May 12-13, 2023

Download the program for Blackburn College’s 154th Commencement.

Greetings, Class of 2023!

This is the place to find helpful information for the ceremonies taking place this May.

If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Shawna Poe, Executive Assistant to the President & Board of Trustees.

  • Senior Banquet – Friday, May 12 at 4:30 pm (Woodson Hall)
  • Baccalaureate – Friday, May 12, at 7:00 pm (Bothwell Auditorium)
  • Commencement – Saturday, May 13, at 10:30 am (Hudson Quad)
Class of 2023

Senior Banquet

The Blackburn College Alumni Association Board of Directors invites you to the annual Senior Banquet. Dinner will be provided at no cost to the graduating seniors and graduates are eligible to bring two guests at the cost of $20.00 per person. All graduating seniors and guests must have tickets purchased before May 1. Questions? Contact

Register Now
2023 Commencement Speaker

U.S. Rep. Nikki Budzinski

Blackburn College is proud to announce that U.S. Representative Nikki Budzinski (IL-13) will serve as the keynote speaker for the 154th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 13. Representing Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, Congresswoman Budzinski was first elected to the House in 2022. The 2023 Commencement Ceremony is scheduled for 10:30 AM on Saturday, May 13, in the Hudson Quad

Read the announcement

Frequently Asked Questions about Commencement Weekend

There will be a professional photographer at the graduation events taking headshots of all the graduates and photos as you come off the stage after receiving your diploma. They will also have a “group” photo made from the headshots. If you want to order any of these professional photos, Blackburn will have it’s own QR code that will be provided the day of Commencement.

You are NOT required to order photos, but you are required to have your picture taken.

Announcements and invitations can be ordered from Herff-Jones at

To walk across the stage at Commencement, you must have a cap and gown.  It is recommended that you order from Herff-Jones using the following links:

You must order cap and gown before April 5, 2023.

While it is recommended that you order from Herff-Jones so all the graduates will look the same, you may use another source if you wish.

Academic dress is appropriate clothing worn under academic cap and gown with no additional decoration on the gowns, except official pins and/or cords from recognized honorary societies. This applies to both Commencement and Baccalaureate.

At rehearsal we will:

  • Hand out information about ordering picture and/or DVD’s.
  • Hear important announcements from various campus offices regarding diplomas, events, etc.
  • Line you up in the exact order you will march in for Commencement.
  • Go over the steps you will follow as you process into the Commencement site with your classmates.
  • Practice entering the rows so you will be in the right order to receive your diploma.
  • Practice crossing the stage individually so you will know what to expect at Commencement.
  • Make sure we have the correct pronunciation of your name so it will be announced correctly as you cross the stage at Commencement.
  • Answer questions and concerns you may have.

Clearly, Rehearsal is extremely important, so it is MANDATORY!

Baccalaureate is a student-focused celebration for the graduates, their friends and families. Students, faculty, and staff will attend without formal regalia. Graduates will process and sit with their classmates. YOU ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND. If you have an unavoidable conflict, you must contact the College Marshal.

Baccalaureate, Friday, May 12 at 7:00 pm in Bothwell Auditorium. (Guests should arrive early)

Commencement, Saturday, May 13 at 10:30 pm on the Hudson Quad (or in the Gym in case of rain). Guests should arrive early.

Families can also join Senior Breakfast on Saturday, May 13.

Students and guests must RSVP for the Senior Banquet.