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Information for Visitors

Information about the Class of 2021 Commencement for visitors.

Baccalaureate Mass

Date and Location

Thursday, May 20, at 3 p.m. ET - Fitton Field

COVID Precautions

The ceremony and related events will adhere to all COVID-19 health and safety standards as issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for colleges, universities and K-12 schools. Additional details forthcoming. 

Stadium and Gate Locations

View a stadium seating chart and gate locations (JPG)

Guests

Each graduate may invite two guests to attend Mass. Guests must complete a symptom screening and confirm that they have not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 without having completed the required quarantine period. Your graduate received an email link which they should share with you, for both the e-tickets and the symptom checker. 

This symptom check should be completed the day of the event that you are planning to attend, as you will need to display your result, along with your e-ticket, at the gate. You will also receive a copy of your symptom checker confirmation to the email address you provide when you submit it. Should you experience difficulty with the e-ticket or symptom checker, staff will be on hand at the events to assist you. 

Tickets will be randomly assigned to a section of the stadium seats. Gates will open to guests beginning at 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.

Seating will be first-come, first-served in the assigned section and will be marked in physically distanced spaces; markings will also contain a QR code to view the Commencement program. Guests must remain on marked seating spots. Guests who are members of the same household/group are permitted to sit together and less than 6 feet apart; guests who are not part of the same household/group must be seated at least six feet apart from other guests.

Face coverings must be worn by all in attendance, at all times in accordance with our universal mask policy

There will be no food or drinks served during either event. Bottled water will be provided to guests and graduates, and we encourage everyone to dress appropriately for the weather conditions.

Inclement Weather

In the case of inclement weather, Baccalaureate Mass will be livestreamed from St. Joseph Memorial Chapel. Our capacity in the chapel is very limited due to COVID, so only those individuals who are participating in the Mass will be able to attend in person. 

Livestream

The event will be livestreamed. 

Campus Parking

Guests on Thursday may park in the following locations:

  • Parking Garage
    • Enter through Gate 1; handicap parking available 
  • Other parking spots 
    • Accessible through Gate 2 off College Street - follow Linden Lane to Kimball Road
  • Freshman Field (dry weather permitting) 
    • Accessible by McKeon Road or by Gate 2 once garage is filled 
  • College Street (dry weather permitting)
    • Parking is available in the open lot across College Street from the baseball stadium, on the former Howard Johnson’s site. This lot is accessed directly from College Street, just before Caro Street.
  • Hogan and Luth Lots 
    • Accessible through Upper Campus gate 
  • Shuttles will run from parking areas to the stadium. However, shuttle capacity is limited due to COVID restrictions. 

Parking Map

View a map of parking locations and shuttle pickup/dropoff locations (PNG) 

Information for Guests with Disabilities

Guests using wheelchairs may access the football stadium at Gate # O, off College Street. Guests with limited mobility, but not using wheelchairs, may be dropped off outside the stadium on Fitton Ave, at Gate #1. Guests entering at Gate #1 will need to be able to navigate a few stairs to enter the field.

Please see our campus map for more information on these locations.

Commencement Exercises

Date and Location

Friday, May 21, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. ET - Fitton Field

Arrival of guests will be staggered and gates will open at 8:30 a.m. 

COVID Precautions

The ceremony and related events will adhere to all COVID-19 health and safety standards as issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for colleges, universities and K-12 schools. Learn more »

Stadium and Gate Locations

View a stadium seating chart and gate locations (JPG)

Guests

Each graduate may invite two guests to attend Commencement Exercises. Guests must complete a symptom screening and confirm that they have not had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19 without having completed the required quarantine period. Your graduate received an email link which they should share with you, for both the e-tickets and a symptom checker.  

This symptom check should be completed the day of the event that you are planning to attend, as you will need to display your result, along with your e-ticket, at the gate. You will also receive a copy of your symptom checker confirmation to the email address you provide when you submit it. Should you experience difficulty with the e-ticket or symptom checker, staff will be on hand at the events to assist you. 

Tickets will be randomly assigned to a section of the stadium seats. Gates will open to guests beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Friday morning.

