Dear Campus Community,

I write to you today to share the deeply disappointing news that, because of the ongoing prohibition of large gatherings and our own efforts to mitigate the spread of coronavirus/COVID-19, commencement, which was scheduled for Friday, May 8th, and all commencement weekend activities, will be postponed. 

This decision was made with a heavy heart, knowing what a seminal moment this day is in the lives of our students, their families, and the entire UMass community. Unfortunately, at this point, with so much uncertainty about when life will return to normal, I cannot give you a definitive answer for how and when we will honor our graduates, but I can assure you that we will. As I work with our commencement team to develop alternative plans, I invite input from our students for whom this day means so much. Those wishing to share ideas can email them to As our plans take shape, we will keep the campus updated.

I also want to express my gratitude to every member of our campus community for pulling together to confront the unprecedented challenge we are facing. Our faculty are taking extraordinary measures to prepare for remote learning; our staff are working hard to ensure continuity of campus operations; and our students are proving their resilience by accepting this difficult transition with grace and patience. 

These are trying times, to say the least, but I know that the resilience and revolutionary spirit that define this great university - its students, faculty, staff, and alumni - will see us through, and we will be stronger for it.

Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy


Undergraduate Ceremonies

University Commencement

Friday, May 8, 2020
4:30—6:30 pm, rain or shine
McGuirk Alumni Stadium, UMass Amherst

The University Commencement is the university’s official, large graduation ceremony. The ceremony is held outdoors, rain or shine, and includes graduates from all majors on campus. The university website includes information about planning your visit and information for seniors, including how to get a cap and gown. There is no limit to the number of people who attend and tickets are not required.

CNS Senior Celebration

Saturday, May 9, 2020
9:00—11:00 am
Mullins Center, UMass Amherst

The College of Natural Sciences Senior Celebration is held indoors on the following day in the Mullins Center. This ceremony allows the college to recognize graduates in an individualized way: after receiving a special commemorative medal, each senior’s name is announced as they cross the stage to shake hands with college leaders. Each graduate’s time on stage will be visible on jumbo video screens and will be captured by a professional photographer. Proofs and order forms will be sent to the addresses provided by students, who will fill out cards on the day of the event.


CNS Senior Celebration Schedule 2020

CNS Senior Celebration FAQs (Family and Guests)

CNS Senior Celebration FAQs (Graduates)


Tickets are not required, however, this event fills the Mullins Center!  To guarantee a good seat, plan to arrive early.  Doors open at 7:30 a.m..


See 2019 Senior Celebration photos by searching #cnscelebrates on our social media channels: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter

Department Receptions

Immediately following the College of Natural Sciences Senior Celebration, Departmental Receptions for Graduates and their families are held.


Lederle Graduate Research Tower (LGRT) 1033

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Berkshire Dining Commons


Franklin Dining Commons


Integrated Sciences Building (ISB) Room 325

Environmental Conservation

John Olver Design Building Atrium

Environmental Science Program

John Olver Design Building Atrium

Food Science

Chenoweth Lab Pilot Plant


John Olver Design Building Atrium

Mathematics and Statistics

Lederle Graduate Research Tower (LGRT) Room 1634


Courtyard by Marriott, 423 Russell Street
Hadley, MA 01035


Lederle Graduate Research Tower (LGRT) 1033

Psychological & Brain Sciences

Worcester Dining Commons

Reception Details

Stockbridge School of Agriculture

John Olver Design building Atrium

Veterinary & Animal Science

ISB Lobby Atrium immediately following ceremony, ends at 2pm 


What to Expect

Mullins Center Security Information

As you plan your trip to the Mullins Center, please be aware of security measures in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for everyone. All guests, students, faculty and staff will be required to walk through metal detectors when entering the venue. To expedite the process, we ask that guests remove cell phones from their pockets and encourage patrons to avoid bringing bags to the facility. Purses, diaper bags, and other small personal bags are allowed, but will be inspected at all entrances. Outside food or beverages, weapons of any kind, and tobacco products are not permitted inside the arena. For a full list of prohibited items please visit the Mullins Center website (link is external).

Mullins Center Accessibility Information

The Mullins Center is an ADA compliant facility.  We advise guests to arrive early to allow extra time to enter the facility.  Doors open at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 9, 2020.

Accessible Parking

The lot adjacent to the Mullins Center is designated for handicap parking. Officers will be on duty during the event to help direct traffic to those specific areas. A state-issued handicapped parking permit suffices for parking in designated accessible spaces on campus.  No prior arrangements are needed to ensure handicapped parking. Any guest who does not have a Handicap placard or plate but will be transporting an elderly or disabled guest may sign up for a Reserved Accessible Parking Form ( which can be used in Lot 11 for the main UMass Commencement on Friday, May 8 and in any handicap parking spot near any of the senior recognition ceremony venues on Friday, May 8 or Saturday, May 9. Parking is first come, first served. Application Deadline: April 17, 2020.


Mobility device accessible seating can be found at Sections B, E, G, J, S, U, W & Z. Seating is limited and on a first come first serve basis. Due to the large number of guests requiring accessible seating, only one guest will be able to accompany a guest needing accessible seating.  Seating for additional family members should be available within close proximity of the preferential seating areas. Guests needing wheelchairs must make arrangements to bring their own; wheelchairs are not provided. Wheelchairs can often be rented from a local medical supply store in your community.

Sign Language/Interpreter Services

This event will be captioned on the screens of the Mullins Center during the event. If you or your guests require the services of a sign language interpreter, please contact Disability Services via email at with “Recognition Ceremony Communications Request” in the subject line. The deadline for requesting such accommodations is April 17, 2020.


A video of the CNS Senior Celebration 2020 will be posted at the bottom of this page soon after the conclusion of the event.  The video below is of last year’s event.