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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, 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 and 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 may pick up two extreme weather tickets from the REgistrar's upon completion of their senior survey. 

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 be notified via text and email notification should the college implement the Extreme Weather plan. Graduating seniors should report to the downstairs multi-purpose gym in the Sherwood Athletics Center to pick up packets from 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.


Faculty will be notified via text and email notification should the college implement the Extreme Weather plan. Faculty in regalia marching in Commencement should report to the Varsity gym in the Sherwood Athletics Center. Faculty will process in behind graduating seniors via the ramp exit at Sherwood Center and will take their seats on stage. Faculty must be in academic regalia for admittance to Cordiner Hall without Extreme Weather Plan tickets.

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 Auditorium
  • Last names beginning M-S: Maxey Auditorium
  • Last names beginning T-Z: Catharine Chism Auditorium

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 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.

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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