Family & Friends

The graduation ceremony is an important milestone in the lives of our students and their families. To help make sure that it is an enjoyable and memorable event for everyone, below are some commonly asked questions about Commencement at WPI.


Commencement parking [PDF] will be available in the Park Avenue Garage. If you or your guests are physically challenged, you may be able to park on the Quad, where a limited number of parking spaces are reserved. Drivers may also drop-off guests who have difficulty walking at the entrance to Alden Memorial, and the car may then proceed to the Park Avenue Garage. Campus Police will be available to provide guests with assistance to a handicap parking and seating area.

Processional and Recessional

The commencement ceremony begins just before 3:00 with the processional. The graduates will line up in the lower level of Alden Memorial in the following order: honorary marshal, candidates for degrees (Ph.D., Masters, Bachelors), and stage party. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the marchers, in reverse order, move down the center aisle of Alden Memorial and exit, followed by a reception.

Photographs and Videos

The photographs and videos you take will be treasured mementos. The following information should help all of our guests get the photos they want.

Photos of the ceremony: Commencement Photos Inc. will be present to photograph every graduate receiving his or her diploma. The company will mail proofs and an order form to graduates or their families. Please note that we request that guest take pictures from the side of the Great Hall. The open area in front of the room is reserved for official WPI photographers, and that guest are not permitted to stand in the aisles during the ceremony. This helps assure that everyone has their special moment on the stage.

Photos after the ceremony: Some wonderful locations to capture a photo of your happy graduate after the ceremony include:

  • The Stage Area: After the recessional has left the stage area, guests are invited to take photos on or near the stage (the WPI banner will be in the background).

  • Earle Bridge: Spanning West Street, the footbridge is a location that students regularly take to move across campus.

  • Boynton Hall: WPI's first building, with its granite exterior and clock tower, is located just across the footbridge.


A reception for graduates and their families and guests will take place in the rear area of Alden Memorial immediately following the Commencement ceremony.


Restrooms are located on the lower level of Alden Memorial.