College of the Atlantic Commencement draws family, friends, and alumni from near and far.College of the Atlantic Commencement draws family, friends, and alumni from near and far.

Commencement Weekend activities begin Friday with capstone senior project presentations and end with awards and receptions for graduating seniors and their families.

On Saturday, the soon-to-be graduates, led by bagpipers and the grand marshal, process past cheering family and friends. The board chair and president provide a welcome, several graduating seniors share their perspectives, and the commencement speaker chosen by the senior class addresses the audience.

As degrees are conferred, students announce a fellow graduate’s name and present each other with flowers. The ceremony is followed by an open reception in the Newlin Gardens.


Please remember that there is no reserved seating. If you, your family, or friends have any special needs or seating requirements, please contact Jen Hughes at 207-801-5622 to make arrangements.


Commencement is held on the last Saturday of term under a tent, rain or shine. June temperatures can vary greatly, so please bring a jacket and appropriate shoes (or boots!). In nice weather, the ceremony is visible from the lawn, and families with young children often prefer to bring blankets to sit on the grass.


A listing of local accommodations can be found here and additional lodging is available on the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce’s website.  Some may offer discounts for COA families; be sure to mention you’re visiting for commencement!


Click here for directions, travel information, campus maps, and more.  Please note that there is construction along the road to Bar Harbor and College of the Atlantic. Click here for project details, possible detour information, and the latest news. Here is a map of a detour from town to campus.