Commencement Information

About Commencement

Holyoke Community College's Sixty-Seventh Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 31, 2014, 10:00 a.m. to noon, at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.

The center will open at 8:30 a.m. Graduates should arrive between 8:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. Tickets for guests are not required, but seats are on a first-come, first served basis. We recommend that family and friends arrive early to ensure comfortable seating. We ask that guests be seated no later than 9:45 a.m. Those who arrive after that will have to wait until the graduate procession concludes. In consideration of the members of the graduating class and their families, we ask that all graduates and guests kindly remain for the entire Commencement ceremony.

Accessible seating is available. Please call (413) 552-2417 if anyone in your party requires assistance or special accommodations.

Please, no balloons or noisemakers. They will not be allowed inside the arena. 

Video Streaming

Commencement will be live-streamed this year, so that those who cannot attend can watch the ceremony. On the morning of the event, a link to the stream will be posted here and on the college home page. There will also be a link to the video after commencement has ended.

Parking, Map & Directions

Parking is available in the MassMutual garage on Falcons Way for a flat $7 fee. Please be aware this is cash only. Street parking and other parking lots are available as well. For visitors unfamiliar with the Springfield area, use these directions and map to the MassMutual Center. 

Caps and Gowns

Graduating students may pick up caps and gowns at the HCC bookstore until Friday, May 30 during the following hours:

  • May 5-9: 8:30 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.
  • May 19-22: 8:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
  • May 23: 8:30 a.m.  - 3:45 p.m.
  • May 27-29: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • May 30: 8:30 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.

There is no charge for your cap and gown, but they must be picked up in advance. You must have a photo ID to get your cap and gown. Don't have your HCC ID? Your driver's license will be fine!

Phi Theta Kappa students may purchase stoles and tassels at the Bookstore for $27.50 or at

Commencement Day for Graduates

Please arrive at the MassMutual Center by 9:00 a.m. with your cap and gown. Inside the center, you will be greeted by signs and staff members directing you to graduate check-in. You will receive an envelope containing a tassel and a name card. Hang the tassel on your cap (right side), and keep your name card to give to the reader when you walk across the stage.

If you have a name that is routinely mispronounced, please call us at (413) 552-2520 by May 24, pronounce your name clearly, and leave a callback number.

Diplomas are not distributed at Commencement. Diplomas for January and May graduates will be mailed shortly after June 11. Diplomas for summer graduates will be mailed shortly after August 27. We must have an accurate mailing address for you to receive your diploma. Please confirm your address by checking the information in your My Online Services account, or in person at Student Records (Frost 221).

Highlights of Commencement

2014 Elaine Marieb Faculty Chair for Teaching Excellence
Founded in 1991 by Elaine Marieb, HCC professor of anatomy and physiology, this award recognizes a full-time faculty member (with five or more years of service) who exemplifies outstanding classroom teaching and the professional development, skills, and dedication to student learning that HCC faculty bring to the classroom. This year's Marieb Chair is James M. Knapp, professor of biology.

Distinguished Service Awards
Each year, the college recognizes the achievements of individuals whose dedication and outstanding service to HCC have enhanced the value of the undergraduate experience and improved the quality of life for all on campus. This year's recipients include:
Eddie Corbin '68
Trustee James Lavelle '84
Alexander Pangborn '12
Dr. Steven G. Richter '75
Peg Wendlandt '58, J.D.

Profiles of Excellence
Each year we put faces to the HCC tagline "Futures Inspired" through "Profiles of Excellence," a series of student profiles that we send to the local media to showcase the diversity and excellence of our graduates.

HCC recognizes those who have earned a perfect 4.0 GPA (grade point average) with the title of valedictorian. This year's valedictorians include:
Lucille S. Benoit
Heather M. Brouillard
Debra M. Brown
Samantha Lee Doubleday
Autumn Fournier
Amy Leigh McElligott
Sean Michael Roda
Lily Timpane
Amy R. Wagstaff

GradImages will photograph each graduate as s/he walks across the stage and receives a diploma. Graduates will receive a color proof by mail from GradImages, with no obligation to order. For questions or to place orders, contact them at or (800) 424-3686.

Diplomas for January and May graduates will be mailed on or around June 9. Diplomas for summer graduates will be mailed shortly after August 25.  We must have an accurate mailing address for your diploma! Check your address at your HCC online services account. If you need to make changes, submit them in writing to us by mail to the Student Records Office or in person at the Student Records Office (Frost 221). Be sure to include "2014 graduate" at the top. Updates must be completed by May 23, 2014. Diplomas may not be mailed to students with outstanding obligations to HCC (parking tickets, library books, fines, etc.), so please take care of these in advance! 

Questions? Contact College Affairs Committee Chair Elizabeth Golen at


Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 538-7000