Let the countdown begin!

Check back for regular updates. Updated: 05/10/2023


Friday, May 12, 2023 at 6:30 p.m.
John and Charles Wesley Chapel, Houghton, NY 

In-person worship service. Parents, family members, and friends are invited to attend this worship service as students, faculty, and staff express their gratitude to God and reflect on their years together at Houghton. The livestream will be available on the Houghton University homepage. 

Register for BaccalaureateBaccalaureate Program
In order to best prepare for our Baccalaureate Service,  we kindly ask seniors to register the number of guests who plan to attend.


Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.
John and Charles Wesley Chapel, Houghton, NY  

In-person graduation ceremony. Parents, family members, and friends are welcome to attend. This will be a ticketed event – each graduate will receive 3 tickets for guests to attend in person. The livestream will be available on the Houghton University homepage. 

Commencement Program

Buffalo Commencement Celebration

Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.
King Urban Life Center, Buffalo, NY

In-person graduation celebration. Parents, family members, and friends are welcome to attend this special event at the King Urban Life Center in Buffalo, NY. Houghton University Buffalo students are invited to participate in both the commencement ceremony in Houghton, NY (May 12-13) and the Commencement Celebration in Buffalo, NY. This will be a ticketed event – each graduate will receive information about ticketing for guests.

Dear Families of Graduating Students, 

It continues to be a great honor to serve Houghton University. Daily, I get to be a part of what God is doing at and through Houghton with the preparation of young people who will go boldly into the world as scholar-servants and ambassadors of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We are looking forward to our Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies in May and I anticipate a wonderful weekend celebrating our students’ accomplishments during this important rite of passage. Our Baccalaureate Service and Commencement Ceremony are very special events for all of us who have been involved in the lives of our graduating seniors. The Class of 2023 has demonstrated determination and creativity in completing their Houghton degrees and we look forward to celebrating their academic achievements. 

Here you will find the most recent information for this year’s Commencement weekend. We will be making updates monthly and then starting in mid-February, we will update every Monday. So please check back from time to time as we do expect there will be some changes along the way. 

Along with you, I and the faculty and staff at Houghton want to show this year’s graduating class how very proud we are of them. It is our prayer that this weekend will be a special time for our graduates and their families, our friends, and honored guests. I look forward to seeing you here! 

President Wayne D. Lewis Jr.Sincerely, 

Wayne D. Lewis, Jr.

Rev. Dr. Jerry Gillis.

Commencement Speaker

Saturday May 13, 2023 at 10:00 A.M.
John and Charles Wesley Chapel, Houghton, NY

Jerry Gillis is a native of Atlanta, Georgia who has put down roots in Western New York. He has been serving the people of The Chapel since 2002 and has been in vocational ministry since 1992. His formal education includes a degree in Communication from the University of Georgia; a Master of Divinity from New Orleans Seminary; and a Doctor of Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Jerry is passionate about reaching every man, woman, and child with repeated opportunities to hear and see the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since becoming Lead Pastor of The Chapel, he has made it his aim to center this local church around that singular mission. Jerry also has the opportunity to speak to numerous pastors and churches around the nation (and even in other nations) as a result of his involvement with a network of churches called Christ Together. This network aims to empower the whole Church to bring the whole Gospel to the whole nation.

Jerry and his wife, Edie, have two sons, a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter and make their home in the suburbs of Buffalo, New York. He loves to watch University of Georgia football, go for a long run, read a good book, and eat a great meal with his family at the dinner table.

Read More About Dr. Jerry Gillis


Ceremony Tickets

Live Stream

Friends and family who are unable to physically attend are invited to view the Baccalaureate Service and the Commencement Ceremony via live stream.

Friday, May 12 Baccalaureate Service - Live Stream
No alternative on-campus viewing locations.
Saturday, May 13 Commencement Ceremony - Live Stream
On-Campus Live Stream viewing available at the Center for the Arts, Recital Hall.


Meal Registration

Online Meal Orders

Family and friends can pre-purchase “through-the-line” meals for the Dining Hall for Friday lunch, Friday dinner, and Saturday breakfast. Your receipt from your online order will be your meal “ticket” to show at the Dining Hall. Graduating students do not need to purchase meals on Friday or Saturday.

Meal Times

  • Friday Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
  • Friday Dinner, 4:30-6 p.m.
    Immediately prior to Baccalaureate Service
  • Saturday Breakfast, 8-9:30 a.m.
    Following Saturday’s Commencement ceremony, a light lunch reception will be provided.
Commencement Reception Quad Locations

Graduating students do not need to purchase meals on Friday or Saturday.

Graduation Regalia

Congratulations, Seniors! If you do not yet have your regalia (cap, gown, and tassel) or would like to purchase your honor cords (qualifying students have been notified by The Highlanders Shop), please stop by The Highlanders Shop as soon as possible.

Questions? Contact The Highlanders Shop or email: 

Order Your Regalia Online

Decorum Policies

The traditions of academic regalia followed at Houghton University date to the 13th century and follow guidelines provided by the American Council on Education. In keeping with this rich tradition, regalia gown length and style may not be altered and stoles may not be customized in any way. Modest personal embellishments are permitted on the cap, but must lay flat, cannot extend beyond the edge of the cap, and should be appropriate for Commencement at Houghton.

Only Houghton University approved regalia (including stoles, pins, cords, and medallions), which are bestowed and provided through the Provost’s Office may be worn at and during the Commencement proceedings. Decorative personal items (stoles for activity or affinity groups, leis, beads, sashes, etc…) may be worn following the ceremony.

Frequently Asked Questions