Convocation 2022

Live stream begins at 4:30 p.m. on 9/12
Convocation 2021

Convocation Program

Please join the Barnard Community for our Convocation as we welcome the new members of the student body
in one of Barnard College’s most enduring traditions. Convocation marks the beginning of the academic year,
celebrating all new and returning students and featuring a keynote speech by alumna Ayana Byrd ’95.

Attend the ceremony at Riverside Church on Monday, September 12, at 4:30 p.m. (EDT)

The program will last approximately one hour. 

Watch the ceremony virtually here; members of the Barnard campus community are also welcome to watch a livestream on campus in Altschul Hall, Room 202.

Join us post-Convocation for the Barnard Block Party!

From Milbank Hall to the Quad, continue the celebration of the start of the academic year with the annual Block Party. The Fall 2022 Block Party will start immediately following Convocation, featuring carnival food, Mr. Softee ice cream, lawn games, a campus resource fair, programming via the McIntosh Activities Council ("McAC"), and a special guest appearance from Millie the Bear!

Please feel free to contact with questions.


Where to go day of

For Students:

  • Doors to Riverside Church will open at 3:30 pm. Following College tradition, attendees will be directed to their seating sections upon entry.
  • The formal ceremony will begin at 4:30 pm.
  • Please plan to wear your class t-shirt to the ceremony!
  • T-shirts will be distributed by class year during the first week of classes. In addition to picking up your class t-shirt you’ll have a chance to connect with your Class Dean and learn more about key dates to remember specific to your class.
    • Senior Pick Up - Tuesday, September 6 from 3 - 5 pm in the Diana Center Event Oval.
    • First-Year Pick Up - Wednesday, September 7 from 3 - 5 pm in the Diana Center Oval.
    • Junior Pick Up - Thursday, September 8 from 3 pm - 5 pm in the Diana Center Oval. 
    • Sophomore Pick Up - Friday, September 9 from 3pm - 5 pm in the James Room, Barnard Hall

For Faculty:

  • All faculty members that will participate in the procession at this year’s Convocation Ceremony should plan to gather in front of Milbank Hall at 4:00 pm. on September 12 in academic regalia.
  • If you ordered regalia, you can pick this up at the Provost’s Office in Milbank Hall between September 6 and September 9. Regalia must be returned to the Provost’s Office directly following Convocation.
  • The deadline to order academic regalia has passed. New requests for regalia rentals may not be guaranteed. These requests should be directed to

For Staff (and Faculty who do not plan to join the procession):

  • Doors to Riverside Church will open at 3:30 pm. Following College tradition, attendees will be directed to their seating sections upon entry.
  • The formal ceremony will begin at 4:30 pm.


Accessibility at Convocation

Hearing impairments

The Convocation Live Stream will include closed captioning. The livestream will be available to view on this website starting at 4:30 p.m. EDT on September 12. 


Visual impairments

The Convocation program will be available onsite in a large print format. It will also be available to view here on the Convocation website. 


Mobility impairments

Riverside Church has an accessible entrance at 91 Claremont Avenue. Staff will be onsite at that entrance to escort guests to the accessible seating section at the front of the Nave.


Keynote Speaker

Ayana Byrd ’95

Ayana Byrd is an award-winning author, journalist, and screenwriter. She is the co-author of the books Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America and the anthology Naked: Black Women Bare All About Their Skin, Hair, Hips, Lips and Other Parts. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including How We Fight White Supremacy and The Fire This Time: Young Activists and the New Feminism, as well as publications such as The New York Times, L'Uomo Vogue, Fast Company, Glamour, Essence, Vogue Portugal and O, the Oprah Magazine. She has worked on the editorial staffs of Glamour, Rolling Stone and Vibe magazines. Ayana graduated from Barnard College with a degree in political science and obtained her master of fine arts in fiction at St. Joseph’s College–Brooklyn. She is currently in the writer’s room for the Amazon series Harlem, as she completes her first novel. She lives in Philadelphia with her son.