2020 Commencement  |  Sunday, June 14, 2020 at 10 a.m.

We look forward to celebrating the Class of 2020 and their extraordinary accomplishments during an entire weekend of events.

2020 Commencement Information 

Please read this information carefully.

Commencement exercises will begin at 10 a.m. on the Main Hall Green on Sunday, June 14. Seating opens at 8:30 a.m. All are welcome.

No tickets are needed for the outdoor ceremony. Please plan for an open-air event. See the FAQ for information regarding alternative plans for inclement weather. 

Any Lawrence student who does not wish to participate in the formal ceremony on June 14 must inform the registrar, Angi Long, in writing by Thursday, June 11.  It is assumed all eligible graduates will be in attendance unless the registrar is informed to the contrary.  All obligations to the university, academic as well as financial, must be met before Commencement day, June 14.

Commencement FAQ

Event times may be subject to change. All changes will be updated on this page as information becomes available. 

Rehearsal (required)

Commencement exercises will be rehearsed in Memorial Chapel beginning promptly at 2 p.m. on Friday, June 12.  Participants will be receiving information pertaining to the Commencement ceremony. Tickets for the inclement weather site will be distributed to graduates. Caps and gowns are not needed for rehearsal. A class photograph will be taken.

Senior Picnic

The picnic for the graduating class, their families, faculty, and staff on the Main Hall Green from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Saturday, June 13. The rain site for this event is the Warch Campus Center.

President’s Reception

Members of the graduating class and their families are cordially invited to a reception held by President Mark Burstein, Provost Catherine Kodat, Vice President for Student Life Christopher Card, and Dean Brian Pertl at the President’s home, 229 North Park Avenue, from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m on Saturday, June 13.

Academic Procession

Candidates for degrees will assemble on the walk west of the Memorial Chapel no later than 9:15 a.m. on Sunday, June 14. In the event of extreme weather, all candidates are to go directly to their seats by 9:30 a.m.  Please be prompt!

Commencement Information Center

The Hochkammer Information Desk at the Warch Campus Center will be open throughout Commencement weekend. Staff will be available to answer questions and provide service to students and their families. You may contact the Information Desk in person or by calling 920-832-7000.

Commencement Photographs & Live Stream

As a service to graduating seniors and their families, Empire Photography will photograph each student receiving a diploma during the ceremony. In order to receive complimentary proofs as quickly as possible, you can pre-register with Empire at (empirephotos.com), by phone (800-747-2941) or by email (customerservice@empirephotos.com). The ceremony will be streamed live and accessible via the Lawrence website (www.lawrence.edu).

Academic Caps and Gowns, Class Rings, Cards and Invitations

Place your order at the Graduate Fair in the Warch Campus Center for caps, gowns, rings, graduation cards, and invitations. The sale will be held on April 20 and 21 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. You may also order online now (collegegrad.herffjones.com) or by phone (800-837-4235). The website for orders closes at midnight on May 8. Orders placed after that time will be charged a late fee. 

Cap and gown pickup will be June 10 and 11 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Empire Photography will be on campus June 10 during cap and gown pickup from 11:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. to take cap and gown portraits. This is a complimentary portrait sitting with no obligation to order.


Students awarded Honors in Course and Honors in Independent Study are recognized in the Commencement program and on official transcripts. Cords symbolizing student memberships or achievements may be provided by individual Honor Societies, student groups, or organizations.

Commencement Events

Times are subject to change. Please visit this page frequently for updates and final information.

* Indicates the event will be live streamed at lawrence.edu

Friday, June 12, 2020

Buchanan Kiewit Wellness Center
The Wellness Center will be open for your use on Friday,
June 12 from 8-4 p.m. You and your family will be
required to sign in at the Wellness Center.

10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Senior Art Exhibition
Wriston Art Center Galleries

2–3 p.m.
Commencement rehearsal for seniors
Caps and gowns not needed
Alternate venue ticket distribution
Class photograph follows
Memorial Chapel

7:30 p.m.
Commencement Concert *
Featuring members of the Class of 2020
Memorial Chapel
Reception follows in Shattuck Hall, Room 163

Viking Room open until 2 a.m.
Memorial Hall

Saturday, June 13, 2020

8:30 a.m.
Phi Beta Kappa initiation and breakfast (members only)
Pusey Room, Warch Campus Center

10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Senior Art Exhibition
Wriston Art Center Galleries

11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Picnic for seniors, families, faculty, and staff
Performance by the Lawrence University Grad Band
Main Hall Green
Rain location: 
Warch Campus Center

1:00-3:00 p.m.
President’s reception for seniors and families
President Burstein’s home, 229 North Park Ave.

3:00-4:30 p.m.
Baccalaureate Service *
A multifaith celebration of the spiritual journey of the class of 2020.  This service is designed by a group of seniors for all members of the class and their families.
Memorial Chapel

Viking Room opens at 8:00 p.m.
Memorial Hall

Sunday, June 14, 2020

7:30–9 a.m.
Complimentary continental breakfast
Andrew Commons, Warch Campus Center

9:15 a.m.
Candidate assembly
Sidewalk west of Memorial Chapel
Inclement Weather Site: Report directly to the site at 9:30 a.m.

10 a.m.
Commencement exercises
Main Hall Green (plan for an open air event)
Inclement Weather Site: Memorial Chapel

Post-Commencement refreshments
Seeley G. Mudd Library Terrace
Inclement Weather Site:  Warch Campus Center

Noon-4:00 p.m.
Senior Art Exhibition
Wriston Art Center Galleries


Directions to Campus

The Lawrence campus is located just east of downtown Appleton.

From the north or south: Take Highway 41 to the College Avenue exit. Proceed east four miles through downtown Appleton.

From the east: Take Highway 41 to the Highway 441 bypass. Take Highway 441 south to the College Avenue exit and proceed west on College Avenue.

From the west: Take Highway 10/441 east to the Appleton Road exit and proceed north to College Avenue. Proceed east on College Avenue through downtown Appleton.

For City of Appleton parking ramps see their website at: appletondowntown.org/getting-around/parking.

There is also university parking behind 320 E. College Avenue.

Accessible parking is located adjacent to Memorial Chapel. Shuttle service for individuals needing special assistance will be provided to the Warch Campus Center and Main Hall Green from 8 to 9:45 a.m. and again at the conclusion of Commencement until 1 p.m. Post-Commencement pick-up will be at the College Avenue crosswalk adjacent to the library. 

Please note that Appleton’s annual Flag Day Parade will be held on Saturday afternoon beginning at 2 p.m.  Consequently, College Avenue will be closed between noon and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday. At no time is parking permitted on College Avenue between Drew and Lawe Streets on Sunday, June 9.  Please comply with “no parking zone” and fire lane restrictions


Contact the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-236-6673 or foxcities.org for lodging suggestions.


For the safety of those attending Commencement exercises we ask that you keep pets, other than those needed for assistance, away from the campus green area.

Questions can be directed to 920-832-6525 OR commencement@lawrence.edu.