Schedule of Events

Friday, May 25

 5–10 p.m. Early Housing Check-In

Ellingson Hall

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 26

12–7 p.m. Registration and Check-In

Buntrock Commons, Crossroads

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

Skoglund Auditorium

This combined concert provides an opportunity to celebrate the musical talents of the St. Olaf Band, St. Olaf Choir, and St. Olaf Orchestra, 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.


9:15 p.m. Illumination Ceremony

Mellby Lawn

This ceremony honors seniors as they transition from life as a student to becoming 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 27

7:30–9 a.m. Breakfast

Buntrock Commons, Stav Hall
Pay at the door.

8 a.m.–2:30 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 2018. 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 ($13 for adults, $7 child ages 6-12). There is no charge for students with a valid Ole Card.


12–2 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.

2 p.m. Line up for Seniors

Tostrud Center, lower level

Seniors should arrive in cap and gown with tassel.

3 p.m. Commencement

Commencement is scheduled to be outdoors on the Campus Green between Mellby and Tomson halls; no tickets are required for general seating at this location. In the event of severe weather or major safety hazards, commencement will be held in Skoglund Center Auditorium and tickets will be required. Each senior participating in the graduation ceremony is eligible for three tickets. Seniors must select tickets online in March. No tickets will be available after Friday, April 28. If your family will need more than three tickets, seniors are encouraged to ask classmates for extras.

Accessible seating is available on the Campus Green and in Skoglund Center Auditorium. Tickets are required for this section whether the ceremony is indoors or outside.  Seniors may exchange two of their three general seating tickets for two in accessible seating in the College Events Office (Alumni Hall 160). If you have questions about seating for physically challenged guests, call the College Events Office 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 on the Campus Green or inside Skoglund will be announced Sunday morning during Baccalaureate. If the ceremony will take place inside, the news will be posted in Buntrock Commons and on the college website, and available at 507-786-2222.

Inside or outside, the ceremony will be broadcast at various indoor locations on campus. No tickets are required at these broadcast locations. We encourage families with elderly guests or small children to take advantage of the simulcast locations.