfield Street, Chicopee, MA 01103 by 8:00-8:15 a.m.
  • Parking for students is in the lot of the Blue House, which is located at 147 Grape Street, Chicopee, MA 01013 and in the lot behind the Polish Center, which is located 33 South St, Chicopee, MA 01013. You must park in one of these parking lots and meet in the front of the Maguire Center, behind Berchmans Hall.  
  • Remind your guests to arrive no later than 9:15 a.m., the Processional will begin promptly at 9:30 a.m.   – Guests will remain in their vehicles of the parking lot C and lot B.

Graduates — Arrival, Lineup, and Processional

  • Meet in the front of the Maguire Center building on campus- located behind Berchmans Hall between 8:00-8:15 a.m. 
  • Here you will check in and receive your name card.  Please have your smart phone ready to complete a Healthy Roster survey using our text to screen option. Information provided at check- in.
  • Please come dressed in your cap, gown and hood.  A face mask will be provided to you at check in. Only approved honor cords and stoles may be worn with regalia.
  • Wear appropriate shoes as the Commencement processional will walk in front of Berchmans Hall and the library around to the quadrangle on campus.    
  • There will not be a spot to leave bags or purses, so do not bring anything with you that you do not plan on carrying.  
  • Turn off your cell phone or set to vibrate once the ceremony begins.
  • Tassels go on the right. (Dr. Breau will tell you when to move the tassel after everyone has received diplomas.
  • Remember to take your name card with you when in line, which you will receive in the staging area.
  • You will be lined up alphabetical single file by degree:


(We will line you up in the correct order)

  • A Staff Marshal will direct you to your row under one of the two tents.
  • Remain standing until the President has passed, then turn to face the stage, but remain standing at the beginning of the ceremony.

Getting Your Diploma on Stage

  • A Staff Marshal will release you one row at a time to receive your diploma cover on stage. Please stay in alphabetical order.
  • You will go up the stairs to the right of the stage. Please don’t talk while you are standing in line.  You cannot record with any device on stage or at the bottom of the stage. 
  • Hand your NAME CARD to the Staff Marshal at the top of the stairs.
  • When Dr. Breau calls your name, you will walk across the stage where your diploma will be placed on an easel by President Dumay. You may pick up your diploma cover and then you will pause to have your photo taken with President Dumay.  These photos are taken by a professional photographer from Grad Images Photos, you may purchase them from this organization:  https://www.gradimages.com/  The company will send you each information to your personal addresses about purchasing these photos. 
  • Once you have received your diploma cover, you will continue down the sidewalk in front of the Lyons Center to the Registrar’s table that will be in front of O’Leary Hall.   Here you will receive an envelope containing either your diploma or a letter explaining why you are not receiving your diploma. (Outstanding bill or incomplete course work are the usual reasons.)
  • Staff Marshals will direct you back to your seat.

Recessional (End of Ceremony)

  • PLEASE STAND…The platform party from the stage will be led out of the quad area by the Faculty Marshal.
  • Students will remain standing at their seats until the procession has passed their row and you are dismissed by a Staff Marshal.
  • The recessional will exit the quad to the back of the campus center.  Here you will be able to return to your own vehicle or your family’s vehicle. 

Caps, Gowns and Hoods

Caps Decorating Guidelines

At Elms College, we hold all of our graduates in high esteem and recognize their achievements at Commencement. If you wish to decorate your graduation cap to wear at commencement, please remember to respect the historical and formal integrity of this event when decorating your caps.

Please take into consideration these guidelines set forth by the college when decorating your cap:

  • Please only decorate the flat, top area of the mortar board
  • Decorations must be flat on the surface of the cap and not raise above 1 inch off the surface of the mortar board
  • No hanging objects off the sides of the cap except for the tassel
  • No bells, horns or anything that makes noise
  • No fresh flowers, food, or living objects
  • No lighted objects
  • No battery operated objects
  • No obscenities, profanity, vulgarity or lewdness
  • Must not contain any advertisement, symbols, abbreviations, initials, words, slogans, patches, or pictures that refer to drugs, alcohol or weapons
  • Must not denote an affiliation with gangs or which advocate drug use, violence, illegal activity, or disruptive behavior which is detrimental to the safety and welfare of other students
  • No hate speech, intolerance or racist slogans
  • This list is not all inclusive. Elms College reserves the right to determine if a decoration is inappropriate

If you have a question about these guidelines or about the appropriateness of your decorated cap, please bring it to the attention of the Dean of Students Office, studentaffairs@elms.edu or 413-265-2210.

