Schedule of Events

Friday, May 27

 5–10 p.m. Early Housing Check-In

Families traveling from afar may wish to spend Friday night in the residence halls. An early housing check-in location will be provided at Ellingson Hall. If your family cannot arrive by 10 p.m., please check them in at Ellingson Hall on their behalf.

Saturday, May 28

12–6 p.m. Registration and Check-In

Buntrock Commons, Crossroads

 2–4:30 p.m. Celebration Concert with the St. Olaf Orchestra, St. Olaf Choir, and St. Olaf Band

Skoglund Auditorium

This combined concert provides an opportunity to celebrate the musical talents of the St. Olaf Orchestra, St. Olaf Choir, and St. Olaf Band, as well as the outgoing seniors in those ensembles. This event is free and open to the public.

6–8:30 p.m. Graduation Gala

Buntrock Commons

Graduating seniors and their guests are invited to this special event that offers a variety of extraordinary cuisine. This progressive reception-style meal will feature passed hors d’oeuvres and stations throughout Buntrock Commons. Since seating is limited, we will have bite-sized and grab-and-go items that will be easy to nosh. Come when you can, leave when you must. Tickets required for all attendees ($35 per person). Ole Cards are not valid for this meal. Dressy-casual attire is suggested.

9 p.m. Illumination Ceremony and Lighting

Old Main Lawn

This ceremony honors seniors as they transition from life as a student to coming a member of the St. Olaf alumni community. The class lanterns will be placed on the campus green on Saturday and students are encouraged to locate their personalized lantern sometime during the day, leaving them in place until after the brief ceremony at 9 p.m. Following the ceremony, everyone is invited to the campus green to enjoy the glow of the lanterns while listening to live music. Refreshments will be served. At the end of the evening seniors may take their lantern home as a remembrance of their time on the Hill.

Sunday, May 29

7:30–9 a.m. Breakfast

Buntrock Commons, Stav Hall
Pay at the door.

8 a.m.–2 p.m. Registration and Check-In

Buntrock Commons, Crossroads

9–10 a.m. Baccalaureate

Skoglund Auditorium

Graduating seniors and their families and friends are invited to gather to worship and give thanks to God for the life and the community that was shared by the Class of 2016. This capstone worship service is led by the college pastors and will feature the St. Olaf Band and the St. Olaf Choir.

10 a.m.–1 p.m. Brunch

Buntrock Commons, Stav Hall

Enjoy brunch with family, friends, and students. Tickets are required ($16 for adults, $8 child ages 6-12). There is no charge for students with a valid Ole Card.

10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Academic Department Receptions

Prior to Commencement, seniors and their families are invited to attend academic department receptions at various locations across campus. A complete list of reception locations will be printed in the Schedule of Events, available at Registration.

12:30 p.m. Line up for Seniors

Tostrud Center, lower level

A light snack will be provided for seniors, who should arrive in cap and gown.

1 p.m. Seating opens for Commencement

Commencement will take place on Manitou Field today

2–4 p.m. Commencement

Commencement is scheduled to be outdoors on Manitou Field; no tickets are required for general seating at this location. If it rains, Commencement will be held in Skoglund Center Auditorium and tickets will be required. Shuttles will run between Buntrock Commons and the Commencement location. Campus wheelchairs are limited to emergency use only. If you need a wheelchair for use throughout the weekend, you will need to make arrangements with your local medical supply store.

Each graduating senior is entitled to two tickets for his or her guests. Seniors must order their tickets online before Friday, April 29. No tickets will be available after this date. If your family will need more than two tickets, seniors are encouraged to enter the ticket lottery and to ask classmates for extras.

Special seating is available at Manitou Field and Skoglund Center Auditorium for those who cannot climb bleacher steps. Please note that tickets for this section are required whether Commencement is indoors or outdoors. Seniors may exchange their two general seating tickets for two in special seating in the College Events Office (Alumni Hall 160) at any time prior to Commencement. If you have questions about seating for physically challenged guests, please call the Office of College Events at 507-786-3811 or email If you will not see your student before Commencement, he or she may leave tickets at the information desk in Buntrock Commons.

The decision to hold Commencement outdoors or indoors is made Sunday morning and is announced during Baccalaureate. If Commencement will be held indoors, announcements will be posted in Buntrock Commons, available through the college switchboard at 507-786-2222, and posted on the college website.

Whether Commencement is held in Skoglund Center Auditorium or outside on Manitou Field, the ceremony will be broadcast at various indoor locations on campus. No tickets are required at these broadcast locations.

4:30 p.m. Commencement Reception

Stav Dining Hall
Graduates and their guests are invited to celebrate together following the ceremony.