St. Bonaventure University

Commencement ceremonies

In-person graduation set for Saturday, May 15

St. Bonaventure's Commencement Planning Committee has announced that an in-person graduation for the Class of 2021 will be held on campus on Saturday, May 15.

Small ceremonies will be held by each academic division: Arts, Sciences, Business, Education, Communication, Health Professions, and Graduate. The focus of the ceremonies will be on the most important element of any Commencement ceremony: graduates crossing the stage to accept their diplomas.

Plans for Commencement for the Class of 2021 had been on hold as university officials dealt with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The new plans come with this important caveat issued by the Commencement Planning Committee: If the semester ends like the fall, with cases spiking and the university being forced to cease in-person instruction early, or if compliance with Community Compact directives about health screenings, pool testing and large gatherings falls off significantly, we will have no choice but to revert to only a virtual ceremony. 

The Planning Committee has urged students to remain vigilant in curbing the spread of COVID-19 by adhering to safety protocols and avoiding large gatherings.

Ceremony schedules & attendance plans

The ceremonies will be spread throughout the day on Saturday, May 15, with time slots for each division still to be determined. The ceremonies will be held in Richter Center.

The Reilly Center Arena will be closed in early April and remain closed until late this summer for significant necessary upgrades to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, and to the roof.

At this point, there are two guest options for these in-person ceremonies:
  1. Based on current COVID-19 protocols and the conditions on campus and locally, a maximum of two guests will be allowed per graduate. NOTE: Although this is our preferred option at this time, family members making travel and hotel arrangements are encouraged to make reservations that are refundable.
  2. Should conditions worsen, but we are still in session, we will conduct in-person ceremonies with no guests allowed.

Traditional Commencement-related events to be scheduled

Most of the traditional ceremonies that accompany Commencement Weekend, such as ROTC Commissioning, the Multicultural Stole Ceremony, and Candlelight, will be held either later this semester or during the week leading up to May 15.

Times and dates for those will be announced no later than April 15.

Plans for Class of 2020 still under review

The Commencement Committee continues to discuss the best way to properly celebrate the Class of 2020, with hopes of conducting some form of in-person ceremony in the summer of 2022.

The university will reach out to Class of 2020 student leaders after the Class of 2021 graduates to discuss potential ideas.

How do I purchase my cap, gown and hood?

Caps and gowns will be available for sale starting the last week of April. To place an order, students may either visit the Bookstore in person or call the Bookstore at (716) 375-2229.

Prices are as follows:
  • For bachelor's degree candidates: $63 
  • For master's degree candidates: $67


Keep up with the latest COVID-19 news on our COVID-19 Information page..