Information for Students

Due to public health concerns, the 2020 commencement ceremony has been cancelled.

Invitations, Rain Tickets, Caps and Gowns

All student participants are required to wear, and may keep, the traditional blue gowns, mortarboards and tassels.  Students may invite four guests to the ceremony. Only ticket bearers may attend the ceremony.

Regalia Distribution

The college bookstore (860-645-3140, Student Services Center, L-176) will distribute regalia (pre-measurement is not required). Tickets may be picked up after you pick up your regalia in the Student Affairs division office, SSC L287. Schedule will be determined at a later date.

Tickets, caps and gowns will not be available on Commencement day. Under no circumstances will extra tickets be distributed.


Graduates are allowed to invite four guests to the commencement ceremony. Graduates and guests are asked to remain seated until all degrees and certificates are conferred and the program has finished.

Line-up and Robing

All graduates participating in the ceremony are to report in regalia on Wednesday May 27, 2020 to the Maxwell M. & Ruth R. Belding Theater for line up.  Arrive no later than 5:00 p.m. Please be on time; since there is no rehearsal, we need ample time to line up in alphabetical order, by curriculum, and provide instructions before 6:00 p.m. We ask that you turn off cellular phones and do not chew gum. Dress appropriately for the occasion. Family members and guests will not be permitted in the student robing area (see “Line-up Instructions”).


GradImages® will be photographing all graduates with the CEO as they receive their diplomas at the Commencement ceremony. Please visit their website,, and click on Pre-Event Email Registration. Enter your email and up to six emails of loved ones who would like to share in your accomplishment by viewing and ordering your photos. By pre-registering, you will receive a discount of $5 off an order of $25 or more.  After graduation, order online at or call 800-261-2576. Each graduate will also receive a free 5″x7″ photograph of her/his choice as a gift from the Dean of Student Affairs’ Office through GradImages.

Diplomas and Certificates

Diplomas and certificates will be mailed in late summer to students who have met all academic and financial requirements.

Special Needs

It is the policy of Manchester Community College to ensure equal access to its events. If you need accommodations for the event, please contact Joseph Navarra, Disabilities Services Coordinator, by email or call 860-512-3592. In order to provide accommodations in a timely manner, please submit the request at least two weeks prior to the commencement ceremony.


For questions regarding the completion of your degree or certificate requirements, contact Gail Anne Arroyo, Assistant Registrar,  by email or call 860-512-3230, or Anita Sparrow, Registrar, by email or call 860-512-3222. Make sure that  your mailing address is correct on your Banner student account. For questions regarding the ceremony, contact Samantha Plourd, Associate Director of Admissions, by email or call 860-512-3214.

Regalia History

The origins of academic regalia go as far back as the 12th and 13th centuries when universities were forming in Europe.  Because universities were closely associated with the church, the robes worn by instructors and students closely resembled those of medieval clerics.  Unlike today, these robes were not used just for special occasions and ceremonies.  Professors and students alike wore robes whenever they were attending classes or lectures.  Although many universities moved away from association with the church, they maintained the tradition of wearing robes.

Academic regalia has been used by those attending universities from the earliest days.  In 1895 the Intercollegiate Commission met at Columbia University to adopt a standard code of academic dress.  This commission regulated the cut, style and materials of the gowns as well as the colors which were to represent different fields of learning.  The Commission has been reconvened three times since it first met, most recently in 1986, but few changes to regalia have been adopted.  These standards continue to guide colleges and universities today.

Gowns worn by associate degree candidates are identical to bachelor gowns in style.  Both have pointed sleeves and are designed to be worn closed.  However, they differ in color.  Associate gowns are traditionally blue, bachelor gowns are black.

Those at graduation will notice a variety of gowns word by faculty and staff.  Master’s gowns have an oblong sleeve and are trimmed with various colors depending on the degree held by the wearer.  The gown also has a hood that is three and a half feet in length.