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  • Saturday, May 14, at 10 a.m.

    Graduation for overview

    Commencement will be held outside rain or shine under a large tent. We recommend that you dress comfortably for the weather and wear shoes suitable for walking on grass.

    Saint Joseph’s College is proud to be a tobacco-free campus.

    Baccalaureate Mass

    Friday, May 13, at 4:30 p.m.

    Please join us for the opening of the Commencement celebrations with Baccalaureate Mass on Friday, May 13, at 4:30 p.m. Mass will take place outside under the tent.

    Students and faculty will robe and march in procession for Mass. There will be no assigned seating for family and friends. Tickets are not required.

    If you have requested special needs parking for Saturday, please bring that parking pass with you to park as needed on Friday.

    Continental Breakfast

    Saturday, May 14

    Complimentary continental breakfast will be served in the dining hall from 7 to 9 a.m. for all of our Commencement guests.

    Honorary Degree Recipients

    The honorary degree recipients for the College’s spring 2016 Commencement are as follows:

    Anna Gould, philanthropist and co-founder of Camp Sunshine

    Anna Gould of Bedford, Massachusetts, is a distinguished philanthropist, most notably in her capacity as a founder of Camp Sunshine, the only retreat program in the world serving children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. For the past 32 years, since its 1984 inception in Casco, Maine, Gould’s leadership and vision have been vital to the program and its development. Today, she serves as chair of the Board of Directors. In addition to her dedication to Camp Sunshine, Gould has served as a trustee to Boca Raton Academy and Pine Crest School, both in Florida, was a co-owner of the successful Point Sebago Resort, and currently maintains an active role on the Lahey Hospital Women’s Leadership Council. She gives her time to support issues and programs about which she cares deeply.

    Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, physician and human rights activist

    Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish of Toronto, Canada, is a Palestinian physician and an internationally recognized human rights and inspirational peace activist. He is devoted to advancing health and education opportunities for women and girls in the Middle East, through both his research and his charitable organization, the Daughters for Life Foundation. Dr. Abuelaish was born and raised in the Jabalia Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip and has overcome many personal hardships, including poverty, violence, and the horrific tragedy of his three daughters’ and niece’s deaths in the 2009 Gaza War. His bestselling autobiography, I Shall Not Hate, documents the journey of his loss and transformation, serving as a testament to his commitment to forgiveness as the ultimate tool in conflict resolution. A three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Dr. Abuelaish currently lives with his five children in Canada where he teaches as an associate professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.

    Sister Mary Kneeland ’73, former treasurer to the College and member of the Sisters of Mercy

    Sister Mary Kneeland ’73 of Standish, Maine, has devoted more than 55 years of her life to the mission of the Sisters of Mercy, and specifically to the mission of Saint Joseph’s College. Sr. Kneeland has been with the College ever since she first entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1959. While taking classes at Saint Joseph’s College, she assisted with the Capital Fund Drive and managed the bookstore before being appointed to assistant treasurer in 1973, and subsequently was made treasurer in 1987. In addition to her work at the College, Sr. Kneeland has acted as a trustee for the Mercy Endowment Foundation and has served the Visual Education Center in Portland, holding various positions of leadership as a board member, chairman, secretary, and treasurer. Sr. Kneeland has devoted herself tirelessly to the College and its students, and still continues to volunteer in the library on a regular basis. In 2005, Saint Joseph’s unveiled the Sister Mary Kneeland Dining Room in recognition of her lasting impact on the College.

    Each will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters Honorary Degree. Dr. Abuelaish will address the graduating class at Commencement.

    Class of 2016 Valedictorian

    Michelle Stansfield ’16 will serve as the valedictorian of the on-campus senior class.

    Michelle Stansfield ’16 of Berwick, Maine, attended Noble High School before selecting Saint Joseph’s to earn her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Her interest in nursing comes from a desire to make a difference in the lives of patients and help them through difficult times. In the spring of 2015, Stansfield was selected to join the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She is also a member of the Student Nurses Association and has been on the Dean’s List three times. Her post-grad plans include utilizing her degree to pursue work on a pediatric or maternity unit.

