The lawn in front of Samuel Mather Hall is the traditional site of Kenyon's Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies. At no other time of year is tradition held so dear as at commencement. Kenyon students and faculty members feel a strong tie to the procession down Middle Path, through the Marriott Park Gates, to the ceremony site under the stately old trees.
Families should consider the comfort and well-being of guests who are elderly or require special resources when planning for the traditional outdoor ceremony and picnic.
Commencement will be moved to the indoor site only in cases of extreme weather forecasts, for example: ongoing downpour, high tornado probability or temperatures exceeding 95°F or below 50°F, or in the event of other unpalatable circumstances (cicada infestation, etc.). Light sprinkles of rain and/or brisk wind are unlikely to cause the ceremony to be moved indoors.
The inclement weather call is made a few hours before the procession begins to assemble to allow for all of the logistical changes that must be made. Students will be notified of the weather decision via email a few hours before both the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies.
In the unlikely case of sudden, extreme weather—unanticipated thunderstorms or high winds that spring up during the ceremony—standard security protocols will go into effect: the ceremony will be put on hold and students, faculty members, and guests will be moved to basement locations immediately surrounding the Commencement site.