Bowdoin Commencement Bowdoin Commencement

Accessibility Information for Commencement Weekend

Bowdoin College is committed to making its campus accessible to persons with disabilities. If you have questions, please contact the Office of Events and Summer Programs at events@bowdoin.edu or 207-725-3433. Some forms of accessibility aids may need to be arranged in advance, so please notify the Events Office at least two weeks prior to Commencement so we may work with you to address your individual needs.

Parking
Shuttles and Golf Carts
Accessible Seating
Wheelchairs
Meals
Assistive Listening and ASL
Restrooms
Pets and Service Animals

Parking

Accessible parking spaces are designated in all parking areas. A large number of accessible spaces may be found on North Campus Drive for Saturday’s Commencement ceremony and at Watson arena, convenient for Friday’s Baccalaureate ceremony and all meals held at Farley Field House.

Accessible parking spaces are available for guests holding a state issued accessible parking placard. If you do not have an accessible parking placard but will be transporting a guest needing assistance, please contact the Office of Events and Summer Programs to obtain a special parking permit which will allow you to park in the designated accessible areas on campus.

Guests with mobility impairments may be dropped off at the Bowdoin Chapel for Saturday's Commencement ceremony, where golf carts will be available to help transport guests needing assistance, or at the front entrance of Watson Arena for Friday's Baccalaureate ceremony. 

Shuttles and Golf Carts

Golf carts, driven by volunteers, run on Friday beginning at 3:30 p.m. to shuttle guests needing assistance from the main campus to Baccalaureate, from Baccalaureate to the lobster bake, and from the lobster bake to parking. On Saturday, golf carts run between 8:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. from North Campus Drive and the Chapel to the Commencement ceremony. Following the ceremony, both golf carts and larger shuttle buses are available to transport guests from the quad to the luncheon (buses pick up in front of Moulton Union; golf carts pick up in front of the Chapel), and from the luncheon to parking.

Accessible Seating

For the Commencement ceremony, there will be a small tent located on the north (Visual Arts Center) side of the quad seating area serving as an information point for guests needing special assistance with seating and other services. 

Seating for guests in wheelchairs will be located next to the accessible seating information tent. In order to accommodate as many wheelchairs as possible, we ask that the number of additional family members accompanying guests in wheelchairs be kept to a reasonable number in the designated section. All seating is general seating; tickets are not required. Ushers will be available to assist you. Please note the accessible seating section is first-come, first-served.

For Baccalaureate, Watson Arena offers accessible seating on both the main floor and the mezzanine level. The main lobby entrance is accessible to guests with disabilities. Designated seating for guests in wheelchairs will be located in the house left section on the main floor of the arena. Ushers will be available to assist you. In order to accommodate as many wheelchairs as possible, we ask that the number of additional family members accompanying guests in wheelchairs be kept to a reasonable number in the designated sections.

Wheelchairs

A limited number of wheelchairs will be available free of charge and on a first-come, first-served basis for use on campus. Advance reservations, submitted at least two weeks prior to the weekend, are required. Instructions about how to reserve a wheelchair will be available in the Commencement mailing sent to families in early April.

Meals

Vegetarian (V), vegan (VE), gluten free (GF), and nut-free (NF) options are available at Commencement meals with no advance notice required. If you or a family member have a special diet that requires other accommodations, we ask that you contact our dietitian at sdangelo@bowdoin.edu or 207-725-3542 two to three weeks in advance of Commencement. We encourage you to contact our dietitian at any time forr general dietary questions.

Assistive Listening Devices and ASL

Assistive listening devices (free of charge) and American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation will be available at both the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies. Please see an usher for assistance. For security purposes, a driver's license or other identification will be held to check out an assistive listening device.

Restrooms

Accessible restrooms are available near the Commencement site. The most convenient restrooms are located in the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. There are also handicap-accessible restrooms located in Hawthorne-Longfellow Library and David Saul Smith Union. For Baccalaureate and the meals held at Farley Field House, both Watson Arena and Farley Field House have fully accessible restrooms.

Pets and Service Animals

Pets are prohibited inside all College buildings and at all dining events. Service animals are welcome.