This information is adapted from an article in the Spring 2013 Link newsletter, titled “Your Guide to Commencement” by Peggy Harris P’10,’13; Amherst, NH. Updated January 2016.
Reserve Lodging Early
Make room reservations well in advance. Seasoned Deerfield parents know that lodging in Deerfield and the surrounding area fills up early for the Memorial Day weekend. Since many hotels start taking reservations a year out, parents of juniors often check websites at the end of the school year to reserve their spot for the following year’s commencement. The Deerfield Inn takes reservations two years in advance, and Memorial weekend is the first to fill up. You’ll find plenty of choices in the area by searching for rooms in the 01342 zip code, or checking DA’s Lodging page.
Send out Invitations and Announcements
Send out invitations and announcements promptly. Parents receive a box of 10 invitations to Commencement. In the case of divorced parents, Deerfield Academy has sent each parent a box of invitations along with a reply form. In this instance, the Academy expects two reply forms for the graduating senior. In addition, many parents also like to send graduation announcements to friends and family who will not be attending commencement. Since announcements are not provided by Deerfield, parents may use the DA logo to design and order their own announcements.
Return your RSVPs
Guests should return RSVPs to the student’s parent, who will RSVP for the entire group by the designated deadline. It is especially important that you know the number of guests who will be attending the Class Dinner Dance on Saturday evening. Your RSVP response will determine how many bracelets are made available to your party to provide admission to this event. Also note that if your guest list changes after your RSVP has been submitted, you can email your updates. Note about Guest Limits: While Deerfield has never capped the number of guests per graduate, we hope that 10 invitations are sufficient. Please contact Jenny Hammond (firstname.lastname@example.org or 413-774-1801) if you need more invitations. Extended family members are welcome to all events planned by the Advancement office.
Start Packing for Move-Out
Many parents say that moving out was one of the most stressful experiences during commencement weekend. Graduates will be expected to be out of their room and off campus by 2pm on Sunday. Since Commencement is usually over around 11:45 am, you won’t have a lot of time to get everything done. To lighten the load on move-out day get packing supplies early, have your child box up what is no longer needed, and remove as much as you can before Sunday. If you plan to be on campus Spring Family Weekend, this is a good time to get started.
Accessible seating is available under the Commencement tent. Be sure to indicate on your RSVP if you or a guest needs to sit in this area during Commencement.
With the variety of activities going on over the weekend, you may want to bring a couple of different selections of semi-casual attire which includes:
Once commencement arrives, relax and enjoy the weekend. The best way to do that is to know what to expect from each day. A few of the activities you’ll want to start out with are listed below.
Get the most out of your last days on campus. Here are Saturday’s highlights:
Here’s what you can expect on Commencement Day.
In addition to sharing fond farewells with classmates, and thanking friends and relatives who have attended, both students and parents will want to say their goodbyes to faculty members. These adults have played such a central role in our children’s lives and are often the unsung heroes of graduation. Carving out time to thank and bid farewell to these folks is more than worthwhile. They will be lasting touchstones for our children in the years to come.
Upon graduating from Deerfield, alumni enter a diverse network of former Deerfield students. Deerfield alumni have ventured into almost every area of employment, and many are at the top of their respective fields. The advantages of this vast network are numerous and significant, as every member of the Deerfield family receives the following:
Alumni are also eligible for alumni awards, such as the Ashley Award, Heritage Award, and the Mimi Morsman Award.
There are no membership fees or dues for members of the Deerfield family, but Deerfield does ask for assistance in a few areas. First of all, in order for Deerfield to have the most up-to-date records possible, we encourage members to keep us apprised of their current contact info. Alumni are also urged to direct all concerns and suggestions regarding Deerfield’s operations through the Executive Committee, the governing body of the Alumni Association. The committee acts as the voice of the alumni body, and works closely with the school administration. In order to keep tuition affordable and the quality of a Deerfield education at its highest, the Academy depends upon the continuing support of alumni and their families. This support can take the form of annual or capital gifts, or time spent volunteering on behalf of Deerfield.
There are Deerfield Clubs in many major American cities. Please visit here for more information on specific clubs and their sponsored events.
Of course! Be sure to read the latest issue of From Albany Road in your email’s in-box for current news of what is happening on campus. As we also send out periodic invitations, it’s always best to make sure we have your current physical address. And if you do plan on visiting campus, why not tell us ahead of time?