Sunday, May 26, 2024

Commencement 2024 occurred on Sunday, May 26, on the Main Quadrangle with a formal academic procession. The ceremony included remarks by President Michael Elliott and Taha Zafar Ahmad ’24, the awarding of the Swift Moore Teaching Awards and Honorary Degrees, and performances by the Glee Club.

“Unapologetic Hope and Unfettered Curiosity”

Students tossing graduation caps.

Commencement 2024

May 26, 2024

President Michael A. Elliott urged the class of 2024 to “learn together with passion, with openness and alive to possibility” and never lose hope or curiosity.

News Story
the six honorees, named in article

2024 Honorary Degrees

A mathematician and physicist, a novelist, an Asian American studies scholar, an environmental activist, a musician, and a civil rights advocate received honorary degrees. Watch/listen to recordings of their talks, and read the news story. 

John Kirkpatrick stands on stage with President Elliott at Amherst College commencement

2024 Medal for Eminent Service

Established in 1934 to recognize exceptional service to the College, the Medal for Eminent Service was awarded this year to John E. Kirkpatrick ’51 for his extraordinary record of support, mentorship, and inspiration to the Amherst community.

Amherst College seal with sun rays, open book, and motto, Terras Irradient

2024 Swift Moore Teaching Awards

The Phebe and Zephaniah Swift Moore Teaching Awards are presented to three outstanding secondary school teachers nominated by members of the graduating class. 

Commencement canes

Commencement Traditions

At Commencement, every graduate receives a cane. Two hymns — “Three Gifts” and “Hymn to Amherst” — are sung. On stage fly flags representing the home countries of all members of the graduating class. These are just a few of our traditions.

Amherst College storefront in downtown Amherst Massachusetts, with a mammoth in the window

Amherst College Store: In Person and Online

Order online anytime, or visit in person during Commencement weekend! At both our online store and our new physical store in downtown Amherst, you’ll find a wide range of Amherst apparel and collectibles.

Contact Us

Please contact Conferences and Special Events at (413) 542-2845 or if you have questions about Commencement or senior activities. 

Future Commencements

Sunday, May 25, 2025
Sunday, May 24, 2026
Sunday, May 30, 2027

Past Commencements

Find speeches, photos, and more in our Multimedia Archive.