    Online Student Speaker

    Patricia Kearney Luvin, who earned her Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology, will be the student speaker representing the College’s Online Class of 2016.

    Patricia Kearney Luvin lives in Rockville Centre, New York, and is a certified Catholic chaplain. Currently, Patricia is a spiritual care coordinator for Metropolitan Jewish Health Systems, serving as a chaplain to their hospice and palliative care patients. Additionally, she is the presenter for the Eucharistic Ministers for the Sick and Homebound at the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Luvin has also been a speaker on the “power of presence” to different organizations. An active member of St. Agnes Cathedral Parish and a member of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, Patricia’s future plans are to continue her education and inform others on the importance of spiritual care to living life fully. 

    Live Stream of Commencement Exercises

    Commencement exercises will be streamed live over the Internet for friends and family members of the graduating Class who cannot attend the May 14 ceremony. You can tune in to the event by visiting the online live stream.

    Note: Commencement will be broadcast and available for viewing in the Alfond Center (no tickets required). 

    Moving out

    Saturday, May 14

    Public Safety recommends families of students who live on campus plan to start moving after 2 p.m. once campus traffic has reduced. Please be considerate of the traffic flow following the ceremony when parking and moving out of the resident halls. Graduating students will need to be out of the resident halls by 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 14.

  • Tickets etc
    Cap & Gown, Tickets
    Parking and Accessibility
    Social Media

    Caps and Gowns

    During graduation week, the bookstore will be open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.The store has a wide variety of College apparel and gifts, and will also have diploma frames on sale.

    On-campus students will be notified when their cap and gown are available to pick up. Students must have their student ID to get their cap and gown.

    Online graduates can pick up their cap and gown on campus during the hours the bookstore is open. If you plan on picking up your apparel on Saturday morning, we recommend you get there when the store opens at 8 a.m.


    Only guests with tickets will be admitted into graduation. Please make sure to have your tickets in hand.

    On-Campus Graduates
    • Graduation tickets will be distributed to campus students at the “Senior Send Off” Fair in April. Students MUST present a proper ID to receive tickets (SJC Student ID is accepted). If students are unable to pick up tickets at the fair, tickets are available in the Registrar’s Office following the fair.
    • Each campus student will receive a limited amount of guest tickets for seating under the Commencement Tent.
    • Guest without tickets are welcome to watch the ceremony at the satellite viewing in the Alfond Center Gymnasium. No limit to guests in this area and no tickets are required.
    • Children under the age of four (4) don’t need tickets, if they are going to sharing a seat with an adult.
    Additional Tickets
    • Any campus students not expecting to use all their tickets are asked to return extra guest tickets for Commencement to the Student Activities office, by Friday, April 29.
    • Any additional tickets will be available on Monday, May 2, in the Student Activities office, on a first come first serve basis. There is a limit on additional tickets per student.
    Online Graduates

    Online graduates will have tickets mailed to them by mid-April.


    The road that the College is located on, Whites Bridge Road, can get backed up on the morning of Commencement. You could experience some delays. Be sure to give yourself enough time. We suggest that you arrive on campus as early as you can. We recommend that you arrive before 9 a.m.

    Parking will be available on campus. Due to the considerable need for parking, we ask that you and your guests carpool to campus on Saturday. This will help to improve our parking and traffic situation. You will enter the campus from Whites Bridge Road. As you proceed there will be staff to show you the way. Please do not stop your car to ask questions at the entrance, as this will bring the traffic flow to a halt.


    Accessible parking and seating will be available for guests with limited mobility. Please contact the Office of the Registrar at 207-893-7796 no later than Friday, May 1. Please note: Special seating is limited to the individual with the mobility issue and one family member.

    Commencement Photos

    Hockmeyer Studios, a private company, will be taking photos of the graduates as each receives his/her diploma.

    Commencement Ceremony DVD

    DVDs of the ceremony may be purchased. Please fill out the DVD order form.


    Flowers will be available to purchase on graduation morning.

    Share your achievements with other Saint Joseph's students, families, and alumni during Commencement by using the hashtag #SJCMEgrad on Twitter and Instagram.

