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Recognition Event for January 2016 Graduates
Saturday, December 19, 2015
Barton Hall

The thirteenth annual Recognition Event and Reception for January 2016 graduates is being planned. This is a special event enjoyed by students and families. There is no limit to the number of guests who may attend and there are no tickets. However, for event planning purposes, students who plan to attend must RSVP (see below).

Checklist - Student To-Do List

Click here for a printable CHECKLIST for students and families.

Students planning to attend must do the following:

  • Order by 11/15 (or there is a $10 late fee)
  • RSVP by 12/17 if attending Recognition Event.
  • PICK UP cap & gown 12/17 or 12/18 at Teagle Hall
  • RSVP for additional college events, if applicable.
  • Follow any other instructions from college, department, Bursar, University Registrar, Housing Office, etc.

RSVP to attend Recognition Event

RSVP form Please check here in October for the link to RSVP.

Event Schedule - December 19, 2015

  • 9:00am - Guests may begin arriving at Barton Hall
  • 9:00-9:30am - Students register & assemble in Barton Hall
  • 10:00-11:15am - Recognition Event in Barton Hall
  • 11:15am-Noon - Coffee Reception in Barton Hall

College Events - in addition to the Recognition Event

College deans, faculty and staff look forward to celebrating January degree candidates at the Recognition Event in Barton Hall. The following colleges also offer additional celebratory events for its students and families to attend. Graduate & undergraduate students planning to attend a college event must submit an RSVP to the college for that event, per instructions below.

College of Agriculture & Life Sciences (CALS)
(check back in October for link)
School of Hotel Administration (SHA)
(check back in October for link)
College of Human Ecology (CHE)
(check back in October for link)
ILR School (ILR)
(check back in October for link)


The on-campus Statler Hotel is available for the December event. Rising from the center of this Ivy League campus, the Statler Hotel is centrally located to events and provides on-site parking for guests. Taverna Banfi, the Statler's signature Tuscan Italian restaurant, is also available for lunch and dinner on Saturday. Please call the hotel at 800-541-2501 or email to reserve your guest room or dinner reservation.

Since many people and students are traveling away from Ithaca this time of year, we do not anticipate housing problems. You may find information about the availability of local hotels and bed & breakfasts by visiting Ithaca's Visitor Bureau website at

Announcements, Class Rings, Diploma Frames

  • Announcement Cards
    (check back in October for product information and ordering link)
  • Class Rings
    Order your official Cornell class ring at The Cornell Store.
  • Diploma Frames
    Choose from a variety of quality diploma frames available online and on display at The Cornell Store.

The Cornell Store

Visit The Cornell Store for the best selection of Cornell gifts and apparel.

    Friday, December 18, 8am-7pm
    Saturday, December 19, 9am-3pm

Cap & Gown

Wearing cap & gown is both traditional and required for students participating in the Recognition Event. Students order their cap & gown from our supplier, Herff Jones. These are rental items, so students must return their cap & gown (but keep their tassel) in Barton Hall immediately following the event.

Check back after October 10 for links to the online ordering site.

Order Cap & Gown

(check back after October 10 for link to order)

Cap & Gown Fee

    Undergrad: $-0-*
    Master: $21.35*
    Doctoral/PhD: $71.10*
    *Includes tax. Add $10 for walk-in orders.

Cap & Gown Pickup (Distribution)

Caps & gowns for Bachelor, PhD, and Master degrees will be distributed on campus the week of the Recognition Event. Students will pick up their cap & gown order, try on items, and exchange for proper fit, if necessary. Students who did not pre-order online should go to distribution to obtain cap & gown as a walk-in order at at that time (add $10 cash).

Instructions for pre-orders and walk-in orders:

  • Dates: December 17 (Thurs) or December 18 (Fri)
  • Times: 10:00am-5:00pm each day
  • Location: Day Hall, room 163
  • Cost: See above (add $10 cash for walk-in orders)

Cap & Gown Return

Students MUST return their cap & gown in BARTON HALL BY NOON. The "cap & gown return" area will be located inside Barton Hall. Students may keep their tassel, but cap & gown must be returned in Barton Hall immediately following the event.

Free Tassel. Cap & gown orders include a tassel for students to keep. (Exception: The sewn-in tassel on the PhD tams cannot be removed.) The appropriate tassel color, representing one's college within the University, will be supplied with the cap & gown order.
Souvenir Tassel. Students have an option to purchase a souvenir red & white Cornell tassel when ordering their cap & gown. The souvenir tassel is available to undergraduate and graduate students of all degrees.

A hood is worn with PhD and Master regalia (not with undergraduate degrees). The hood color representing one's field of study will be supplied with PhD & Master cap & gown orders.

The appropriate gown style, representing one's degree, will be supplied with the cap & gown order.

