Frequently Asked Questions About Commencement

Updated 5.15.20 at 11:40 a.m.

Messages to Campus

4.21.20: Virtual Celebration for Graduates - Sunday, May 17, 2020
A virtual celebration will be held for graduating students on May 17, at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

3.31.20: Commencement update from President Simon
An update regarding Commencement activities for the Class of 2020.

Frequently Asked Questions About Commencement

General

No; the traditional in-person Commencement ceremony has been postponed. At this time, a new date for the ceremony has not yet been determined. Lehigh University will hold a virtual celebration at the end of the academic year. Degrees will be conferred and diplomas will be mailed at the end of the academic year as originally planned. More information will be posted on this site as it becomes available. In the meantime, be sure you have followed the necessary procedures to apply for graduation if you will be completing your degree requirements.

Yes; all in-person celebrations for May 17-18, 2020 have been canceled. Please work directly with the companies through which you booked your travel and accommodations to find out their policies regarding refunds or rescheduling.

President Simon, Lehigh senior leadership, and a small group of students formed by the Student Senate are working together to finalize the dates of these events. More information will be posted on this site when the dates are announced. We recognize there are other meaningful recognition ceremonies and activities impacted, and updates will be communicated as needed.

All graduates will receive their diplomas approximately 6-8 weeks after May 18, assuming there are no COVID-19 related delays that affect the vendor’s turnaround time to print and mail diplomas. We will continue to provide updates on timing.

Once grades are finalized, Academic Honors (Highest Honors, High Honors, or Honors) will be shared on each qualifying graduate’s Merit Page as well as printed on your diploma. In addition, this information will be posted on the Commencement website in July under Honors and Awards, and included inside the printed Commencement program that will be distributed at the rescheduled in-person ceremony.  

Please visit the Registration and Academic Services (RAS) COVID-19 FAQs page (ras.lehigh.edu/covid19). If you still have questions, please contact RAS directly at ras@lehigh.edu. The Lehigh COVID-19 site has additional COVID-19 related information.

Virtual Celebration

The virtual celebration will provide an opportunity for graduating seniors to be recognized for their contributions and hard work and to be welcomed into the Lehigh alumni family! 

Participation in the virtual celebration is optional.

Registration is not required to attend the virtual celebration. The celebration will be accessible to everyone online, allowing graduates and their families along with entire Lehigh community and alumni to watch together and interact by tagging photos, videos, and messages to #lehighgrad. The program will be recorded and made available for those watching in different time zones.

During the virtual celebration, degrees will be conferred. Individual graduate names will not be read as this will be reserved for the rescheduled in-person Commencement ceremony.

In-Person Ceremony

At this time, you do not need to notify RAS of your plans related to the rescheduled in-person ceremony. Once the date for the rescheduled in-person ceremony is confirmed, we will provide more information on how we plan to collect attendance information. In the meantime, be sure you have followed the necessary procedures to apply for graduation if you will be completing your degree requirements.

Cap, Gown, and More

You will be receiving an email from the supplier, Herff Jones. It will include two links, which are also provided here – request a refund or ship to your address. Select the link that matches your preference. If you originally requested to have your cap and gown shipped, your refund will include shipping charges. All refunds may take up to 4 weeks.

Both options work, it is a matter of personal preference. Option 1 guarantees free shipping if ordered by June 30. With option 2, you automatically receive free shipping and you may hold onto your cap and gown without penalty for the rescheduled in-person ceremony.

You will be receiving an email from the supplier, Herff Jones. It will include two links, which are also provided here – request a refund or ship to your address. Select the link that matches your preference. Free shipping is guaranteed on your cap and gown if you order by June 30. At this time, Herff Jones cannot guarantee a ship date. UPDATE as of 5/13:  Herff Jones is shipping caps and gowns to home addresses as quickly and safely as possible following strict COVID-19 safety precautions, as directed by the state of Illinois where they are based. For graduates that selected the ship to your address option, they are shipping out caps and gowns for Lehigh University every night, so please keep an eye on your email for tracking information.

To receive free shipping on your cap and gown, the deadline is June 30. If you do not take any action, your cap and gown will automatically be shipped to the Lehigh University Bookstore one month prior to the rescheduled in-person ceremony.

Only those graduates that rented or purchased their cap and gown will get an email from Herff Jones. If you are unable to locate the email, please select one of the following links that matches your preference: request a refund or ship to your address.

If you decide later that you would like to attend the rescheduled in-person ceremony, you can rent or purchase your cap and gown by clicking this link. You must order your cap and gown one month prior to the ceremony date. At this time, all orders will be mailed to the address you provide. Free shipping is guaranteed on your cap and gown if you order by June 30. Once the date of the rescheduled in-person ceremony is selected, there may be an option to ship directly to the bookstore. More information will be provided once the date is confirmed.

To order your cap and gown, please click here. At this time, all orders will be mailed to the address you provide. Free shipping is guaranteed on your cap and gown if you order by June 30. Once the new date of the in-person ceremony is selected, there may be an option to ship directly to the bookstore. You must order your cap and gown one month prior to the ceremony date. More information will be provided once the date is confirmed.

If you are no longer able to attend the rescheduled in-person ceremony, you must return your cap and gown prior to the rescheduled ceremony date. Included within the cap and gown package, there will be an address to return your rental. You will be responsible for the return shipping costs. If the wrapping around your cap and gown is opened, the supplier, Herff Jones, will be unable to provide you with a refund. Only caps and gowns that are unopened will receive a refund. If you do decide to open the wrapping and forgo your refund, you may keep your cap and tassel. Please click on the following link to request a refund.

Over the next several weeks, the supplier, Herff Jones, will ship diploma frame purchases. You will receive an email to confirm your shipping address or have the option to cancel the order for a full refund. You will not be charged for shipping.

Due to the fact that the personalized announcements have been printed and out for delivery, the supplier, Herff Jones, is unable to issue refunds.

Yes, there is still time for you to order announcements. Please note, the date inside the announcements will reflect when degrees are conferred -- Sunday, May 17, 2020. Personalize and purchase your announcements by clicking this link.

Please contact Lehigh University’s Herff Jones representative, Chris Urban, at curban@herffjones.com.

Additional Questions?

Please contact the Office of University Events at inuday@lehigh.edu.

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