Alumni celebrating their 50th Reunion march at the head of the graduation processional.

50th Reunion Graduation March

We honor our 50th Reunion class with an invitation to march in the 2023 Law School Graduation Procession.

To participate as a 50th Reunion Alumni Marcher, please register online by Wednesday, March 22, 2023. For questions, email [email protected] or call 212-854-0533.


See useful links and documents below. 

50th Reunion Schedule for Graduation Day
Monday, May 15, 2023

3:30p.m. Private reception for marchers and guests in Butler Library lobby, Room 203
4:15p.m. Marchers dress in academic regalia provided by the Law School
4:30p.m. Marchers’ guests are escorted to a priority seating area
4:45 p.m. Marchers, in their regalia, are escorted to Butler Library Lobby for photos
5:00 p.m.  Graduation Ceremony official start; Procession begins from Butler Library
5:05 p.m.  Marchers join the procession with the Dean, faculty, and the Class of 2023
5:10 p.m.    Marchers escorted into priority seating area to join their guests 
5:30 p.m.  Student procession march complete; Graduation ceremony begins 
7:30 p.m.  Ceremony concludes (Marchers and their guests may depart early, if desired.)


Who is allowed to march with the 50th reunion class in the Graduation Procession?
All degree-holders of the Class of 1973 are invited to march in the Graduation Procession.

Do I need to register or can I just show up?
Because academic regalia must be ordered for each individual through the Columbia bookstore, it is imperative that you pre-register for the Graduation March by Monday, March 13, 2023. To participate as a 50th Reunion Alumni Marcher, please register online or contact the Reunion Office at [email protected] or by calling 212-854-0533.

May I bring my spouse or a guest? 
Yes. Alumni may each invite a guest to accompany them at the Graduation Ceremony. Guests  participate in all aspects of the day but do not march. 

I see something called “Commencement” and something called “Graduation.” Is there a difference between these ceremonies? 
University Commencement is held on Wednesday of graduation week. It is the Columbia-wide  ceremony in which degrees are officially conferred. All of the University’s schools participate in this event. The Commencement speaker is traditionally the president of the University.  Separately from Commencement, individual diploma ceremonies take place in each of the colleges and graduate and professional schools. The Law School's Graduation ceremony recognizes candidates for the degrees of Juris Doctor, Master of Laws, and Doctor of Juridical  Science. Here, our degree candidates are presented individually, by name, by the Dean of  Columbia Law School. Law degree candidates who are receiving top prizes are also recognized and the Willis L.M. Reese Prize for Excellence in Teaching is awarded to a member of our faculty. 

What happens at Graduation?
Enjoy a two-part experience: first, attend a private reception with classmates for camaraderie,  robing, and a class portrait in Butler Library. Then, guests will be escorted to VIP seating with a good view of the procession while the 50th Reunion Class joins the Dean, faculty, and Class of 2023 in the procession. Alumni marchers will rejoin their guests upon leaving the procession and remain together throughout the remainder of the ceremony. Academic robes will be collected so alumni will not have to sit through the ceremony in cap and gown. Please note: personal belongings cannot be left in the reception space once Graduation begins. Staff will assist with transferring personal belongings to your ceremony seats.

What do alumni wear to march in the Graduation Procession? 
Academic regalia will be provided, though MUST be ordered in advance. The deadline for ordering regalia is Monday, March 13, 2023. Gentlemen may choose to wear a jacket and tie under their robes; however, jackets are not required. Ladies often choose summer suits, dresses,  or slacks. Since participants and guests will be outside for part of the time, attire should align with weather conditions in late Spring. 

I am a college professor, but not at Columbia. May I wear my academic robes of the institution where I teach? 
The official regalia for the 50th reunion class is the Columbia regalia, regardless of subsequent  academic career. 

Is the Graduation Procession a great distance? 
Class members will join the procession and lead the degree candidates. Alumni will process behind their own banner from the steps of Butler Library, up the South Field walkway, to the podium, where they will turn off to their seats and join their guests for the remainder of the ceremony. The actual distance is approximately 300 yards, and seating is available during the line-up to join the procession.  

What if I need assistance in walking/have a walker/am confined to a wheelchair? 
Please let us know of your accessibility needs when you register and we will work with Disabilities Services to make the Graduation Procession as smooth as possible for you.

Where does the 50th reunion class sit? 
A seating section specially reserved for the 50th reunion class is located in the front of the priority seating area and has an excellent view of the proceedings. 50th reunion class members and their guests sit together in this area. 

How long is Graduation? Do I have to stay the whole time? 
The beginning of the Procession to the closing remarks usually takes about 2.5 hours. Alumni are free to leave early if desired. 

What if it rains? 
The exercises will be held regardless of weather conditions. Most of the procession and all seating is in the covered area. This area is not, however, climate controlled, so be sure to dress accordingly, especially if heat is predicted. 

Where should I arrive on the day of the event? 
A private reception will be held in Butler Library (Lobby Level) prior to the Graduation  Ceremony. Please arrive to the EAST entrance of Butler Library at 3:30 p.m. Members of our staff will be there to greet and guide you to the reception. On Graduation Day, the campus and the surrounding area is quite busy, so please allow additional travel time. Below you will find directions to Butler Library, and you may also view the campus map.


Entrance via the East Gate at W. 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue
Enter campus at the East Gate at W. 116th Street & Amsterdam Avenue. Proceed West on College Walk through campus. Turn left at Hamilton Hall and walk down the stairs/ ramp with the graduation tent on your right. Continue straight down the brick pathway until you reach the East entrance to Butler Library, opposite John Jay Hall.  You can identify the entrance by the black accessibility ramp.

Entrance via John Jay Gate on W. 114th Street (closer  to Amsterdam Avenue)
Enter campus from 114th Street via the iron gates closest to Amsterdam (John Jay Gate). Proceed up the steps. The East entrance of Butler Library will be on your left and can be identified by the black accessibility ramp.

Useful Links and Documents