Receiving your Diploma

December 2019 and May 2020 Graduates

Don’t have your diploma yet? For questions on how to obtain your diploma, please email Registrar@elms.edu directly for more information.

At Commencement President Dr. Harry Dumay will hand you a diploma cover when you walk across the stage. Once you come off of the stage, you will be directed to the Registrars’ table where you will receive an envelope containing either your diploma or a letter explaining why you are not receiving your diploma. (Outstanding bill or incomplete course work are the usual reasons.)

If you are unable to attend commencement, you may pick up your diploma from the registrar’s office any day after commencement has taken place. For any questions regarding this, please contact registrar@elms.edu with any questions.

Photographs and Social Sharing

Honor Cords

Honor Cords is a token consisting of twisted cords with tassels on either end.   Their wearing signifies specific academic achievement in an Elms College recognized academic honor group.

Undergraduate Honors Cords

Elms College is pleased to recognize and reward undergraduate students whose scholastic performance merits special attention. Academic honors are bestowed to encourage the pursuit of excellence and to reward academic achievement through public recognition by inclusion on the official transcript and on the diploma. In addition, students who have earned academic honors are entitled to wear an honor cord with their cap and gown regalia at Commencement to signify their achievement.

Honor cords are awarded to undergraduate students only, who will graduate with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Honor cords are distributed by the Registrar’s Office. (Please note that these academic honor cords are separate from ‘honor society’ cords, which are not overseen by the Registrar’s Office.)

More than one cord may be worn at the same time, so if a graduating student would like to wear an academic honor cord from a previous college degree (whether graduate or undergraduate), the previous cord may be worn with permission from the Registrar’s Office. Please submit a request to the Registrar’s office, registrar@elms.edu, by April 15 for approval.

Honor Society Cords

Students are notified through email if they have met the qualifications to be inducted into an honor society. You may be notified that you are eligible for more than one honor society, what the cost would be and need to meet the deadlines set for responding to that email. Those being inducted will receive more information about receiving the honor society cord(s) by email. More than one cord may be worn at the same time, always under your hood.


A graduation stole is a decorative vestment worn by students who are members of college organizations for the purpose of recognizing association with an international group, a college registered sport, organization or club. A stole takes the form of a cloth scarf-like garment worn over the shoulders adorned with the colors of the organization or country of affiliation. Students may wear only one stole at commencement.

We're sorry, the deadline to order a stole has passed

If the request to wear the stole was denied, an appeal can be made to the Dean of Students Office in writing within three business days of receiving the denial. The appeal will be brought before the commencement committee for review at the next committee meeting after the denial is submitted. The committee meets every other Friday during the spring semester. The committee must make a major decision with at least seven members present. A final decision will be communicated in writing via email to the student and/or organization advisor.

Gonfalon Carrier

Gonfalons are banners with the college seal and name that hang from a crossbar. They are to be carried by three chosen students before all the other graduates walk into the MassMutual and again when exiting the arena at the end of commencement. The Gonfalons will be carried by one graduate student, one undergraduate student and one off-campus student. The student is responsible for getting to the commencement by 8:30 a.m. to do a run through at the venue. There will also be one required training in early to mid-May in Veritas to also practice.

If this opportunity interests you, please fill out the following application to either apply or nominate someone who you think would be a good fit.

Nominate a gonfalon carrier. The deadline for nominating a gonfalon carrier is April 1.

Flag Carrier

The U.S. Flag carrier must be a graduating Elms College student who is also a veteran. At commencement, they will carry the U.S. Flag into the MassMutual arena at the start of the commencement processional. The student is responsible for getting to commencement by 8:30 a.m. in order to do a run through at the venue. There will also be one required training in early to mid-May in Veritas to also practice.

If you are interested in applying or nominating someone who you think would be a good fit, please fill out the following application for consideration. Please note that all veterans will need to submit a DD214 if you are applying to be a flag carrier.

Nominate a flag carrier.The deadline for nominating a flag carrier is April 1.