SIT Graduate Institute Commencement 2023

Members of the 2022 SIT graduating class

The 2023 SIT Graduate Institute Commencement Ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. (Eastern U.S.) on August 12, 2023, on the SIT campus, 1 Kipling Road, Brattleboro, Vermont. Graduates may choose to attend the ceremony in-person or virtually. The event will be live-streamed on SIT Graduate Institute’s Facebook page.

Here are some important things to know:

  • You may participate in person or online.
  • The RSVP deadline for in-person participation has passed. Please reach out to SIT Student Health, Safey & Well-being if you have questions about participation: [email protected].
  • Please note that there is a US$95 graduation fee for in-person participation (there is no fee for remote participation). This fee helps to offset the cost of regalia, food, guests, and other expenses. After you RSVP, our Student Accounts Office will be in touch with you directly regarding payment.
  • If you have any questions about your degree requirements, please contact the Registrar’s Office by email at [email protected].



Friends and family are welcome to attend the in-person commencement ceremony and a reception that follows. Please note that August in Vermont can be warm, and outdoor seating may be in the sun. Participants who have refillable water bottles are kindly requested to bring them. Water will be available around campus to refill the bottles and will be provided for those who don’t have their own bottle.

Caps and Gowns

SIT has a selection of gowns that were custom made in women’s cooperatives in Asia, Africa, and Central America. (See more about these gowns below.)

On the RSVP form, please indicate your interest in a gown from (left to right) El Salvador (trim in various colors), Thailand, or Ghana.

In-person participants have the choice to wear a custom commencement gown, which must be returned to us, or a black gown that the graduate may keep.

Regardless of which gown you choose, you will receive and may keep a hood and cap. Please indicate your gown size and preference on the RSVP form.

About SIT’s Academic Regalia

SIT has created its own tradition—and visual image—to represent the international and intercultural aspects of the institution’s participants and mission. As an alternative to the customary black robes, graduates may choose to wear one of 120 robes specially crafted in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Lahu Hill tribe women handstitched 30 of the robes as part of a project coordinated by WEAVE (Women’s Education for Advancement and Empowerment), a nongovernmental organization working in Thailand with Hill Tribe communities and refugees from Burma. Those involved with these extraordinary efforts included Ampown, who became the leader of the women’s handicraft group at the age of 16, and SIT alumna Veronika Martin.

The Ecumenical Women’s Centre in Cape Coast, Ghana, produced 30 robes that display the adinkra designs symbolizing humility, strength, wisdom, learning, excellence, bravery, fearlessness, democracy, and unity in diversity. The centre had its beginnings as a meeting place for elderly women of the community. Julialynne Walker, a former SIT Study Abroad academic director, was instrumental in obtaining these robes.

The remaining 60 robes were crafted by Nahuit, a women’s cooperative in El Salvador that purchased the materials from a weaving cooperative in Guatemala. The 14 members of the sewing and embroidery cooperative produce handcrafted clothing and household items, representing both Guatemalan and Salvadoran cultures, for local and international customers. The purchase of these robes was facilitated by SIT alumna Cathie Chilson, who worked with Pueblo to People, a Houston-based alternative trade organization

Commencement Rehearsal

A brief, informal rehearsal for graduates participating in person will take place at 3:15 p.m. (Eastern U.S.) on Friday, Aug. 11, 2023, in Sandanona Room 207 on the SIT campus. Participation is highly encouraged as you will learn important logistical information that will make the commencement ceremony run smoothly.

Travel and Hotel Accommodations

Click here for directions to the SIT campus and information about public transportation, including bus, train, and air travel to this area.

Please see the Brattleboro Chamber of Commerce website for local hotels and inns.

COVID Safety Measures

SIT complies with Vermont Department of Health recommendations and protocols for COVID-19 safety. Please check this website for updates now and immediately prior to commencement for any changes to this guidance.

We encourage you to self-test for COVID-19 before the event. Masks are currently not required during the event, regardless of whether it is indoors or outdoors, but masks will be available and we encourage those who feel more comfortable wearing one to do so. There will be signs posted for any areas where masks may be required.


Parts of the ceremony will be photographed by an SIT staff member and select photos will be posted on the SIT website and on social media channels.

If you have any other questions regarding commencement please contact the SIT Commencement Committee at [email protected].