*PhD Candidates Wishing to Purchase Regalia to Own
PhD candidates and faculty may purchase regalia to own if desired. Allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery.

Ceremony Instructions

Students must arrive in Barton Hall between 9:00-9:30am to register and assemble for the procession, wearing cap & gown. Students should enter Barton Hall from Garden Avenue (Teagle Hall side of Barton) and follow the signs to the area by the red curtain that is across the middle of the room.

Undergraduate students will go to the registration table by their undergraduate college sign. Graduate students will go to the registration tables by the "PhD" and "Master" signs, not with undergraduate college signs. All degree candidates will be given a card with their name and contact information when they go to the appropriate registration table. Students MUST carry the card during the procession and to their seat. These are used to read the student's name during the ceremony. Ushers will collect students' cards as soon as students are seated. Do NOT change seats once you have been seated.

Students will line up two-across within their college, but not alphabetically. Graduate students will line up by PhD & Master signs, not with undergraduate colleges. PhD candidates will carry their hood, as instructed by the Graduate School staff. Ushers in red jackets will instruct students to line up in the appropriate locations before, during, and after the ceremony.

During the ceremony, each college will be asked to stand and approach the stage. Readers from each college will read the students' names from the cards, as they cross the stage. Each student will walk across the stage to shake hands with their college dean and the university provost. PhD candidates will be hooded by the dean of the Graduate School.

After the ceremony, students, family members, and guests may enjoy a reception with light refreshments. Congratulations!

Informational Mailing for Recognition Event

Undergraduate Families: Event Information is mailed to undergraduate families in late October. If not received, please check the home address the student provided to see where the packet was mailed.

Undergraduate Students: Information is emailed to undergraduates in late October. If not received, please check the spam filter before contacting the Commencement Office.

Graduate Students: PhD & Master candidates receive information via email in late October from the Graduate School and/or Graduate Field Assistants. The Graduate School does not mail event information to parents of graduate students.


The conferral (diploma) date for January degrees is February 1, 2016. (Due to the way the 2016 calendar falls, the conferral date is a February date; however, we are continuing to refer to graduates as "January" graduates throughout our website.) Diplomas are mailed, not distributed at the Recognition Event.


When parking on campus, please use the Hoy Parking Garage, the Crescent Lot behind Schoellkopf Stadium, the C Lot along Campus Road, or parking spaces below Tower Road and along Garden Avenue. There is no charge to park on campus on Saturday. view campus map


Mobility-Impaired Parking
Guests who cannot maneuver the stairs into Barton Hall from the Statler side are encouraged to enter from the Garden Avenue side of Barton Hall. Vehicles may temporarily stop on that side of the building to let mobility impaired guests out for easy access to the building. The driver will then need to go park the vehicle at one of the suggested parking areas.

Mobility-Impaired Seating
Guests with wheelchairs and walkers will be able to sit with other family members (in chairs with back support) without requiring a special pass or seating location. As a courtesy, ushers with wheelchairs will be inside Barton Hall to transport guests from the entrance (Garden Avenue side) to seating areas, if needed.

Hearing-Impaired Sign Language Interpretation
A sign language interpreter will be present on the stage. If you need further hearing-impaired assistance, please contact the Commencement Office by December 16.


Photographs will be taken of each student while on stage. Students will receive an email the following week to view and/or purchase photos. For questions, please contact Grad Images at 800-261-2576 or email, or visit

Reception Details

A reception will immediately follow the Recognition Event in the same building, Barton Hall. Light refreshments (coffee and pastries) will be served. All students and guests are invited. Please plan to stay and enjoy the reception.


There are no tickets required for this event, as there are plenty of seats for everyone. However, we do request that students RSVP to help with our planning.


A webcast of the Recognition Event will be shown online the day of the event. To watch the live broadcast, go to the day of the event, where a viewing link will be posted just prior to the 10:00am start time. The broadcast will remain online for later viewing as well. (Video of this event is not available for purchase.)

Weather Plan

Wondering if Ithaca weather conditions are affecting the event? If the University is open, then the event will go on as scheduled. If the University closes (due to winter weather, for example), then the Recognition Event will be cancelled. It will not be rescheduled. Diploma distribution will not be affected, as diplomas are not distributed at this event. Students may still return for their official Commencement Ceremony in May.
Click here to check the University operating status.

Commencement Ceremony - May 2016

January '16 degree candidates are welcome to participate in May 2016 Commencement events in addition to the December Recognition Event.

Undergraduate Students: The Commencement Office mails Commencement information packets in late January to January graduates, including those who attend the December Recognition Event. Graduates planning to attend Commencement events in May should follow instructions received in the Commencement Packet, but they do not need to inform the Commencement Office of their plans to attend.

Graduate Students: Commencement Packets for graduate students should be obtained through the appropriate graduate field/college by graduate students who plan to attend the May ceremony.