Graduation Information

Due to the COVID-19 situation, Madeira will not host an in-person ceremony on June 5, 2020. The graduation planning committee is in the process of planning alternate celebrations for the class of 2020. Thank you for your patience.

Affirmation and Graduation

Affirmation is held in the Chapel/Auditorium the evening before commencement. Seniors may choose to perform individually or as a group, offering their talents to the community before they graduate the next morning. While delightfully surprising every year, this event affirms the talents of the class; all seniors attend Affirmation, and families are welcome.

Madeira’s traditional commencement is held in our outdoor amphitheater, weather permitting. This beautiful natural setting can present some challenges due to steep pathways and uneven terrain, so please keep this in mind as you make plans for extended family to join the celebration. Guests with mobility concerns may request assistance, such as golf cart transportation and aisle seating.

Graduation Attire

We require graduates to wear “paper white” formal attire with limited adornment that is suitable for the occasion. No gloves, wreaths, hats or tiaras are allowed. We rely on families to provide counsel about tastefulness, and appropriate undergarments are required. Since the girls walk on a path through the woods, it is practical to have hems about two inches above the ground. White shoes of any style are required; bear in mind the pathway is steep and potentially difficult to navigate in high heels. If you are planning to have an outfit altered or made, please bring a sample fabric swatch and pattern for approval before proceeding.

Graduation attire must be approved by the executive assistant to the head of school. Seniors must bring the actual attire to the Assistant to the Head of School by Friday, April 17, 2020 for this approval. Girls whose outfits have not been approved will not be allowed to march. Click here for additional graduation attire information and helpful resources.

A number of Madeira alumnae have donated graduation dresses for those students who would like to borrow a pre-approved heirloom rather than purchase a dress. Information about this option will be shared with seniors throughout the year. 

Graduation Invitations (optional) 

Some families opt to purchase formal graduation invitations or announcements through our provider, Herff Jones. The deadline to order these items is May 1, 2020. Click here to print the order form.

  • Invitations include the time and date of the event and are sent to family and friends who will attend the ceremony. They are $1.30 each, and the minimum order is 10, matching the number of seats we allow each family to reserve.
  • Announcements tell only the month and year of the ceremony. They also cost $1.30 each, with a minimum order of 10.
  • Since these items are not personalized, you may wish to purchase a box of name cards to enclose with each invitation and announcement. Name cards are available in packs of 50 for $19.35.
  • "Informals" are personalized fold-over cards that may be used for thank you notes. They are also available in packs of 50 for $16.30. 

Graduation and Affirmation Admission

No tickets are needed for Affirmation on Thursday, June 4, or Commencement in the amphitheater on Friday morning, June 5. Madeira has been blessed with good weather since the last indoor graduation in 1985, so we hope our luck holds. Temperatures have ranged from hot and muggy to chilly so plan a versatile wardrobe. The entrance to the amphitheater is located behind Main and the Annex. You are welcome to take your seats any time after 8:30 a.m. and to save 10 seats at that time, if you would like. The amphitheater seats 1000+; there are no bad seats. Seats may not be reserved before 8:30 a.m.; the ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m.

Graduation Guest Assistance

Knowing that our beautiful outdoor amphitheater can be challenging to navigate, we provide special assistance, including golf cart transportation and/or aisle seating, to guests with mobility concerns. Information about requesting this assistance will be posted on this webpage in the spring. In addition, sign language interpretation during the graduation ceremony can be arranged if known in advance; let Ms. Mathews know as soon as possible if a guest would benefit from this service, no later than May 1.

Rain Plan

We make every effort to hold graduation outdoors so we do not have to limit the number of guests. However, if it is raining on graduation morning, a decision will be made to hold the ceremony in the Chapel/Auditorium, where space is limited. This decision will be announced in the early morning via our website and Blackboard Connect, our emergency alert system.

If the ceremony is held in the Chapel/Auditorium, seating will be limited to seven guests per graduate. Seven tickets, needed only in the case of bad or threatening weather, will be given to each senior the week before graduation. Since we are not able to provide additional rain tickets, if you need more than seven, please contact other Madeira parents to see if they have tickets they do not need.

Live Streaming

The commencement ceremony will be streamed live. We have partnered with a new, free streaming service, LocalLive, and online viewing will be available on the Madeira channel. To subscribe, visit https://locallive.tv/register/madeira

The registration process is simple: you’ll be asked for your name and email address and then you’ll create a password. Once you have a password, you can login anytime by visiting locallive.tv and clicking the “Sign-In” link at the top right of the page.

It’s easy. Watch on any device including laptops, tablets and smart phones.

Graduation Accommodations

Please view the Where to Stay page of Madeira's website for options.


Parking for all events will be in the parking lots and the fields across from the Hurd Sports Center. Security staff will direct you; please follow their instructions. Buses will be available from the field parking areas to the student center before and after graduation. Please plan to arrive in time to walk to your destination.

No driving will be allowed on the main part of campus from midnight until 1:00 p.m. on Friday, June 5. 

Graduation Reception

Everyone is welcome to attend the light reception on The Oval following the ceremony. In the event of rain or extreme heat, the reception will take place in the Hurd Sports Center.