Attire for Commencement

Commencement is a special occasion designed to honor and recognize the hard work and accomplishments of students and faculty members in the presence of family, friends, and the Davidson College community. Attire for graduates should be respectful of the ceremony's importance.

Per tradition at Davidson College, graduates wear a plain black cap and gown. The tassel on the cap begins on the right and caps should be parallel to the ground. Beneath the cap and gown, graduates should wear cool, comfortable dress clothes with practical dress shoes. Personal adornments or props are not in keeping with the spirit of the ceremony; however, graduates may wear cords and stoles from recognized Davidson College student organizations. If graduates have questions, please email well in advance of the Commencement ceremony.

Graduating seniors must attend commencement in their regalia, which is available for pickup at Senior Salute in February and at the Registrar's Office during the school year.

Accommodations for Graduating Seniors

Davidson College seeks to ensure full accessibility for students participating in Commencement. Please email if you will need to request an accommodation, such as a processional route and/or seating arrangement that is accessible to you.

Senior Portraits in the Rare Book Room

Graduating seniors have the opportunity to have their portrait taken in the Rare Book Room. The photo is free of charge, and a digital copy is emailed to you. Graduates can choose to dress formally, in their cap and gown or casually. Graduates also have the choice to take an individual portrait, or to take a portrait with friends. Portrait sessions will happen on Reading Day, May 9 between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. No appointment is necessary. For more information, contact Sharon Byrd at

Official Photographer

GradImages is the official photographer for commencement. Pictures may be ordered online, by phone or by mail. You may pre-register with GradImages. This provides you with current information and ensures the delivery of your graduation proofs in a timely manner. If you have any questions, please email GradImages at

Get $5 off on orders of $25 or more just by registering your information with us before your event.

Graduation DVD

Remember this important occasion for years to come by ordering your own DVD. In addition to capturing the graduation ceremony, the DVD will show each graduate receiving his or her diploma. To order your DVD, email ScherShot Productions at or call (704) 395-1700. The cost is $10 per DVD plus tax and shipping.

Guest Lodging Option

Davidson College has once again partnered with Our Towns Habitat, the area's Habitat for Humanity chapter, to provide an alternative to staying in a hotel. The HomeStay (PDF) program allows guests to stay with a host family for a suggested donation of $85, with 100% of your donation going to Our Towns Habitat's Youth Program for use on their next project.

Graduate's Dinner

Graduating seniors and their families are invited to the Graduates' Dinner held at 5:30 p.m. in Vail Commons after Baccalaureate. A limited number tickets are available and may be purchased for $12 each. Tickets can be purchased starting March 1, 2019, through the Union Ticket Office, in person M-F 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., or via phone at 704-894-2135. If you have any questions about the event, please email Traci Russ-Wilson at If you have any trouble purchasing tickets, please email the Union Ticket Office at

On-Campus Dining

For those taking advantage of these alternate viewing options in the Alvarez College Union, the Davis Café, located in the Alvarez Student Union, will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.