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Campus Life

Commencement Weekend 2014: What to Do

Champagne, comedy, and a farewell dinner


This weekend nearly 20,000 people will arrive on campus for Boston University’s 141st Commencement ceremonies. Three days of celebratory events for graduating students, friends, and families will culminate with the All-University ceremony at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 18, at Nickerson Field.

While some events—like the riverboat cruises on the Charles, BU Night at the Pops, and the Encore Party—are sold out, many others have tickets available. Online registration has ended for most of the activities, but you can purchase tickets on the fourth floor of Warren Towers, 700 Commonwealth Ave., from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday May 17. Tickets for the champagne reception will also be available at the door.

Before beginning the celebrations, graduates should pick up their caps and gowns at Barnes & Noble at BU. Bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates must purchase their graduation attire, but doctoral candidates have the option to rent. All rented items must be returned by Sunday, May 25, to avoid late fees. The University will withhold transcripts for any graduate who does not return rented garb.

BU will have parking facilities available throughout the weekend, but visitors are urged to use the free shuttle bus service between Kenmore Square and the Track & Tennis Center, 100 Ashford St., to avoid traffic and congestion. The free shuttle runs from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday, May 17, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 18. Guests may also take the MBTA Green Line B trolley, which travels along Commonwealth Avenue. Check here for MBTA maps and schedules.

Parking for those with disabilities will be available throughout the weekend for students and guests attending individual school and college convocations and other Commencement-related events—no reservation or passes are required. More information about disability services is available here. For Sunday’s All-University Commencement ceremony, the Babcock Street garage, 278 Babcock St., will be available only to those who have a special Babcock Street Commencement Day parking pass. General Commencement parking will not be permitted in this lot on Sunday, and Babcock Street will be closed to general traffic after 9:30 a.m.

Security will be tight at all Commencement venues throughout the weekend. BU Police have issued strict guidelines for graduates and guests. Find more information here.

Boston University BU, Commencement weekend 2014, what to do, security details, events, class of 2014

Photo by Chitose Suzuki

Friday, May 16

Individual School and College Convocations

Schools and colleges will hold individual convocations at various times and locations throughout the weekend, starting Friday, May 16.

Senior Champagne Reception

Here’s your chance to toast the Class of 2014! This reception, hosted by the 2014 Senior Week Committee and Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore (SED’87), is open to graduating students, family, friends, faculty, and administrators. The celebration is from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Track & Tennis Center, 100 Ashford St. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the door. There is no limit to the number of tickets students can buy.

22nd Annual Comedy Night

Laugh your cap and gowns off with Boston’s funniest comics. Boston University alum Greg Fitzsimmons (CGS’87, CAS’89), who has been featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with Dave Letterman, and Late Night with Conan O’Brien, headlines this 90-minute show, which begins at 8 p.m. in the CGS Auditorium, 871 Commonwealth Ave. Admission is $20.

Saturday, May 17

Individual School and College Convocations

Schools and colleges will hold individual convocations at various times and locations throughout the weekend, starting Friday, May 16.

Celebration 2014 Dinner

Enjoy dinner with your Boston University family and friends at this special buffet, featuring a selection of salads, entrées, and desserts. Beer, wine, and soft drinks are included, and premium beverages can be purchased at the cash bar. The dinner is at the Fuller Building, 808 Commonwealth Ave., from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is $30 for adults, $15 for children 3 to 12, and free for children under 3.

Photo by Erik Rojas (COM'14)

Photo by Erik Rojas (COM’14)

Sunday, May 18

Individual School and College Convocations

Schools and colleges will hold individual convocations at various times and locations throughout the weekend, starting Friday, May 16.

Baccalaureate Service

Nancy Hopkins, the Amgen, Inc., Professor of Biology at MIT and a leading advocate for women in the sciences, will deliver this year’s Baccalaureate Address. Dean of Marsh Chapel Robert Allan Hill will lead the interdenominational service, which is open to all graduates and their families. President Robert A. Brown and Provost Jean Morrison will also participate. Music by the Marsh Chapel Choir and Majestic Brass will accompany the service, which begins at 11 a.m. at Marsh Chapel, 735 Commonwealth Ave. Information about other worship services on campus is available here.

All-University Commencement

The 141st All-University Commencement ceremony begins at 1 p.m. at Nickerson Field, rain or shine. This year’s Commencement speaker is Deval Patrick, governor of Massachusetts. There are no tickets required and no reserved seating, except for disabled guests. Seats are first-come, first-served. Nickerson stands fill quickly, so guests are urged to arrive by noon. All guests and bags will be screened. The ceremony will run approximately two hours.

Commencement Webcast

For those unable to attend the All-University Commencement at Nickerson Field, BU will be streaming the entire ceremony live via webcast starting at 1 p.m. Listeners can also hear the ceremony live on WBUR, 90.9 FM, BU’s National Public Radio station.


Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will deliver the University’s 141st Commencement Address.

MIT molecular biologist Nancy Hopkins will deliver the Baccalaureate Address.

Honorary degrees will be presented at the all-University Commencement ceremony to Patrick, Hopkins, Emmy-winning actor and education advocate Bill Cosby, businessman, philanthropist, and BU trustee Rajen Kilachand (GSM’74), City Year cofounder and CEO Michael Brown, and actress and writer Mayim Hoya Bialik.

More information about Commencement can be found on the Commencement website.

Kat Sorensen can be reached at katsoren@bu.edu.

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