To: University Staff
From: Linda Wheeler, Commencement Coordinator
Date: March, 2001

Planning for the University at Albany’s 157th Commencement Weekend is well underway! As most of you know, Commencement has evolved from a one-day event to a full weekend celebration on May 19 and 20. The president and cabinet are extremely excited to bring this celebration back to campus and look forward to creating a rewarding experience for graduates and their families.

Now, more than ever before, this weekend calls for a University-wide commitment of staff resources and we are looking for your support as a volunteer. You are vitally important to the success of this weekend, so please consider joining us for as many activities as you can. We are looking for volunteers in the following areas:

  • Graduate and Undergraduate Ceremonies
    (ushers, escorts for disabled guests, student lineup/procession, faculty robing/lineup, and more)
  • Information booths throughout campus to guide guests to the appropriate areas
  • Floaters in the podium area throughout both days to provide assistance to guests
  • Individual school ceremonies (needs vary by school)

Commencement ceremonies will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2001, and Sunday, May 20, 2001. The Graduate ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on May 19 in the Recreation and Convocation Center. The Undergraduate ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. on May 20 on the lawn behind the Science Library. In addition, individual schools and departments are holding ceremonies throughout the weekend. There will also be a family picnic on the podium from 3:00 to 7:30 p.m. on May 19, as well as the traditional Torch Night at 8:30 p.m.

The attached form outlines the areas of need and corresponding hours of commitment. For those who are volunteering their time at the Graduate and/or Undergraduate ceremony, you are invited to the breakfast each morning in the Campus Center from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. For those involved with other shifts and areas, plan to attend the picnic, which is being held on Saturday, May 19, from 3:00 to 7:30 p.m., before or after your shift.

In addition to your actual work commitment, you will be asked to attend a briefing at the Recreation and Convocation Center or library lawn in advance of Commencement. The Graduate ceremony rehearsal is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, May 15, at 1:00 p.m., and the Undergraduate ceremony rehearsal for Thursday morning, May 17, at 9:00 a.m. Further information will follow. Your specific responsibilities will be developed by the Commencement Planning Committee and communicated to you prior to rehearsal.

As a special thank you, all volunteers will receive a commemorative shirt prior to the weekend.

Please contact Christy DeLaMater, Academic Events Coordinator, with your area of interest for the weekend. She can be reached by phone at 1-8626, by fax at 2-5839 or by email at All of us on the Commencement Committee thank you in advance for your support!

University at Albany