Commencement for 2019 graduates will be held at sunset, Friday, May 17, on the College’s historic Bayfront.


2019 information

Commencement for 2019 graduates will be held at sunset, Friday, May 17, on the College’s historic Bayfront.


Thursday, May 16, 2019
4 p.m.: President’s Reception for graduates, their family and faculty, College Hall

Friday, May 17, 2019:

  • 10 a.m.: Graduation Rehearsal (Mandatory) Bayfront
  • 11 a.m.:  Alumni Welcome to Graduates, Bayfront
  • 7 p.m.: Graduation Ceremony Bayfront

Commencement Speaker for 2019

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum
President Emerita, Spelman College

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, is a clinical psychologist widely known for both her expertise on race relations and as a thought leader in higher education. Her 13 years as the president of Spelman College (2002-2015) were marked by innovation and growth and her visionary leadership was recognized in 2013 with the Carnegie Academic Leadership Award. The author of several books including the best-selling “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Other Conversations About Race” (now in a new 2017 20th anniversary edition) and “Can We Talk About Race? and Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation” (2007), Tatum is a sought-after speaker on the topics of racial identity development, race and education, strategies for creating inclusive campus environments, and higher education leadership. In 2005 Dr. Tatum was awarded the prestigious Brock International Prize in Education for her innovative leadership in the field. A Fellow of the American Psychological Association, she was the 2014 recipient of the APA Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Psychology.

A civic leader in the Atlanta community, Dr. Tatum is engaged in educational initiatives designed to expand educational opportunity for underserved students and their families. In Atlanta she serves on the governing boards of the Westside Future Fund, Achieve Atlanta, Morehouse College, the Tull Charitable Foundation and the Georgia Power Company. She is also on the boards of Smith College, TIAA Charitable, and the Educational Testing Service.

She holds a B.A. in psychology from Wesleyan University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan as well as an M.A. in Religious Studies from Hartford Seminary. Over the course of her career, she has served as a faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Westfield State University, and Mount Holyoke College. Prior to her 2002 appointment as president of Spelman, she served as dean and acting president at Mount Holyoke College. In Spring 2017 she was the Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor at Stanford University. She is married to Dr. Travis Tatum; they are the parents of two adult sons.

 Images from the 2018 Commencement:

Where to Stay

Click here for a list of area hotels. Be sure to ask for the special New College rate.

Map and Parking

Click here to view our campus map.

General Parking – As you near campus from any direction, follow the many signs directing you to the parking area near College Hall. Parking attendants will greet and assist you with parking. Handicap parking is available. When you arrive, please let the attendant know you require a handicap space. There will also be golf carts circulating to assist with transportation to the graduation tent.

For questions related to the graduation ceremony, please call 941-487-4100.

Photography and Video

GradImages will be photographing all graduates at the graduation ceremony. Visit their website,, and click on Pre-Event Registration. Enter your email and up to six emails of loved ones who would like to share in your accomplishment by viewing and ordering your photos. After graduation, order online at or call 800-261-2576.

Graduation Announcements

Official announcements are available in the President’s Office – Cook Hall 204. Each student will receive 10 announcements.

Cap and Gown

Academic apparel at Commencement is optional for faculty and students. If you would like to rent regalia, it is available through the Campus Bookstore. Please contact Melissa at the bookstore (941-355-5252 or for more information.