Seating will be first-come, first-served in the assigned section and will be marked in physically distanced spaces; markings will also contain a QR code to view the Commencement program. Guests must remain on marked seating spots. Guests who are members of the same household/group are permitted to sit together and less than 6 feet apart; guests who are not part of the same household/group must be seated at least six feet apart from other guests.

Face coverings must be worn by all in attendance, at all times in accordance with our universal mask policy

There will be no food or drinks served during either event. Bottled water will be provided to guests and graduates, and we encourage everyone to dress appropriately for the weather conditions.

Inclement Weather

The ceremony will be held on Fitton Field rain or shine. If inclement weather forces a cancellation due to safety concerns, we will move to an entirely virtual ceremony which will be broadcast at the established time of 10:30 a.m. on Friday, May 21. The decision to make a change due to weather conditions will be made no later than 7 a.m. on May 21, and communicated immediately thereafter.

Livestream

The event will be livestreamed. The video of the event will also remain online afterward for repeated viewing.

Gatherings and Receptions

We will be unable to host gatherings or receptions prior to or after the Commencement ceremony, per safety standards issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

Post-Commencement

We encourage you to establish a meeting location with your student.

  • We will direct residential students to meet families at the exterior of their residence hall. 
  • Graduates who live on College Hill should meet their families at their off-campus apartments. 
  • Students who live at any other locations should plan to meet at the parking areas.

All families are asked to leave campus after the conclusion of Commencement. 

For students who live on campus, one guest will be permitted within the residence hall to assist with move-out, similar to move-in.

Graduation Photos

We will have a professional photographer on site to capture the moment for your student. Students will be able to pause and remove their mask for a photo, after walking across the Commencement platform. If you would like to order their photo, you can pre-register with Grad Images.

Campus Parking 

Guests on Friday may park in the following locations:

  • Parking Garage
    • Enter through Gate 1; handicap parking available 
  • Other parking spots 
    • Accessible through Gate 2 off College Street - follow Linden Lane to Kimball Road
  • Freshman Field (dry weather permitting) 
    • Accessible by McKeon Road or by Gate 2 once garage is filled 
  • College Street (dry weather permitting)
    • Parking is available in the open lot across College Street from the baseball stadium, on the former Howard Johnson’s site. This lot is accessed directly from College Street, just before Caro Street.
  • Hogan and Luth Lots 
    • Accessible through Upper Campus gate 
  • Shuttles will run from parking areas to the stadium. However, shuttle capacity is limited due to COVID restrictions. 

Parking Map

View a map of parking locations and shuttle pickup/dropoff locations (PNG)

Information for Guests with Disabilities

Guests using wheelchairs may access the football stadium at Gate # O, off College Street. Guests with limited mobility, but not using wheelchairs, may be dropped off outside the stadium on Fitton Ave, at Gate #1. Guests entering at Gate #1 will need to be able to navigate a few stairs to enter the field.

Please see our campus map for more information on these locations.

Animals/Pets at Commencement

For the safety and comfort of the animals and our guests, it is important that pets be left at home. With the exception of service animals, pets of any kind are not allowed on campus. Please do not leave your pet in your vehicle.

Campus Services After Commencement

  • Cool Beans – Open until 5 p.m., Hogan 1
  • Lobby Shop – Open until 5 p.m., Hogan 1
  • Holy Cross Bookstore – Open until 4:30 p.m., Hogan 1 
  • Post Office – Open until 4:30 p.m., Hogan 1
  • Residence Halls – Checkout must be completed by 8 p.m. 

Accommodations/ Area Information

Hotel/Motel

View a list of hotels located in the greater Worcester area. 

Please note: Dinner is not provided on campus on Thursday evening.

Restaurants

View a list of restaurants located in the greater Worcester area. 

Special Needs Arrangements

Public Safety will assist in arranging parking and access for Commencement-related events; this includes guests who use a wheelchair, who have disabled parking placards/license plates, or who have other mobility concerns. Please call 508-793-3475 for assistance and information. 

It is important to allow sufficient time to navigate increased pedestrian and vehicle traffic on campus. We remind you that Holy Cross is located on a hill, and visitors will need to climb stairs when walking from one part of campus to another. Limited campus shuttle service will be available for the Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement.

Contact Information

Should you have any further questions, please contact the Office of Student Affairs at 508-793-3475 or by email at commence@holycross.edu.