A group of four students walk across campus in their cap and gownsLafayette College’s 189th Commencement weekend is scheduled for Sat., May 18, 2024, and Sun., May 19, 2024. There are a few notable updates heading into the celebratory weekend for Lafayette’s Class of 2024:

Volunteer to help Commencement weekend

The Commencement planning committee is looking for staff to assist with the College’s upcoming Commencement exercises and ceremonies for the Class of 2024 on Sat., May 18, and Sun., May 19. View the complete schedule of events.

This is a great opportunity to celebrate our students and be part of an important moment at the College! There are a wide variety of opportunities and times available. Sign up to volunteer and please email any questions you may have to commencement@lafayette.edu.

Reminder: Commencement ceremony timing

As noted on the Commencement website, the schedule of events for the weekend has been slightly modified. The Posse Scholars graduation ceremony, Honors Thesis ceremony, and Baccalaureate service will be held Saturday, May 18. Student robing will be held at 8:30 a.m. in Kamine Gymnasium. Commencement exercises, which will be held on the Quad (rain location: Kirby Sports Center), will begin with the procession at 9:45 a.m. and followed by the ceremony at 10 a.m. The President’s reception for graduates and their guests will be held on March Field starting at 1 p.m.

New honors for the Pepper Prize winner

Lafayette College’s Presidential Advisory Committee on Commencement, comprised of students, faculty, staff, and a trustee, has announced two substantive changes to the honoring of the Pepper Prize winner that will start with the College’s 189th Commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 19, 2024:

  • The Pepper Prize winner, which is traditionally the only student speaker at Lafayette’s Commencement ceremonies, will receive and wear a special medal featuring an image of the Marquis de Lafayette along with his famous quote regarding education: “I read, I study, I examine, I listen, I reflect and out of all this I try to form an idea into which I put as much common sense as I can.”
  • The Pepper Prize winner will lead the class in moving their tassels from the right to left side of their caps to signify the conferral of their degrees at the end of the Commencement ceremony.

The Marquis de Lafayette’s sword, which has been held by the Pepper Prize winner during Lafayette’s Commencement ceremony since 2014, will remain in College Archives because it is a unique, priceless, and irreplaceable artifact that could be damaged through inadvertent mishandling during the ceremony or through exposure to the elements. The College Archivist noted these concerns to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Commencement following the ceremony for the Class of 2023, and the committee made the noted changes to honoring the Pepper Prize winner in response to this significant concern.