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Extreme Weather Plan

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, notifications will be sent to graduating students, faculty and staff using the emergency alert system by 10 a.m. on the day of commencement. The information will be posted on the Whitman website and social media channels and Whitman staff will help direct guests to alternate locations.

Time and Location

If extreme weather requires moving the ceremony indoors, commencement will be delayed and moved into Cordiner Hall. Additional communications will indicate the new start time. 


Each graduating senior may request two extreme weather tickets in advance, using the 2024 Extreme Weather Ticket Request form. Students may choose to send two tickets to one person or one ticket each to two people. If the Extreme Weather Plan is activated, guests will receive their tickets via text.

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 should report to the downstairs varsity gym in the Sherwood Athletics Center to pick up packets from the Registrar and take their senior class photo. The commencement marshals will line up seniors in marching order in Sherwood Athletics Center and instruct them when to process to Cordiner Hall.

Viewing Locations

Parents, families and guests of graduating seniors without Extreme Weather Plan tickets may watch the ceremony via livestream video from the following locations, based on the last name of the graduate they are here to support:

  • Last names beginning A–G: Reid Campus Center, Young Ballroom
  • Last names beginning H–L: Olin Auditorium
  • Last names beginning M–S: Maxey Auditorium
  • Last names beginning T–Z: Chism Recital Hall

50th Reunion Class

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


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 people needing American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation in Cordiner Hall. Graduates who are hosting guests who would benefit from ASL interpretation should contact Maggie Eaheart.

Additional questions about the Extreme Weather Plan? Please contact the Office of Conferences and Events at commencement@whitman.edu or 509-527-5251.

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