May Commencement Weekend | Graduation | ESF Students
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LIVE May Commencement May 9, 2020

Congratulations to our May Graduates! You've accomplished a huge milestone and we want to celebrate you! Due to COVID-19, we will host a smaller, intimate Live Ceremony on your graduation and official diploma date - Saturday, May 9th. We will also invite you back to campus for our in-person, postponed date later this fall to walk in person with your class. As soon as we know it is safe to gather in a large crowd, we will notify you and update this webpage.

Students who complete degree requirements by Friday, April 24, 2020, may participate in the ESF Virtual Commencement.

Those who graduated in August or December, 2019, may also participate.

NOTE: If you do not meet the Friday, April 24 deadline, your name may not appear in the Commencement program.

ESF LIVE May Commencement Saturday, May 9 at 2pm
Livestreamed from the Gateway Center

ESF will host a LIVE May Commencement featuring our Interim College President, Dr. David Amberg, Interim Provost Dr. David Newman, our student speaker from the Class of 2020 Zachary Warning, the Senior Class Chair to unveil the Class Gift, and remarks from the Alumni Association representative. Each of our Department Chairs will formally announce recognize and announce graduating student names.

Complete Commencement Weekend Schedule



Friday, April 10

Grad student deadline to verify eligibility to graduate and for MS or PhD defenses

Tuesday, April 21

Grad student deadline for final, signed version of thesis or dissertation document and associated paperwork for MS and PhD degrees, or diploma form for MF, MPS, and MLA degrees to Office of Instruction & Graduate Studies

Wednesday, May 6

ESF Champagne Toast - sponsored by the ESF Alumni Association
Special commemorative champagne goblets will be available for the Class of 2020 at Homecoming in October, at the rescheduled Commencement ceremony this fall, in the Alumni Office on campus once the College re-opens, or by mail at the end of the fall semester. However, we did not want the miss the opportunity to "raise our glasses" in your honor, so please watch for a special email this evening at 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 7

The Inclusive Excellence Graduation Reception
Thursday, May 7, 2020 5pm
Location: Zoom. Watch the recorded event on our SUNYESFVideo Youtube channel
Event Description:
The Inclusive Excellence Graduation Reception is a celebration to honor our Students of Color, Graduate Diversity Fellows, LGBTQ+ Students, International Students, CSTEP and EOP Students. This program is sponsored by the Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (OIDE), Office of International Education (OIE), Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP), Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (IDE) Committee, Women’s Caucus, Alumni Affairs, and the Division of Student Affairs. Similar to other programs, we have moved our Inclusive Excellence Graduation Reception to Zoom. Participating students will receive a graduation cord and also a stole which will be mailed to the address provided with RSVP. The cord and stole can be worn during commencement festivities. There is no cost to students associated with the celebration. As part of the ceremony, we are collecting photos and messages of good luck and congratulations to/from our graduates. If you have any photos from your time at ESF, or a message to the graduates that you would like to share, please email those to by Friday, May 1.

You must submit an RSVP by completing this Google Form by Friday, May 1, 2020 to receive the Zoom Link and a cord/stole.

Saturday, May 9

2:00 pm—ESF LIVE May Commencement, Watch on ESFTV, Download Commencement Program (PDF)

Each year during the Champagne Toast, we have a live Twitter feed with messages of congratulations and well wishes from the ESF community.  As we will not be with you in-person this year, we have decided to post all of the messages on the  @sunyesfalumni Twitter feed starting Friday, May 9th.  If you would like to share a message with your fellow graduates, send us an email at or tag us in your tweet and use #ESFToasts.

We want to keep in touch with you as you move on to the next phase of your life. Please fill out the Welcome New Alumni form and help us keep you in touch with the College.  The Alumni Office sends out E-Newsletters, event invitations, special Bookstore offers and more...don't miss out!  Fill out the form today.

Caps and Gowns

Students are able to order their cap and gown (tassels too) and ship to their address. If you would like to change your address or cancel your order, please visit In order to place a new order, you can do so through the Syracuse University Bookstore website.

  • Undergraduates: no charge for cap and gown as it is included in your Undergraduate Commencement fee.
  • Master’s candidates must purchase the master’s recycled keeper cap and gown for $39.95 and hood for $29.95.
  • Doctoral candidates must rent a cap and gown for $46.95. Doctoral candidates who have completed all requirements for the degree will receive a free hood as a gift at a later date.

Please note: you must pre-order your cap and gown by April 24th at the SU Bookstore website.

Academic Gifts

In addition to your academic regalia, the College is committed to sending your diploma holder, ESF flag, and copies of the virtual Commencement program to your diploma address on file. Those items will be shipped late summer when your official diploma is ready. Please be sure to make sure your address is updated if you move this summer.

Yearbook Empire Forester Information

The 2019-2020 Empire Forester Yearbook will still be produced and printed for our students. Each year we feature our graduating seniors from 2019-2020 including senior portraits, senior events, and senior ads. If you would like to submit your senior portrait, please email your JPG headshot and your name as you want it listed in the Yearbook to Laura Crandall at by May 1st.

“I’m Graduating! What Now?”

Need help with job search techniques, writing your resume, interview skills, employer contacts? Have you established contacts to obtain references? There are ways to maintain contact with ESF and to look for employment opportunities. Stop by 105 Bray Hall and see all that is available!

Questions or Concerns?

  • Commencement Weekend and undergraduate questions: Contact the Division of Student Affairs, (315) 470-6660.
  • Graduate student questions: Contact the Office of Instruction and Graduate Studies, (315) 470-6599.

Students wearing their cap and gown