Graduation

Learn more about our 2019 commencement, from ticketing and travel information to live video stream access.

Commencement

The 2019 Commencement celebrates the 116th year in the life of Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences and welcomes graduates into the ranks of many great alumni who have gone before them. The Commencement ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 16, from 7-9 p.m. at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square.

General Commencement Information

The Commencement ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 16, from 7-9 p.m. at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square.

Tickets: New for 2019, PA College will be using an electronic ticketing system for Commencement. Each graduated can order up to six tickets for Commencement. The ordering system will be open from Monday, February 25, at 10 a.m. through Monday, April 22, at 11:59 p.m. At the end of the ordering period, any unclaimed tickets will be collected for redistribution to students in need of extras. Extras will be available beginning Monday, April 29, at 10 a.m. through Friday, May 10, at 11:59 p.m., or until they are all claimed.

Diplomas: Diplomas will be sent by certified mail once all academic and financial requirements are satisfied. Graduating students should verify their mailing address in the student self-service section of MyPortal to ensure delivery.

Disability Accommodations: PA College is happy to provide seating for guests with special accommodations, including but not limited to visual and mobility requirements. Please contact Campus Life & Student Engagement (CampusLife@PAcollege.edu) to request accommodations.

Dress: Graduates are to wear their cap and gown to the Commencement ceremony. Caps and gowns should be pressed/steamed or otherwise wrinkle-free. Unauthorized extras such as painting or artful designs are not permitted on your cap or gown. Students who have earned cords through PA College sanctioned honor society membership or SNAP are permitted to wear those at Commencement – sashes or other adornments are not permitted.

Graduates should consider the following guidelines when planning attire. Recommended attire for ladies includes a dress, skirt/top combination or a nice pantsuit. Recommended attire for men include a dress shirt, tie and dress pants. Ladies should be mindful of their footwear as they will need to be able to walk across the stage to obtain their diploma cover. Flip flops and athletic shoes are not permitted.

Graduates will gather together before the ceremony for the processional. At this gathering point, there will not be a secure area to leave personal belongings (i.e., purses, coats, bags, etc.). Please consider leaving these items with one of your guests prior to the ceremony.

Duration: The Commencement ceremony begins at 7 p.m. Graduates are to arrive no later than 6 p.m. Traffic and parking in the local garages adds additional time, so please plan accordingly. Guest seating will begin between 5:30-6 p.m. All guests must be seated by 7 p.m. in order to allow for the processional. Any guests arriving after 7 p.m. will be asked to wait in the lobby until the processional is complete and graduates are seated.

Parking: There are a variety of parking options at the Marriott. You may find on-street metered parking, or you can take advantage of discounted parking at one of the city’s many garages. There will be $5 parking passes available for the garages. Garages nearby include:

Penn Square – 38 S. Duke St., Lancaster, PA
King Street – 146-52 E. King St., Lancaster, PA
Prince Street – 111 N. Prince St., Lancaster, PA
Water Street – 220 N. Water St., Lancaster, PA
Duke Street – 150 N. Duke St., Lancaster, PA

Photos & Videos: Professional photos will be taken during the Commencement ceremony by Grad Images, and will be available for purchase online (www.gradimages.com). Get 20% off on orders of $50 or more just by registering with them prior to the event.

Programs: Printed programs will be available upon entrance to the ceremony.

Safety & Security: There will be members of the PA College Security team onsite for the Commencement ceremony. Professional behavior is expected of both the graduates and guests in attendance so that everyone might enjoy the event. Disruptive behavior will result in the person(s) being escorted out by a member of Security.

Seating: Graduating students will receive six tickets to the Commencement ceremony to share with friends and family. Tickets must be presented upon entrance to Commencement. (Graduates do not need a ticket.)  A live webcast of graduation will be available for guests unable to attend.

Guest seating will begin between 5:30-6 p.m. All guests must be seated by 7 p.m. in order to allow for the processional. Any guests arriving after 7 p.m. will be asked to wait in the lobby until the processional is complete and graduates are seated.

Social Media: Join the conversation on social media using hashtag #PACollegeGrad19.

Speakers: The 2019 Commencement keynote speaker is Dr. Louise Aronson. Dr. Aronson is a Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco. Aronson’s research and scholarship focus on geriatrics education, reflective learning, and Public Medical Communication. Louise is also a writer and has won the Sonora Review Prize, the New Millennium Short Fiction Award, and three Pushcart nominations. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Narrative Magazine, the Bellevue Literary Review, the Lancet, and the New England Journal of Medicine, among other publications. Her first book, A History of the Present Illness, was a finalist for the Chautauqua Prize and the PEN American Bingham award for best debut fiction.

In addition, graduating students are invited to submit speeches for consideration as the Student Speaker. An appropriate speech should be 5-10 minutes in length, and should address graduates from all programs. Submissions should be emailed to Matthew Swatchick, AVP of Student Affairs, by April 1, 2019. The student speaker will be selected by May 1.

Join the Conversation

Follow along with the graduation conversation on social media using hashtag #PACollegeGrad19.

Travel & Lodging

The Commencement ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 16, from 7-9 p.m. at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square (25 S. Queen Street, Lancaster, PA 17603).

There are a variety of parking options at the Marriott. You may find on-street metered parking, or you can take advantage of discounted parking at one of the city’s many garages. There will be $5 parking passes available for the garages. Garages nearby include:

Penn Square – 38 S. Duke St., Lancaster, PA
King Street – 146-52 E. King St., Lancaster, PA
Prince Street – 111 N. Prince St., Lancaster, PA
Water Street – 220 N. Water St., Lancaster, PA
Duke Street – 150 N. Duke St., Lancaster, PA

Graduates, friends and family members who are interested in staying overnight at the Marriott, can take advantage of a discounted room rate. The cost is $129/night, plus tax. When you are making your reservation, simply tell them that you are eligible for the “Lancaster General Hospital” rate.

Watch Live Online

The Commencement ceremony will be live streamed on Thursday, May 16, beginning at 7 p.m.