Frequently Asked Questions

What are Baccalaureate Vespers?
Baccalaureate is a centuries-old graduation tradition with religious roots that started in England and continues in the United States. The Baccalaureate service is believed to have originated at the University of Oxford in 1432 when each graduate was required to deliver a sermon in Latin as part of his or her academic requirement. Today's Baccalaureate at Agnes Scott is a multifaith worship service honoring our graduating class. Baccalaureate offers an opportunity for graduates and their families to pause and reflect as they prepare to begin the next chapter of their lives. A distinguished member of the clergy is invited to deliver the sermon. Graduated wear their caps and gowns, and as with Senior Investiture, there is a full academic procession. 

Do I need tickets to attend Baccalaureate and Commencement? 
Tickets are not needed to attend the Baccalaureate Vespers Service.  

The Commencement ceremony will be held in the Presser Quadrangle where there will be unlimited seating.  Tickets are NOT REQUIRED for seating on the Presser Quadrangle. 

In the case of severe weather, we will follow the severe weather plan. The Severe Weather Plan will only be used if conditions make it unsafe to hold Commencement outside on the Presser Quadrangle. Rain alone does not constitute severe weather.  Once the decision to declare and implement the Severe Weather Plan (move the Commencement ceremony inside) is made, information will be posted on the Commencement home page.   

Graduates' will receive their Severe Weather guest tickets after completing the Ringing the Bell survey. 

Every guest, regardless of age, must have a Severe Weather ticket for admission into the following venues:

  • Presser Hall (Gaines Chapel)

Additional satellite viewing will be available in the following locations for those guests without a ticket.

  • Presser Hall (Maclean Auditorium and Room 202)
  • Rebekah Scott Hall (Katharine Woltz Reception Room)
  • Buttrick Hall (Designated areas)

Remember severe weather tickets are only necessary in the case of severe weather on the day of graduation.

 How many people can I bring to graduation?
There is not a limit on the number of guests you bring to the outdoor ceremony, but we ask that you be considerate of the other graduates and their guests.

How long do the ceremonies usually last?
Baccalaureate lasts about an hour and Commencement lasts about an hour and a half to two hours.

Is there housing on campus for Commencement? 
No, housing is not available on campus for parents and guests. A list of local hotels is available on our accommodations page.

Where are restrooms located?
Restrooms are located in Buttrick, Presser, Evans and Main Halls and also Alston Campus Center. Restrooms are also available on the first floor of Rebekah Scott Hall.

Can I videotape and/or photograph the ceremony? 
Guests are not allowed to videotape or photograph graduating seniors before the awarding of diplomas.
Will there be food served after the Commencement ceremony?
Following Commencement, a light reception will be held in the Letitia Pate Evans Dining Hall for families and guests.  No tickets are required in order to attend.