Commencement preview 2018


Everything you need to know for Commencement 2018

UPDATE: After several days of heavy rain, Commencement will be held outdoors as planned except in the case of dangerous weather. For more information or advice for our graduates and guests, please view the Commencement website.

Gettysburg College will hold its 183rd Commencement—rain or shine—during a May 20th ceremony that will take place on the Beachem Portico on the north side of Pennsylvania Hall at 11 a.m. 

Graduates and their families can access all things Commencement, such as the complete schedule and information for graduates, on the 2018 Commencement webpage. Additionally, specific information for graduates and their families can be found online.

Of note for Commencement weekend are the departmental receptions, the Baccalaureate ceremony, which will be held at Christ Chapel, and the Army ROTC Commissioning Ceremony, at which Retired Major General William “Bill” Matz ’61 will speak.

An internet-based Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) service will be available, allowing anyone to see the closed-caption transcription in real time on any wireless device that can access the Internet. A limited number of loaner iPads will be available for people to view the CART closed-captioning. 

Portions of the program will also be translated into various languages and will be made available to guests via ushers located near the Band Tent. 

Additional information about accessibility during the ceremony—including parking and shuttle services—can be found on the Commencement accessibility webpage.

You can join the Commencement conversation on social media using the hashtag #gburg2018. The Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremony will be livestreamed, and indoor viewing locations set up in Masters Hall and Brua Hall.

Pictures taken by the College will be posted on the website and social media platforms. GradImages will also be taking pictures during the ceremony. Students and their families can pre-register to receive a notification when those pictures are available to review and purchase.

Special Commencement

Special Commencement ceremony for senior members of the Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse team took place on Thursday, May 17. Professor of Physics Sharon Stephenson delivered the keynote address at the Special Commencement ceremony. Watch the video of the ceremony.

Speakers and Awards

NBC political reporter and news analyst Howard Fineman will deliver the keynote Commencement speech, and will receive an honorary degree during the Sunday ceremony.

Honorary degrees will also be conferred to American conductor and composer Francisco J. Núñez, and retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Rebecca Steven Halstead, during the Sunday ceremony. Trustee Emeritus Robert Joseph ’69 will be presented with the Lavern H. Brenneman ’36 Award for Exemplary Volunteer Service to Gettysburg College.

Biology major Morgan Hubbard ’18 will speak on behalf of the graduating class.

The Gettysburg College Award for Distinguished Teaching will also be presented during the Sunday ceremony.

Following the ceremony, light refreshments will be served in the College Union Building and the Dining Center.

About Howard Fineman 

Fineman is a reporter and writer for, an on-air analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication, and the author of a best-selling book of political history, The Thirteen American Arguments: Enduring Debates That Define and Inspire Our Country.

He was previously the Global Editorial Director for the Huffington Post. Before that, he was Newsweek’s chief political correspondent, senior editor, and deputy Washington, D.C. bureau chief. Fineman also regularly appears on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews,” "Morning Joe," other MSNBC shows and on NBC’s "Today,” and has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post and The New Republic

During the course of his award-winning career, Fineman has interviewed every president and major presidential candidate since 1988. He has reported from and about 49 of 50 states and traveled to 50 countries.  He has lectured at more than 40 colleges and universities. 

A native of Pittsburgh, Fineman graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Colgate University and earned an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University and a J.D. from the University of Louisville. He has received several awards for his work, including National Magazine, American Bar Association and Sigma Delta Chi (journalism fraternity) awards; the Alumni Award from the Columbia Journalism School; and an honorary doctorate in 2011 from Colgate University. In May 2013, the University of Louisville awarded him an honorary doctorate.

Fineman has been a featured speaker on campus several times before. Most notably, he visited campus in spring of 2018, gave the 2009 Blavatt lecture, was part of a panel discussion with the Eisenhower Institute in 2012, and participated in a small group discussion with Chris Matthews about the presidential election in 2016.

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Kasey Varner '14, assistant director of communications, 717.337.6806

Posted: Mon, 14 May 2018

Next on your reading list

Gettysburg College rankings underscore academic excellence, career, and alumni connections

18 works published by faculty in 2018

Top 2018 highlights from Gettysburg College

Share this story: