In the event of extreme weather, the following alternative plan for the Commencement Ceremony will take place. Extreme Weather is defined as conditions which are unsafe, such as severe winds, lightning or hail, as opposed to conditions which are uncomfortable such as rain, heat, or cold. 


Should the college implement the Extreme Weather Plan, text and email notifications will be sent out to students, faculty, and staff; an alert will be posted on the Whitman website and social media channels; and Whitman staff will help direct guests to an alternate commencement location.

Time & Location

The Commencement Ceremony will be delayed until 12 p.m. to allow Whitman staff sufficient time to stage the ceremony indoors. 

All graduating seniors will participate in a single ceremony in Cordiner Hall, beginning at 12 p.m. Cordiner Hall doors will open at 11:30 a.m.


Each senior will receive two Extreme Weather Plan tickets prior to Commencement. Upon completion of their senior survey, students may pick up Extreme Weather Plan tickets in the Registrar's Office to be used in the event Commencement is moved indoors. Note the Registrar's office will close for the weekend at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 17.

Due to limited seating, security will redirect family members and guests without Extreme Weather Plan tickets to alternate viewing locations according to the last name of their graduating senior (see "Viewing Locations" below). Tickets are not required at these venues.


Graduating seniors will meet at 10:30 a.m. in the downstairs multi-purpose gym in the Sherwood Athletics Center to pick up packets from Registrar and take their senior class photo. The Commencement marshal will line up seniors in marching order in Sherwood Athletics Center and instruct them when to process to Cordiner Hall.


Faculty will arrive at Cordiner Hall at 11:30 a.m. to take their seats onstage. There will NOT be a faculty processional, and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Faculty must be in academic regalia for admittance to Cordiner Hall without Extreme Weather Plan tickets.

50th Reunion Class

The 50th Reunion Class and their families will move to Kimball Theatre in Hunter Conservatory to watch the ceremony via webcast.

Viewing Locations

Parents, Families and Guests of Graduating Seniors without Extreme Weather Plan tickets may watch the ceremony via live webcast from the following locations:

  • Last names beginning A-G: Young Ballroom in Reid Campus Center
  • Last names beginning H-L: Olin 130
  • Last names beginning M-S: Maxey Auditorium
  • Last names beginning T-Z: Catharine Chism Auditorium


A designated seating area in the Young Ballroom in Reid Campus Center will be provided for all guests with wheelchairs and walkers to be able to watch the Commencement ceremony via webcast.

A small section of seats will be reserved for hearing-impaired guests near the ASL signer in Cordiner Hall. Hearing-impaired guests should contact the Academic Resource Center prior to Commencement to receive Extreme Weather Plan Tickets: (509) 527-5213.

Lunch Reception

In case of heavy rain or extreme weather, the lunch reception following the Commencement ceremony will take place in the Sherwood Athletics Center across the street from Cordiner Hall. Parents, families, and guests of graduating seniors are welcome to attend this event.

Additional questions about the Extreme Weather Plan? Please contact Jordan Schilling at or (509) 527-5251.