How to Plan Your Virtual Commencement Ceremony Party (Props Included!)

Wherever you are, let’s make your Virtual Commencement celebration Champlain-centric!

It’s time to make your virtual commencement event as exciting and Champlain-centric as can be!

Here are a few tips and tricks on how to do so, along with props to help you show off this important day. After all those hours of studying and hard work, you finally did it!

And it’s time the world knows it.

Wear Your Cap and Gown

Wherever you’re watching our virtual commencement event from, we encourage you to throw on your cap and gown. The more aspects of in-person graduation you can mirror at home, the better!

You deserve to flaunt this look, and you likely already have them at the ready, so why not? Want to go the extra mile? Throw on some dress clothes under your graduation gown to really strut your stuff.

Robbin Suggs Williams ’21 is celebrating virtual commencement dressed in her cap and gown.

Use Props and Decorations

Grad Box

Members of the Class of 2021 who opted in to a mailer of celebratory goodies will receive them prior to May 15. Think: Champlain balloons, a #ChampGrad mask, and more! Also in the box are a few signs: One sign says “Let Us Dare” on one side and “#ChampGrad” on the other.

A sneak peak into your graduation goodies.

Another sign invites you to fill out one of the below prompts:

  • I graduate proud of…
  • I dared to…
  • I graduate excited to…
  • I want to thank…

Take a selfie of yourself holding one or more of these signs or have someone take a pic of you and/or your family members holding them.

If you didn’t opt in to receiving this mailer, you can download these signs below.

Think about what other props you might have laying around the house that could add to the experience! Some old birthday streamers, party hats, Champlain swag, and more.

Digital Invitations

Send a digital invite to your family and friends and encourage them to tune in virtually to celebrate!

Zoom Backgrounds

Celebrating virtually with friends and family? Add a fun Champlain Zoom background to your party!

Find more Champlain Zoom backgrounds here, including photos of campus, Burlington, the Vermont ski mountains, and our satellite study abroad campuses in Dublin, Ireland and Montreal, Canada.

Facebook Profile Frames

Add one of these awesome graduation frames to your Facebook profile pic! Just click on one of the links below and it will automatically show you what your current Facebook profile pic will look like with the new fabulous frame. We’ve got plenty of options:

Instagram Post Frame

Download this Instagram post frame and add a photo of yourself in the polaroid frame! Then, post to your timeline and use the hashtag #ChampGrad!

Instagram Stories and Phone Wallpapers

What’s on the Menu?

Are there certain foods and drinks that will make your celebration special?

Before you head out on your next grocery store run, plan what you’d like to eat and drink on May 15. Maybe you want to bake a cake, or some fun cupcakes. Maybe you have a favorite meal you’d like to munch on, or if snacks and apps are more your thing, this might be the perfect time to give in to your nachos and mozz sticks cravings.

Missing Vermont? Add pancakes and maple syrup to the menu, or some Cabot cheese, and top it all off with a delicious pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

While you’re in the beverage aisle, grab some sparkling apple juice or a bottle of champagne. You’ve accomplished a lot, and been through so much, and now it’s time to cheers to you!

Essential party supplies for Virtual Commencement: blue Champlain College balloon, diploma, and pints of Ben & Jerry's ice cream
Add a little Vermont to your celebration with some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!

Celebrate the Traditional Moments

A few moments of commencement are must-haves, and these moments may mean different things to different people. If they mean a lot to you, we encourage you to actively celebrate these moments. If able, have someone record you so you can reminisce for years to come.

  • If you’re celebrating with family or friends, take some photos—whether they’re in person or screenshots on Zoom
  • When your name is being read, have someone hold your diploma cover, or put it across the room. When your name is called in the sub-ceremony, walk “the stage” over to your diploma, and take in the moment. (Yes, it might seem silly, but acting it out will help Commencement feel more real—even if it’s taking place in your living room).
When your name is read, take a moment to show off your well-deserved diploma.
  • Flip your tassel from right to left once President Benjamin Ola. Akande confers your degree
  • Throw your cap in the air at the conclusion of the virtual event
Student throwing their graduation cap in the air for Virtual Commencement
Celebrate the traditional moments, like throwing your cap in the air.

Take Photos and Videos, and Then Post Them and Tag #ChampGrad!

There are so many possibilities for how to make your virtual commencement ceremony as exciting as possible. Share your celebration with your classmates, families, professors, Champlain staff, and the community! Snap photos of you in your cap and gown, use the balloons and signs to showcase your Champlain pride, let us know what’s on the menu, and show us pics of who you’re celebrating with—even if it’s through a Brady Bunch-like screenshot on Zoom.

Then, post your photos to Twitter, Instagram feed, or on our Champlain College Facebook timeline and tag #ChampGrad to be featured on our social media tag wall during commencement. Don’t have Instagram or Twitter? Feel free to direct message us your pictures on the @champlainedu or @champlainonline accounts, or email your photos to Learn more about our social wall here.

Students and families are already joining in on the fun and sharing their photos using #ChampGrad. Add your photo or well wish to the mix!

Invite Your Friends and Family

Last, but certainly not least, invite your friends and family, whether it’s to a socially distant gathering or a Zoom party. Just because the pandemic is separating us from one another physically doesn’t mean we have to watch the virtual event alone. Get on the phone with your peeps, and thank them for helping you get to this moment—because it’s one you’re going to remember forever.

More Share Your Pride
How to Set Up Your Tech to Watch Champlain’s Virtual Commencement
How to Stay Connected to Champlain College as Alumni
How to Get Your Content Featured on the #ChampGrad Social Media Wall