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Quick Links: Rain LocationRehearsal  | Day of Commencement | Speaker

Traditional Graduates

Saturday, May 14, 2016 begins 11 a.m.

Location: The Dell

  • Tickets: are not needed if the ceremony is held in the DELL. Family and friends may sit in the designated seating area (first come first served) or bring their own lawn chairs or blankets to sit in the shaded areas of the Dell. The only reserved seating in the DELL is for special needs attendees and our graduates. Please note that seating provided by the College is not in a shaded area and receives quite a bit of sun on a nice day.

Rain location: Thompson Gym

  • Inclement Weather Hotline: 717-361-1988 or 888-895-0962
  • TICKETS: THREE tickets per graduate, available early May - students should pick up their tickets at the Graduation Fair on March 9, 2016; if you are unable to attend the grad fair, please pick up tickets from Registration and Records or contact them to have the tickets mailed. Graduates should specify if anyone has special needs. Extra tickets ONLY are available through other students who don't need them.
  • Overflow seating is provided in Leffler Chapel and Performance Center with streaming video of the ceremony.


Friday, May 13, 2016 at 10 a.m.
Thompson Gym

At rehearsal, graduating seniors will be provided with their line-up order. Students who cannot make rehearsal are responsible for finding out where to line up on graduation day. 

Day of Commencement

  • Commencement is preceded by a complimentary continental breakfast in The Marketplace of Brossman Commons from 7 until 10 a.m.  Seniors, their family members and friends are invited.
  • The Master's Hooding Ceremony for graduating fifth-year Occupational Therapy majors will take place the morning of commencement, at 8:30 in the KᾹV. Family and friends of graduates are invited to join in the celebration. Graduates will receive an invitation to the event and should RSVP with the number of guests in their party to Jean Dietrich at or 717-361-1174. A continental breakfast will follow the ceremony.
  • FLOWERS: half-dozen roses with greens and colorful wrapping ($20), a dozen roses with greens and wrapping ($30), or a colorful Hawaiian orchid lei ($35).
  • Flowers available 10 a.m. just prior to the beginning of the Commencement ceremony at the top of The Dell. (During severely inclement weather, they will be sold outside Thompson Gymnasium.) Quantities are limited, so plan to get your flowers early. Sorry, no advance orders.
  • Boutonnieres on men’s robes are no problem.
  • Parking will be at a premium on and near campus.  Arrive early for a convenient spot.  Campus Security will be directing traffic on campus.  
  • Those with special needs may be dropped off near the ceremony. Please contact Campus Security (717-361-1000) for details and Registration and Records (717-361-1409) for special needs tickets in the event of inclement weather.
  • Water stations will be available at the top of The Dell. 
  • Photos by Island Photography – visit the Island Photography website at for information.
  • Wear sunscreen!


Regina M. BenjaminIn recognition of Elizabethtown’s 113th Commencement, the College has invited Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, 18th U.S. Surgeon General, as keynote speaker. Dr. Benjamin will speak at the 11 a.m., May 14, 2016 ceremony on campus and receive an honorary doctoral degree from the College.

Benjamin held the post of Surgeon General of the United States from 2009 to 2013, during which time she provided the public with the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and the health of the nation. She also oversaw the operational command of 6,500 uniformed public health officers who serve in locations around the world as they promote and protect the health of the American people.

She is the Picayune Endowed Chair of Public Health Sciences at Xavier University of Louisiana, specializing in prevention policies and health promotion especially concerning obesity, childhood obesity and children’s health.

As she was founder of a rural health clinic in Alabama in her early days, Benjamin holds special interest in rural health care, health disparities among socio-economic groups, suicide, violence and mental health.

She was named by Time magazine as one of the “Nation’s 50 Future Leaders Age 40 and Under” and has been featured in New York Times, Clarity, People and Reader’s Digest. Benjamin was named “Person of the Week” on ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, and “Woman of the Year’ by CBS This Morning.

The 2016 Commencement speaker earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana; a medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham; and a master in business administration from Tulane University in New Orleans. She attended Morehouse School of Medicine and completed her family medicine residency in Macon, Georgia. The former Surgeon General is the recipient of 24 honorary degrees.

Elizabethtown College