    Celebrate with us!
    Instagram: @saintjosephscollege
    Twitter: @SaintJosephsME

  • Schedules

    Senior Class

    Tuesday, May 10

    • 5:00-6:00 p.m., Dinner in Pearson's Cafe 
    • 8:00-11:00 p.m., Senior Ball - Portland House of Music
      • 7:15 p.m., Buses depart
      • 8:00-11:15 p.m., Senior Ball
      • 11:15 p.m., Buses depart for return to campus

    Wednesday, May 11

    • 8:00-9:30 a.m., Omelet Bar and Breakfast Sandwiches (outside the gym) 
    • 9:30 a.m., buses depart Alfond Center for Foxwoods overnight trip (tickets required)
    • 12:00-1:00 p.m., Lunch in Café for Faculty/Staff and RA’s etc.
    • 5:00-6:00 p.m., Dinner in Café

    Thursday, May 12

    • 8:00-9:00 a.m., Continental Breakfast, Pearson's Café
    • 9:30 a.m., Depart Foxwoods (12:30 p.m. return to campus)
    • 12:00-1:00 p.m., Pearson's Café
    • 1:30 p.m., Graduation rehearsal
    • 3:30 p.m., Nursing pinning rehearsal
    • 5:00-6:00 p.m., Dinner, Pearson's Café
    • 6:15 p.m., Buses depart Alfond Cetner for Old Port Music Cruise (tickets required)
      • 7:30-10:30 p.m., Cruise
      • 10:45 p.m. and 1:30 a.m., Pick-up from Old Port

    Friday, May 13

    • 8:00-9:00 a.m.,  Light Continental in Café
    • 10:45 a.m., Senior Brunch with Champagne Toast
    • 12:00 p.m., Nursing students line-up for pinning ceremony
    • 12:30-2 p.m., Nursing Pinning Ceremony (under tent)
    • 3:45 p.m., Senior Class Photo in cap and gown (behind Xavier Hall)
    • 4:15 p.m., Student line-up for Baccalaureate Mass processional with faculty (Alfond Center, wear cap and gown - no hood)
    • 4:30–5:30 p.m., Baccalaureate Mass (under tent)

      Saturday, May 14

      • 7–9 a.m., Continental breakfast at Pearson’s Café
      • 8:00 a.m., Seating opens under tent
      • 9:15 a.m., Graduation line-up (along walk way, behind Alfond Hall, wear cap, gown and hood)
      • 10 a.m., Commencement (under tent)
      • Light refreshments following Commencement (on the lawn, weather permitting)

      Online Students

      Friday, May 13

      • 12:00 p.m., Nursing students line-up for pinning (if participating—advance notification required)
      • 12:30–2 p.m., Nursing Pinning Ceremony (under the tent)
      • 2–4 p.m., Welcome Reception for Online Degree Program students and their guests - Online faculty and staff will be in attendance (in dining hall)
      • 4:15 p.m., Line up for Baccalaureate Mass processional with faculty (Alfond Center, wear cap and gown – no hood)
      • 4:30–5:30 p.m., Baccalaureate Mass (under the tent)

      Saturday, May 14

      • 7–9 a.m., Free continental breakfast for all guests in dining hall
      • 8:30 a.m., Robe for Commencement 
      • 9:15 a.m., Line up for Commencement (along walk way, behind Alfond Hall, wear cap, gown, and hood)
      • 10 a.m., Commencement exercises (under the tent)
      • Light refreshments following Commencement (on lawn, weather permitting)

      Events for Guests

      Friday, May 13 

      • 12:30–2 p.m., Nursing Pinning Ceremony (under the tent, no ticket required) 
      • 4:30 p.m., Baccalaureate Mass. Faculty and students will robe and march in procession. (under the tent, no ticket required)

      Saturday, May 14

      • 7–9 a.m., Complimentary continental breakfast in dining hall (no ticket required)
      • 8 a.m., Tent open for early seating (ticket required)
      • 10 a.m., Commencement exercises begin (outside, under the tent, ticket required)
      • 10 a.m. Commencement exercises broadcast and available for viewing in the Alfond Center Gym (no ticket required)
      • Light refreshments following Commencement (on the lawn, weather permitting)