1. Cat

    I am graduating from college this year and have many relatives, our commencement has first come first served seating, so is there an appropriate way to invite everyone without promising them an actual view of the graduation ceremony? They would all have to travel to come, and I do not want to ask them to travel to see me unless they really want to. I can not provide them with housing, meals, or seats even… so should I just make an announcement and forgo invitations except to the few who follow up with me?

    • Jody

      Cat — if you have printed invitations for the ceremony, I’d send those to the relatives you’d most want to be present. At the bottom of the invitation, or maybe on a cover note, you can hand-write something like “Please note that there is no reserved seating; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.”

    • Elizabeth

      I’m of the school of thought that considers the actual graduation ceremony to be appropriate for immediate family only. The ceremonies are hours long, and the graduating classes so big that they don’t even call individual names. My advice would be to invite only your immediate family to the ceremony (parents, siblings) and for a nice dinner afterwards. Then, later, you can have a graduation party (perhaps at your parents’ home, or elsewhere) where you can actually spend some quality time with your extended family.

      • Ashleigh

        Agreed. I had a 6 hour graduation – they did call every single student hence the ludicrously long time. Even my immediate family was ready to jump in front of moving traffic by the end. Afterwards, everyone went home and had a nice dinner. After we received copies of the photos from graduation, we had an announcement/party invite made up with photos from the event and had a larger family party about 3 weeks later.

  2. patricia

    Please answer this for me. My grown daughter (with her own growing family) is graduating with her masters degree… We are very proud of course. Is there a protocol for a gift, card or whatever? Please advise what is the most appropriate thing to do. We are celebrating with her that night and attending the ceremony.

    • The gift from my parents for my M.A. was that they’d paid for most of it. :)

      If you didn’t assist her financially, I suggest a gift card for a spa visit, or simply taking her family (you, your daughter, her husband and their children) out for a nice dinner. As a former starving grad student who worked full-time, such a gift is wonderfully appreciated.

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