Commencement Ceremony 2019

The 75th Mitchell College Commencement Ceremony | May 11, 2019
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Saturday, May 11, 2019 | 10:00 am
Commencement 2019, College Green

Events Leading Up to Commencement

Thursday, May 2, 2019 | 11:00am-1:30pm

Grad Fair, Clarke Center

Candidates for graduation are requested attend this one-stop “shop” to finalize their business with College departments before graduation. Students will be able to check if they have met graduation requirements, take the Graduate Exit Survey, pick up parting gifts and say personal goodbyes. This is also the time for students to pick up their gowns, hoods and Commencement tickets. Contact Amy Van Oot at with any questions.

Friday, May 3 - Friday, May 10, 2019

Grad Week

Grad Week is a special Mitchell tradition for students are finishing their time at Mitchell. To be eligible you must be a Mitchell College student who graduated in December of 2018 or will be graduating in May of 2019. It is a week of fun activities, including an overnight stay at Mohegan Sun, late night bowling, go-karting and more! Tickets are $175 and cover housing for the week, admission to all events and some meals. *If you plan on attending the Mohegan Sun overnight stay, you must register by Wednesday, May 1, 2019; otherwise the registration deadline is May 3, 2019. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Questions? Email Amy Bilezikian at

Friday, May 10, 2019 | 11:00 am

Commencement Rehearsal, College Green

Saturday, May 11, 2019 | 8:30 am

Class Photo, Duquès Center steps

Commencement Speaker | Benjamin Powers, DBA

Commencement Speaker

Benjamin Powers, DBA

Benjamin Powers is an educator, researcher, and thought-leader who believes that people with language-based learning differences, like dyslexia and ADHD, should be embraced for their strengths and potential. Throughout his career, he has championed evidence-based approaches that recognize individual strengths, promote independent thinking, develop self-esteem and self-advocacy, and fuel academic achievement.

Since 2012, he has served as headmaster of The Southport School in Southport, Connecticut, a leading day school for students with dyslexia and ADHD. There, he works collaboratively with faculty to deliver a leading-edge program for students in kindergarten through 8th grade. Beyond the classroom, the school’s Southport CoLAB furthers understanding of dyslexia and ADHD with parents, educators, and the broader community through research partnerships, seminars, and trainings.

Powers himself is committed to advancing research and understanding of learning differences. He is an affiliated research scientist at Haskins Laboratories, an independent, international, multidisciplinary community of researchers working to enhance understanding of speech perception and production, reading and reading disabilities, and human communication. He is also is a research affiliate at Grenoble Ecole de Management, co-director of the Academic Center of Excellence for The Dyslexia Foundation, and a technical assistance provider for the National Center on Improving Literacy.

As an advocate, Powers has spoken at conferences around the world on topics including dyslexia and ADHD, building collaborative community partnerships to close the literacy gap and support the needs of diverse learners, and the importance of developing sustainable platforms of opportunity through entrepreneurship. He is the co-author of “Great Expectations: A Current Perspective on Education, Disability, and Society,” a chapter in the forthcoming book All About Language: Science, Theory, and Practice (Brookes Publishing, 2019).

Powers serves on the advisory boards of SXSW EDU, the Jemicy School, and Camp Spring Creek; he is an honorary board member of Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities. Fusing his interests in education and entrepreneurship, Powers is also a mentor for an engineering entrepreneurship program at the University of New Haven.

Powers holds a Doctorate in Business Administration from Grenoble Ecole de Management, an Executive MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Arts from La Salle University. He is a Certified Dyslexia Practitioner and member of the International Dyslexia Association and an associate member of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators.

Photographs / Videos

Official Photographer: GradImages™ is the official photographer for Commencement. Their photographers will take individual photographs of students as they receive their diploma and exit the stage. Several days after graduation, students will receive proofs from Grad Images via email. Proofs can also be viewed online at You will have the option of choosing from several photo packages at very reasonable prices. However, there is no obligation to purchase. Pictures may be ordered online, by phone, or by mail. If you have any questions please contact GradImages Customer Service at 800-261-2576 or via email at Preregister with Grad Images — Graduates can pre-register their email or friends and family email addresses and will be contacted as soon as their photos are available for online viewing and ordering. Plus, when you preregister, you’ll save 20% on any order of $50 or more. Click here to preregister with GradImages.
Official video of ceremony: Commencement is streamed, but DVDs are not available for purchase.


For area hotels/accommodations, visit

Frequently Asked Questions


How long is the Commencement ceremony?

The ceremony is approximately two hours. Following the ceremony, graduates, families, faculty, staff and the Commencement speaker are invited to a special reception in Clarke Center.

Where is it held?

The Commencement ceremony will be held on the College Green.

What if it rains?

The Commencement ceremony will be held rain or shine under the large tent on the College Green.

How do I request special accommodations?

To make arrangements for guests with special needs, please contact Antaya Lee at or 860-701-5790. Please make your requests by April 30, 2019. Requests made after April 30 cannot be guaranteed but a good faith effort to accommodate late requests will be made.

Will the ceremony be streamed?

The 75th Mitchell College Commencement Ceremony will be streamed live at on May 11, 2019 beginning at 10:00 am.

How many people may I invite to the Commencement ceremony?

While you may invite as many people as you like, each student will receive four (4) tickets for the guaranteed seating area which can be accessed until 10:00 a.m. when the Commencement Procession begins. Any guests beyond the four ticket holders will be directed to the open seating area (no tickets needed) which is available on a first come/first serve basis. Guests may also bring their own lawn chairs or blankets for additional seating on the Green. Seats in the guaranteed seating area may not be saved prior to the arrival of the ticket holders. Please look for an usher in a red Mitchell polo for assistance or to answer questions on the day of the event.

What about parking?

Parking is available in campus lots by Henry Hall on Pequot Avenue and at the corner of De Biasi Drive and Montauk Avenue. Handicapped parking is available and shuttle service on golf carts is available on a limited basis. Speak to a security officer at the Montauk Avenue Main Campus Entrance.

How do I order a class ring?

The official Mitchell College class ring can be purchased (paid in full) online at

A few words on fit.


"Fit” is the modern buzzword of the college search process. And frankly, rightly so. As you consider your college experience, we encourage you to look for a place that feels right. It’s also a good idea to make a list of the qualities and characteristics that make a college and you a winning combination.


If you are looking for a college that: 


  • Gets to know and understand each student as a uniquely talented individual

  • Identifies potential and encourages students in very intentional ways

  • Fosters growth in each student, giving them a foundation for life and career success

  • Is small enough to deliver on the promise of a personalized experience

  • Goes beyond “career services” and offers a progressive 4-year career development model, partnering with local businesses and nonprofits for professional experience

  • Promotes an inclusive culture that encourages students to experiment in new clubs and activities

  • Is nationally recognized for its academic support systems, from professional content tutors (not students) to proven comprehensive support for students with learning differences

  • Connects students to service opportunities that impact their world

  • Is in a location that offers access to New England’s natural places and some of America’s greatest cities




…Mitchell College delivers in a powerful way.

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