Class of 2020—Commencement & Celebration Weekend September 17-19, 2021

We are excited to welcome you back to campus in September for a Commencement unlike any other in Dickinson’s history. You bring with you a year of experiences in the wider world. You now have a greater understanding for how your Dickinson education prepared you to excel beyond our limestone walls, and many of you have already began to make a difference in your new communities. And so we will cherish this unique opportunity to reflect on your time at Dickinson, celebrate your accomplishments and re-connect as Dickinsonians.

Please remember that Dickinson has made a lifelong commitment to each of our graduates. I hope the class of 2020 will be active in the worldwide Dickinson community, and I look forward to engaging with our young alumni.

On behalf of the entire Dickinson community, let me be the first to welcome you to our celebration of the class of 2020.

John E. Jones III '77, P'11
Interim President


Registration and a full and finalized schedule of events for the weekend will be available here. Below is a list of the events for your class.


  • Happy Hour at local restaurants:
  • Burd's Nest (4:30-6:30 p.m.)—all pints $4.50
  • Castlerigg Wine Bar (5-7 p.m.)—1/2 price wine slushes and 20% off appetizers
  • Gingerbread Man (5-7 p.m.) – most drinks are ½ price
  • Grand Illusion (4-6 p.m.)—$5 pints and a special Red Devil Cocktail
  • North Hanover Grille (5-7 p.m.) – various drink specials
  • 9 p.m. Champagne Toast


  • 10 a.m. Commencement Ceremony
  • All-Campus Barbecue and Tailgate at Biddle Field
  • 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Pints with Profs at Biddle Field
  • Class of 2020 Recognition (halftime of the football game)
  • 8-11 p.m. Class of 2020 Grad-night Party


  • 10 a.m. Class of 2020 Brunch



Seating: Early in the morning, college staff will reserve seating for the class of 2020 and faculty, and special seating for those who have made arrangements in advance for attendees with physical disabilities and guests of the platform party. All other seats are unreserved and may be held after 6:30 a.m. There is no limit to the number of guests per student who may attend this ceremony. 

Arrival: Graduates will assemble at 9 a.m.; be prompt because the assistant marshals must arrange seniors in alphabetical order. Graduates will form two columns on the sidewalk adjacent to the John Dickinson Campus along W. High Street. It is extremely important to be in the proper place in line. The procession will begin at 9:35 a.m, and the ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. 

Health & Safety: Dickinson’s home county, Cumberland County, currently is experiencing high transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Per CDC guidelines, masks are required in all campus buildings (unless actively eating and drinking) even for vaccinated individuals. Due to the set-up and prolonged nature of the Commencement ceremony, we strongly encourage all guests to wear masks while seated. Masks will be required during the Commencement ceremony as you enter and exit Old West. Please continue to take COVID-19 precautions and wear your masks properly, covering your nose and mouth. 

Parking: Parking spaces on or adjacent to the Dickinson campus are limited and may be particularly hard to find during the weekend. Guests are welcome to park in college lots. Some areas of campus may have greater availability for parking, and can be found on the college’s parking map

Regalia: For those who completed the Life Beyond the Limestone Survey, there was the option of having regalia (caps, tassels, gowns and hoods) shipped or held on campus. If received in the mail, please remember to bring them! For those held on campus, they will be available for pick up free of charge at the bookstore. If you did not complete the survey, you will be able to purchase ($45) your regalia at the bookstore. Regalia must be worn to participate in the ceremony. The bookstore will be open on Friday, Sept. 17, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18. If you have any questions about regalia, you may contact the bookstore at or 1-800-582-5436. 

Study Abroad/Carlisle Patches: If a student you studied abroad for credit (non-credit bearing experiences abroad do not qualify), they are eligible to receive a flag badge. In early September, the CGSE sent an email to all study abroad students with further details on picking up your badge(s).  If a student studied in Carlisle every semester, they are eligible for the Carlisle badge as a participant in the “Carlisle In-Broad Program.” These are available in the bookstore on a first come, first served basis.

Cords: Honors and participation cords are distributed at the discretion of individual academic departments and organizations. 

Programs: A program for the Class of 2020 Commencement will be online to view or print at home. You may also order copies of the program to be printed and mailed to you. Orders will be taken until Friday, Oct. 1 and mailed later in October. 

Flowers: Flowers will be available for purchase on Saturday near Althouse Hall. 

Severe Weather: The ceremony will be held rain or shine! The safety of the Dickinson community is the college’s primary objective. In the case of severe weather conditions (thunder, lightning, high winds, or hail) on Saturday, the ceremony would be postponed to Sunday, Sept. 19. In case of severe weather, an announcement will be made by 7 a.m.  

Safety Shuttle: Access to the safety shuttle through DPS is available to and from locations within Carlisle and the La Quinta by Wyndham—Mechanicsburg by contacting DPS during the following times: Friday, Sept. 17 from 5 p.m. to midnight and Saturday, Sept. 18 from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. 

Honorary Degree Recipients

Lisa Sherman ’79, president & CEO of the Ad Council and Dickinson trustee, will address graduates and receive a Doctor of Public Service honorary degree. Michael B. Moore, vice president and diversity and inclusion officer at Blackbaud and founding CEO of the International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina, will receive a Doctor of Public History honorary degree.



Given concerns about overnight accommodations being available in the area, we have secured two hotel blocks for your class with discounted rates:

MainStay Suites
1405 Dennison Circle
Carlisle, PA
$129 per night
Reservations can be made here.

La Quinta By Wyndham—Mechanicsburg
350 Bent Creek Blvd Mechanicsburg, PA
$99-119 per night
To make a reservation, call 717-790-1520 and ask for the Dickinson College Room Block.




Class of 2020 Ceremony Program Order Form

Class of 2020 Ceremony Program Order Form

A program for the Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony is online to view or print at home. You may also order copies of the program below to be printed and mailed to you. Orders will be taken until Friday, October 1, and mailed later in October.



May 20-22

Commencement weekend includes many treasured Dickinson traditions and celebrates the accomplishments of the Class of 2022. The weekend will kick-off with a champagne toast on Friday evening, Baccalaureate on Saturday afternoon and the Commencement Ceremony on Sunday morning.

More information will be available in the coming months. As you move forward with plans for your travel arrangements and accommodations, here is a list of hotels that we recommend.

We look forward to welcoming you and your family back in the fall, and to celebrating all that the members of the class of 2022 have accomplished!

Family Celebrations

Family Celebrations

As you plan your at-home celebrations, we have pulled together fun and festive party printables from personalized yard signs and banners to candy wrappers and graduate advice cards.

The college bookstore offers a variety of options for your graduate, including announcementsyard signsdiploma frames, class rings or special gifts like a Dickinson chair. Items can be purchased online, by calling 1-800-582-5436, or by visiting the store during the Graduate Recognition Ceremonies.