Dean College

  • 7 Dean College Commencement Traditions

    Commencement Traditions

    This Saturday, May 5, 2018, Dean College will hold its 152nd Commencement. Times have changed since Dean’s founding in 1865, but our traditions still live on. Read on for a list of commencement traditions that will be incorporated into this Saturday’s exercises!

    1. Commencement is a tradition of itself and one of the most honored traditions at Dean College. It is the time of year to recognize the hard work and achievements of our graduates both in and outside of the classroom. Students begin their journey to the Commencement area by walking across the bridge in the Campus Center, which is lined with all of the faculty and staff, who are there to applaud them for their accomplishments.

    2. The 50th Society. On Commencement day, you’ll notice a lot of people in yellow robes. That’s the 50th Society! The Dean College 50th Society is a group of our most seasoned and valued alumni, comprised of alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago from Dean College. Each year, Society members return to campus to participate in Commencement activities and to induct the newest class, those celebrating their 50th Reunion. These valuable alumni offer a window to the past for our current graduates while they experience the opportunity of reliving their own special day with fellow alumni. 

    3. The Hanging Flowers. These beautiful flowers are a part of one of the longest standing traditions for Commencement dating back to the days of Dean Academy. Dean Academy graduates would walk under a trellis of wisteria prior to the ceremony. Those who walk under the wisteria are said to be bestowed with immortality and longevity. This tradition is still a significant part of the ceremony today.

    4. Commencement Student Speakers. Each year, we select student representatives to give messages to the graduating class. Selections are based on recommendations, academics and an overall commitment to Dean College. This year, Nabeel Barqawi has been selected as the student speaker! To learn more about Nabeel, click here!

    5. Boomer! Each graduate, faculty and staff member pat our bronze Boomer statue on the head during procession into the ceremony.

    6. Student Performances. In the early 1900s, pageants and more complex performances were a feature of every Commencement celebration. Today’s Commencement ceremonies include musical performances by Dean’s very own graduating students.

    7. Dean College Family Diplomas. Dean College gives any College staff the opportunity to give their child/family member the diploma at Commencement. You might see a few parents on stage!

    Remember to check out these traditions on Saturday. Congratulations Class of 2018!

    Dean College’s 152nd Commencement Exercises will take place on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at Dean College, 99 Main Street, Franklin, MA. For more information, visit

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