Commencement Staff FAQ

Why are there three Commencement ceremonies this year?

  • We have more students graduating than ever before. Because we can no longer accommodate all of our graduating masters and doctoral students and their guests in one ceremony, we added a third ceremony.

Why are staff being assigned to work at Commencement rather than ask for volunteers as in past years?

  • We need everyone on hand for Simmons's most important day of the year to adequately staff three ceremonies in one day.
  • Ceremony 1 needs 100 staff, ceremony 2 needs 150 staff, and ceremony 3 needs 150 staff. It would be too long a day to have staff work all three and we haven't had enough volunteers to adequately staff two in some years.
  • The commencement shifts are 6.5 hours or less and we can't do it without you!

How do I know if I am to stay on campus as essential staff on Commencement day?

  • Most departments will close that day. The managers of those areas that must be open will identify team members to staff their offices.

What do I do if I am sick that day?

  • Call into your manager as usual and call into the Commencement Staff Coordinator (that number will be provided with training materials).

What types of jobs will staff perform at Commencement?

  • Student check-in (giving the student their name card and directions to their line; handing out diplomas after the ceremony)
  • Various roles in student line-up (herding; counting; helping students with hoods, caps, etc.)
  • Greet and hand programs to guests
  • Check in staff before each shift
  • End of day wrap-up

Will there be training?

  • We will have two Commencement staff info sessions in the weeks before Commencement. Please watch for an invite via email.
  • We will send job descriptions via email and have a meeting at the start of the shift.
  • A "Captain" will lead each work assignment for each shift.

What happens if it rains?

  • Commencement will happen rain or shine. Student line-up is under tents and so are the ceremonies.

Is there a dress code?

  • Business casual, but comfortable (especially footwear and outer layers) Sneakers are OK, but no jeans please.
  • The venue is on Boston harbor and it can be cool. Please watch the weather forecast and dress appropriately and in layers.

Do I have to stay at the venue for my entire shift?

  • Yes, we need staff to stay at the venue to prepare for the next ceremony.

Are there any jobs that I can do while sitting?

  • Yes, we have several jobs that can be done while sitting. If you need a sitting job, please indicate that on your survey or contact provostoffice@simmons.edu with the request.

How do I get to the venue?

  • Staff can take a shuttle to and from Simmons; request parking near the venue at no cost; or get reimbursed through Workday if you park on your own in the area with permission; no Uber or Lyft, etc. The venue is on the MBTA Silver line. At South Station (Red Line) take the Silver Line outbound three stops to "Silver Line Way." Once you get off the bus, you'll be able to see the Pavilion -- it's about a block away.

Will Simmons provide food?

  • Yes, a snack and a meal for each shift.

Who can I contact if I have questions?

  • Please email provostoffice@simmons.edu and put Commencement Staff in the subject line.