COVID-19 Updates

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*Updated May 14, 2020*

We are happy to invite you to our upcoming virtual events to celebrate your time and accomplishments at Northland College. This is not a replacement for your commencement ceremony, but rather a way for us to gather, demonstrate our pride in your achievements, and to mark the weekend.

The following program celebrates and commemorates your dedication and hard work.

The Last Lecture: Friday, May 22 at 7 p.m. [live stream]
A recording of the event will be posted to the commencement webpage
Professor of Geoscience Tom Fitz will be presenting a live address titled, Living a Good Life on a Crazy Dynamic Planet. Please join us for this live event as well as participate in the chat function to connect with your classmates and to send messages to faculty and staff who will also be attending. Watch here.

Prayers of Gratitude: Saturday, May 23
Video will be posted here at 10 a.m. on this page.
In the last few weeks, you, our graduating seniors, were invited to write and submit a short sentence of gratitude for a person, place, or experience, which supported, challenged, or inspired you while in college. Stacy Craig, along with class of 2020 graduates Alison Lourigan, Seth Bayliss, and Evin Avery, will present your prayers expressing the unique, individual experiences, and the common character of your journey.

Celebration of Graduates: Saturday, May 23
Video will be posted at 10 a.m. on this page.
President Solibakke will be sharing his congratulations to the Class of 2020 as well as Board Chair Chad Dayton, Dean of Academic Affairs Wendy Gorman and NCSA Co-president Abigail Gentry. Additionally, we have prepared an acknowledgement of each senior with a reading of graduates’ names by individual faculty and staff.

Please watch your mailbox for a graduation package that was mailed to you this week. You should be receiving it soon.

Many and sincere congratulations!

Be well,
Commencement Committee 2020

Know the Schedule

Friday, May 22, 2020

  • 2:00 p.m. Commencement check-in and rehearsal
    Alvord Theatre
    All students eligible to participate in the Commencement ceremony, along with the platform party, are required to gather in the Alvord Theatre for check-in and rehearsal. Activities for this event include a walk-through of the ceremony and a reading of the names of all eligible students to verify pronunciation.
  • 4:30 p.m. Last Lecture

    Ponzio Campus Center, Alvord Theatre

  • 5:30 p.m. Senior Champagne Toast
    Ponzio Campus Center, Baldwin Commons
    Please join President Karl Ivan Solibakke, faculty, and staff for a champagne toast in the graduates’ honor. Non-alcoholic options will be available. All family members and graduates welcome. Dress is semi-formal. A class photo will be taken.
  • 7:00 p.m. The Confluence
    Location TBD

Saturday, May 23, 2020

  • 9:30 a.m. Graduates robe and line up for procession to Baccalaureate
    Ponzio Campus Center, first floor
  • 10:00 a.m. Procession across Wheeler Bridge
    Family and friends are invited to gather along the walkway from Ponzio Campus Center across Wheeler Bridge to watch the procession. Buses will be waiting in the Larson-Juhl Center for Science and Environment parking lot to transport graduates, families, and friends to the church.
  • 10:30 a.m. Baccalaureate Service
    United Presbyterian Congregational Church, 214 Vaughn Ave, Ashland
  • 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Buffet Luncheon
    Ponzio Campus Center, Baldwin Commons
    Open to all graduates, family, and friends. Buy tickets.
  • 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Campus Buildings Open House
  • 12:30 – 1:15 p.m. Commencement Check-in
    Ponzio Campus Center
    Graduates are required to check in with the registrar’s table next to the post office.
  • 1:15 p.m. Graduates robe and line-up
    Chapel Family Gymnasium, Kendrigan Center
  • 2:00 p.m. Commencement ceremony
    Ponzio Stadium
    Ponzio Stadium is an outdoor venue with bleacher seating. Please plan accordingly with appropriate dress for warm or cool temperatures. Doors open at noon.
  • President’s Reception
    Ponzio Campus Center
    Immediately following Commencement ceremony, there will be a reception for all graduates, families, and friends.

Buffet Luncheon Tickets

If you plan to participate in the buffet luncheon, please reserve your tickets. Ticket reservations may be completed online (see below) or in the Chartwells Office in the Ponzio Campus Center, room #214. Students may pick up pre-purchased tickets in the Campus Store in the Ponzio Campus Center during the week before Commencement.

Tickets will also be available for purchase at the event. Please direct any questions about the buffet luncheon to or by phone at 715-682-1339.


  • Payment is required for all graduating seniors, family members, and friends who plan to attend the buffet luncheon.
  • Price: $12.00 Quantity:
  • 5-12 years of age
    Price: $6.00 Quantity:
  • Children less than 5 years of age will be admitted free of charge.
  • $0.00
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Tickets and Guests

Tickets are not required for either Baccalaureate or Commencement. There is no limit to the number of guests a student may invite. Seating is on a first-come-first-served basis.

Gown Rental

Gowns are reserved through Darlene Zar in the campus store. Please have orders placed by March 31, 2020. Questions regarding gown rental can be directed to Darlene in the Campus Store or by phone at 715-682-1277.


Students may create or use any vendor to order their own invitations.

Special Accommodations or Assistance

Any student, family member, or guest needing special assistance and/or reasonable accommodations (wheelchair access, physical disability, etc.) should email prior to the ceremony to make arrangements.

Student Responsibilities

Only students who have completed or registered for all course requirements or those who show evidence that all requirements will be met by August 2020 will be allowed to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

Review graduation requirements for further information.

Order Commencement Photos

GradImages is the official photographer for Northland College Commencement. Photos will be ready 48-72 hours following Commencement. Visit their website to view commencement photos.

Find Lodging

Hotels Near Northland College

Family and friends are encouraged to make reservations early because of our community’s busy tourist season.

AmericInn Motel and Suites
3009 Lake Shore Drive East
Ashland, WI

Best Western The Hotel Chequamegon*
101 Lakeshore Drive
Ashland, WI

Blue Wave Inn
2521 Lakeshore Drive West
Ashland, WI

Cobblestone Inn & Suites
818 Main Street West
Ashland, WI

River Rock Inn
1200 West Lakeshore Drive
Ashland, WI

Super 8 of Ashland
1610 West Lakeshore Drive
Ashland, WI
(715) 682-9377

*Discount when you mention you are attending Northland College Commencement.