Details on Commencement from the Provost

(June 18, 2020)

Dear Massachusetts Maritime Academy Class of 2020,

Congratulations on completion of your four year undergraduate academic program!  You should be very proud of your accomplishments and in particular for the grit you have displayed in these last months.  I know it hasn’t been easy, but you did it.  While we are a bit disappointed that your Commencement is a departure from its traditional format, we are excited to hold a ceremony where you will be seated alongside shipmates with family in attendance.  The ceremonies will be organized by major and take place in the gymnasium parking lot.  Graduates will be seated in chairs eight feet apart, while family members will be seated in cars behind the ceremony watching via large screen and listening on a closed circuit FM channel.  Due to ongoing health concerns related to the pandemic, we have established number of health and safety protocols for the protection of all.  It is imperative that you and your family follow the guidance we have in place.

  1. Arrival. We encourage you and your family to arrive 30-60 minutes prior to your ceremony’s designated start time at Lot C near the entrance to Academy Drive.  Public safety will line cars up in the parking lot and direct traffic toward the gymnasium parking lot. Parking spots will be randomized; an early arrival does not guarantee better viewing.  Please do not arrive earlier than 60 minutes prior to you event, or you will be asked to depart and return at the appointed time. Please be respectful of all in attendance and leave large vehicles at home. 
  2. Assigned seating for Graduates. Once your car has parked in the gym parking lot, you may depart your vehicle and go to your assigned seat.  You will be seated alphabetically by major; your diploma will be on your chair.  You may not switch places with anyone.
  3. During the Ceremony- When your row is called, you will pick up your diploma, re-cover, and line up at preassigned X’s on the right side of the stage (baseball field side).  After ascending the right hand stairway, your name will be called, with diploma in your left hand, you will cross to center stage (marked with an "X"), left face to the audience for a photo. Turn right and render a salute to the Admiral. You will then complete your walk across the stage and descend the stairway on stage left (Academy Drive side) where another photo will be taken by the professional photographer.   You will then return to your car.
  4. Departure from the Ceremony. At the ceremony’s conclusion, Public Safety personnel will begin a row by row departure from the gym lot.  Please wait until your row is called before moving your vehicle.  You must turn left when departing the gym lot and will not be permitted on campus for photographs or visitation.
  5. Photography.  A professional photographer will take two pictures of your special moment; a link to the download will be mailed to you the second week of July. Your family members will not be permitted to exit cars to take photographs and must remain in the car for the duration of the ceremony.  No photographs will be permitted on campus after the ceremony ends.
  6. Technological Support.  We will have two large screens for your family to view the event, which will also be synchronously live streamed.  Audio will be available through large speakers and by a local FM channel.  WiFi can be spotty in the gym parking lot, so hotspots are encouraged if you have connectivity concerns.     
  7. Family Participation.  We are excited to welcome your loved ones to campus, where we can safely host one car per graduate.  For the protection and safety of all, there will be no restroom use on campus. We anticipate the ceremony lasting 45 minutes.  Please plan ahead.  No pets are permitted.  No limos, campers or RVs are permitted.
  8. Uniform: Uniform of the day is Dress Whites, with white shoes, white socks, name tag, ribbons, and cover. If you have any uniform issues, please contact Jim Callan, at the Bookstore, (617) 967-5720.  Please remember this is a special day for everyone, so ensure your hair is neat and well-groomed.  For male cadets, please be clean shaven.  For female cadets, please ensure your hair is neatly put up and above your collar.  We want you looking sharp for Commencement day!
  9. Rain. Regardless of weather, our event will occur outdoors.  Should it rain, graduates will remain inside their cars during the ceremony and exit only to walk across the stage.   
  10. RSVP. Please RSVP to Ms. Wendy Maynard by Sunday, 21 June at 1600 by responding with this Commencement RSVP to help us plan your special day. You will receive more specific details by email by June 24th if you have indicated that you will attend.  If you are unable to participate, we will gladly mail your diploma and license to the address on file with the Registrar’s Office.

We are so pleased to celebrate this special day with you.  As I know you will not, we will never forget the great class of 2020!

CAPT Brigid Pavilonis, Ph.D. USCG (Ret.)
Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
Massachusetts Maritime Academy


Schedule for Commencement 2020

Friday June 26
1800 - All Master’s degree candidates

Saturday June 27
0900 - BS in Marine Engineering
1200 - BS in Facilities Engineering
1500 - BS in Marine Transportation

Sunday June 28
0900 - BS in International Maritime Business
1200 - BS in Energy Systems Engineering and BS in Marine Safety & Environmental Protection
1500 - BS in Emergency Management