This academic year differed from the others, in that it was bracketed early and at the end of graduation ceremonies. The 149th All Universities start May 22 seven months after the pandemic postponed the Class of 2020. And while conditions have changed, we are not out of the COVID-19 woods yet.
Because of the growing cases in the Boston area, BU will provide nearly 80,000 medical-grade, KN95/FFP2 masks for all start-up events, including individual school invitations, and strongly recommends that mask attendees be held during indoor events. (Masks are still required on the BU Shuttle bus.) On the big day, 20,000 guests are expected to meet some 7,600 alumni in the 2022 class. For the first time since the last pre-pandemic celebration, in 2019, there are no tickets or guest restrictions on attendees. Proof of vaccination will not be required for guests, although they are encouraged to have the vaccination, with a booster, as they are eligible.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions, compiled with information from the university’s start-up site and British university leaders.
Who is eligible to participate?
Any student who earned an undergraduate or graduate degree from Boston University in September 2021, January 2022, and May 2022, or will receive one in August 2022. BU will not offer on-campus housing for graduates and guests, but does have a list of local accommodations here.
When and Where?
The baccalaureate service will be held at Marshchapel at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 22 and will last about an hour. Seating is first come, first served, with redundant seats available. The Graduation Ceremony for all universities begins at 1 p.m. at Nickerson Field—rain or sun—and lasts about two hours. Class of 2022 graduates will sit with their school or college and be recognized as a group.
Both the baccalaureate and the initiation will be broadcast live on the graduation website.
Who are the speakers and recipients of honorary degrees?
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author Bob Woodward will deliver his graduation speech and be awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Other honorees are BA speakers and Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services Marilou Souders (CAS’76, SSW’78), JD, Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman, Doctor of Humane Letters, Boston University trustee and philanthropist Richard Shipley. (Koestrom) ’68, ’72), PhD in Humane Letters, and human rights attorney Jay J. McDougall, JD. The student speaker is Amanda Burke (CAS’22, GRS’22).
When and where will my Boston University school or college solo event take place?
Find a list of times and places here.
What am I entitled to bring to the baccalaureate, start work and invitations?
Only small to medium sized handbags, purses, and camera bags will be allowed (no large bags, oversized purses, backpacks, diaper bags, or messenger bags). Bag size is limited to 12 x 12 x 6 inches. All bags will be physically checked prior to entry. No bags, gift bags, gift wraps, parcels, briefcases, backpacks or other baggage will be permitted at the place of start or rally, including Nickerson Square. If guests have parcels or bags that are not allowed, they can leave them in the “self-check-in” area adjacent to the premises. While this area will be monitored by security, the University will not provide claims verification and will not be responsible for packages remaining in the self-checkout area.
How about private parking arrangements?
For those who must drive to campus, all parking and garages will be open and available free of charge throughout the weekend. Any vehicles left overnight must be parked in the Warren Towers garage.
On the start day, please use the parking facilities east of the BU Bridge and use the shuttle bus available to travel to Nickerson Stadium. Parking is very limited in the Nickerson Field and West Campus area.
Disabled parking is available in all locations throughout BU. Additional details for any guest requiring a designated waiting pass to access them (as well as other accommodations for persons with disabilities) are found on the Access and Disability Services page.
What public transportation is available for those who do not want to drive?
The Boston MBTA (Green Line B) and Bus 57 run along Comm Ave and will provide regular Sunday service on the start day.
The special BU Shuttle Service (BUS) will be available to supplement the regularly scheduled BUS service on the following days and times during start-ups and invitations:
Friday: 7 AM – 11 PM
Saturday: 7 AM – 11 PM
Sunday: 7 AM – 7 PM
These dedicated buses will serve the following stations:
#1 Commonwealth @ Pleasant Street
#2 Commonwealth @ St Mary’s Street
#3 Commonwealth @ Blandford Street
#6 Commonwealth @ Buick Street
#4 Commonwealth @Silber Way
#5 Commonwealth @ St Mary’s Street (Marsh Plaza)
#6 Commonwealth @ Buick Street
As for ride-sharing…?
For those using rideshare services or being dropped off in order to start an All-University, in order to avoid traffic on Commonwealth Street, please ask your driver to drop you off at 250 Pleasant Street, Brookline. This site is across the street from the Agganis Road entrance to Nickerson Field.
After the party, for those traveling with or traveling to your party, please head to Sullivan Tire at 950 Commonwealth Ave. Limited live parking will be available, and any vehicles left unattended will be towed, as parking is prohibited in this area. Please wait in your car until your party crosses the street after starting.
Oh! @#$% – I forgot to keep my obligatory heart and gown when starting.
This graduation gown is available for purchase—or rent—for PhD recipients at Barnes & Noble at Boston University, 910 Commonwealth Street. While every attempt will be made to provide accesses with appropriate logos for their certification, sufficient stock cannot be guaranteed. The store will be open for extended hours during the start of the weekend for last-minute needs: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.
You can find more information about getting started here
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