Letter to the Parents

Dear Families of Graduates:

We hope the following information will be helpful in your plans to attend the Commencement ceremony. We appreciate your patience, understanding, and cooperation on this very special day.

All traffic, except those cars containing handicapped or physically challenged guests, will be routed past the College on Route 5, south to Mattapany Road, and then into the campus via Fisher Road EAST.

Guests with disabilities or those needing special assistance may turn off Route 5 onto College Drive (1st left on campus, opposite St. Mary's River). Parking will be in the Admissions lot on your right as you come up College Drive. Those needing assistance may be discharged there, along with a companion, and someone from the College will be available to assist them. Student volunteers on golf carts will drive those needing assistance to the seating area. You may park your vehicle in the Admissions field behind the parking lot.

Please try to arrive by 9:30 a.m. This should allow everyone to be in place before the ceremony begins at 10:00 a.m. The golf cart service will be available after the ceremony to take guests back to the Admissions parking lot. Golf carts will be available only at the Commencement site.

If someone in your party uses a wheelchair or is seeing- or hearing-impaired and you would like reserved seating for this person and a companion, please call Peggy Aut at 240-895-3060 or email her at praud@smcm.edu. A sign language professional will be provided for the hearing-impaired.


7:30 - 9:00 a.m. Breakfast Buffet ~ Campus Center Great Room Tickets purchased in advance for $8.50

9:15 a.m. Seniors gather at the Recreation Courts in the Michael P. O’Brien Athletics and Recreation Center

10:00 a.m. sharp Ceremony begins ~ Townhouse Green

PHOTOS: A professional photographer will take individual photographs of EACH graduate as they receive their diploma.

PERSONAL PHOTOGRAPHS: To cause minimal disruption to the ceremony, and as a courtesy to others, please confine personal photography to areas outside the ropes and tent.


  • The ceremony will be held, rain or shine, under a large tent on Townhouse Green. Tickets are not required. Depending on the weather forecast, you may want to include rain gear or sunscreen and hats. 
  • The Commencement site will open at 8:30 a.m. Personal items left on chairs do not constitute reserved seating. The first three rows on both sides of general seating are reserved for wheelchairs, guests who are seeing- or hearing-impaired, and special guests of the College. 
  • We ask that everyone mute their cell phones during the ceremony.

We look forward to sharing this special time with the graduates and their families and friends. If you need further information about Commencement logistics, please call the Conferences & Events Office at 240-895-4310.