Commencement Events

Dear Class of 2021 and parents,

We are only two months away from commencement ceremonies!  We look forward to celebrating all of our graduating seniors, May 22-23.  We already know we will miss our class of 2021!

Below is the schedule of events for Commencement festivities and answers to the most frequently asked questions.  This schedule will help guide you as you make your preliminary plans. 

Events will be modified this year to accommodate COVID safety protocols. Final protocols will be provided by May 1.

If you have questions about commencement or the events leading up to the ceremony, please contact Lois Utt in the Head of School Office at or 919-424-4038.


Wednesday, May 12

Senior Meeting 
3:30 p.m.

Required meeting for all seniors in Pittman Auditorium. Instructions for graduates regarding safety protocols, attire, event locations, and pick-up of gowns and cords will be included.

Monday, May 17

Truckin’ in the Grove

Our seniors join with all other students to celebrate the coming end of year with an evening of fun and yummy food!  Sponsored in full by a thoughtful Saint Mary’s alumna, this evening in the Grove features several private food trucks, a DJ, and more. A relaxing and tasty evening for all!

Wednesday, May 19

Spring Sports Assembly 
9 – 10 a.m.

We will celebrate our spring athletes during our Connected Saints Community Time.  A recording of the program will be shared with parents.

Friday, May 21

Graduation Practice and Honors Convocation
10:30 a.m. -12 p.m.

Practice includes a complete walk-through of the commencement ceremony.  Attire for this practice is professional.  Graduates MUST bring their caps and gowns and the shoes they plan to wear on commencement day. The senior group photo will be taken at 10:30 a.m., by Photospecialties (not a public photo shoot). 

Honors Convocation in Pittman Auditorium  
1:30 p.m.

Our community will celebrate our students’ accomplishments for the school year during Honors Convocation.  Attendance is required for all students and professional dress is expected.  A livestreaming link will be shared with parents.

Saturday, May 22

Senior Dinner for all graduates and guests, Hannah Smith Quad 
6 p.m.

We strongly encourage all seniors and 5 guests to join us for a special dinner and evening of activities. Dinner will be family style, with each family seated at their own table. Attire is dressy casual (no jeans, jackets are optional). Following dinner, everyone is invited to the Farewell Program in the Grove. There is a $18 per person charge for dinner (excluding graduates or other Saint Mary’s students).

Farewell Program in the Grove  
7:30 p.m.

This program includes remarks from the Parents Association president, performances by ECHO and Ladies in Blue, and the much-anticipated Senior Slideshow. 

Sunday, May 23

Baccalaureate Service in the Chapel 
9:30 a.m.

Seating at the Chapel Baccalaureate Service is limited to our graduating seniors. Graduates should arrive by 9:15 a.m. and will wear their caps and gowns.  Guests may be seated in the Grove and view the program through livestreaming.

Commencement ceremony seating in the Grove 
10:15 a.m.

Guests, limited to 5 per student, will be seated as a family “pod” and socially distanced from other families. The order of seating will be determined by a random lottery.

Commencement ceremony procession 
10:30 a.m.

The ceremony begins with the procession of graduates down the steps of Smedes Hall to the front gates and back to Smedes Hall down the Grove’s center walkway.