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Commencement Information for Guests

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Q&A for Commencement guests
We’ve gathered some frequently asked questions and answers to help you plan a great stay and celebration in Vermont. Please feel free to be in touch with our Commencement Coordinator, Courtney Potter with any questions. She’ll be glad to answer them for you! Email

Are Commencement events located indoors or outdoors? How should I dress?
Several commencement events will be held under a tent. Check the weather for central Vermont and pack accordingly. Layers are good; make sure open-toes shoes are not your only footwear. Bring an umbrella and sunscreen, you may need both in the course of one day! The Reception following the Commencement Ceremony will take place under a tent on the Debevoise back lawn.

Where should I park?
Parking around the village green on commencement day is reserved for emergency services and guests with special needs. You can park in VLGS parking lots located on the north and south ends of campus, just past the bridge when coming into town. If those lots are full, drive up Chelsea Street and turn left on Windsor Street at the village green. Two blocks to the south is the White River Valley High School parking lot. It’s a short walk to the village green from any of these parking lots.

A member of my party has mobility impairments. What accommodations are available?
For the ceremony, there will be accessible parking on South Windsor Street, the “church” side of the green. There is also a place on the same side of the green to drop off and pick up. The left front section of the commencement tent is reserved to allow easier access to parking. For assistance, please see an usher.

The Commencement Reception will be held on the lawn behind Debevoise Hall. There will be some parking behind the Cornell Library following the ceremony. Please click here to visit our campus map.

What policies are in place regarding COVID-19?
At this time, all COVID-19 policies have been lifted. Proof of vaccination is not required, and masks are optional. Guests and participants should feel comfortable wearing masks at any time during the ceremony (and other related events) if they so choose.

Do I need a ticket to get into the Commencement Ceremony?
No. Tickets will not be required for entrance into the Commencement tent. We expect more than 1,000 guests, so arrive early, as seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. If you need assistance, ask an usher to help you. Families with young children may want to sit on the outside of the tent so children can play on the grass. You will be able to see and hear no matter where you sit in the tent.

Is there a designated area for taking photographs at Commencement?
A team of professional photographers will photograph each graduate as they receive their diploma and hood. In order to get a great photo of each graduate, it is important that photographers have a clear line of sight to the platform when each graduate is hooded.

Understanding guests’ desires to try to capture the moment themselves, we will set aside a small area for photographing graduates as they receive their diplomas. Please come to this area moments before your graduate’s name is called and depart as soon as they leave the stage. It is important to keep this area accessible to all guests, and to keep the center aisle and stage area accessible to the graduates as they come forward to receive their diplomas.

Following commencement, please check back for a link to purchase photos.

Can I bring my dog to the Commencement Ceremony?
We ask that you keep your dog at home for the time you will be visiting South Royalton. With the exception of service dogs, the town does not allow dogs on the village green and dogs are not invited into buildings on the VLGS campus. If you do bring your dog, please obey South Royalton’s leash law. Do not leave pets unattended in your vehicle.

Where can I get coffee, flowers, or a gift on Commencement Day?
The South Royalton Market and First Branch Coffee (on the village green) have coffee, tea, and baked goods available. Flowers will be available at Barrister’s Book Shop on the corner of Chelsea and Windsor streets. VLGS diploma frames and other gifts can be purchased at Barrister’s Book Shop as well. The United Church of Royalton (also on the village green) invites guests to use their restrooms. Portable toilets will be stationed on the village green.

What if it rains?
The Commencement Ceremony and Reception will be held outside under a large tent on the village green RAIN OR SHINE. If there is exceptionally heavy rain, the Reception may be moved inside.

Will the Commencement Ceremony be livestreamed?
Unreliable WiFi service in our rural area prevents us from livestreaming. However, the Ceremony will be recorded, and the video posted to our website within a day or two.

Will my cell phone work in South Royalton?
Wireless Internet access is available for guests of Vermont Law and Graduate School in the Chase Center and the Cornell Library. Wireless Internet is also available at several area businesses, including Barrister’s Book Shop.

How do I get to Vermont Law and Graduate School?
Visit our directions page here.


For more information about Vermont Law and Graduate School’s 2023 Commencement events, contact:

Courtney Potter
Vermont Law and Graduate School
PO Box 96
South Royalton, VT 05068

For accommodations questions related to physical disabilities, contact:

Lisa Ryan
Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion