Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does Baccalaureate last?

A: You should arrive for the Baccalaureate not later than 3:45 p.m. so that we may begin promptly at 4:00 p.m. Mass should conclude around 5:30 p.m. Most families stay for the family reception in the Kelly Fieldhouse afterwards.

Q: How many people can we bring to Baccalaureate Mass?

A: Due to capacity and safety issues in the Church of the Gesu, we must limit the amount of family members permitted to attend the Baccalaureate Mass and awards ceremony. In early May, your family will receive a mailing that contains 1 Baccalaureate announcement and 4 tickets. 1 ticket belongs to your graduating son, and the other 3 tickets can be used for other family members. Younger Prep brothers who serve as ushers will not need tickets. Please note: If your family has more than one household (ex. separated parents) and you are registered to receive Prep mail at the second household, an additional 2 tickets will be sent to the student’s second household.

Q: What is the dress code for Baccalaureate Mass?

A: For Baccalaureate, the graduates should adhere to school dress code (jacket, slacks, tie, dress shoes, etc).

Q: Where do the families and graduates sit during Baccalaureate?

A: This year, each graduate will sit in a chair set up in the aisle of the Church of the Gesu, presumably with his family next to him. Though the pews are first-come, first-serve, the chairs in the aisles are reserved for the graduates only. Please be respectful to sit in only one pew next to each chair so every graduate can sit next to his family.

Due to capacity in the Church of the Gesu, each graduate receives 4 tickets; 1 ticket belongs to your graduating son, and the other 3 tickets can be used for other family members.

Q: My son/younger brother is scheduled to serve as an usher for Baccalaureate/Commencement. What does he need to do?

A: Brothers of graduating seniors should check in with the Dean of Students (215.978.1967 or to determine details for ushers’ duties at Baccalaureate Mass and Commencement. For Baccalaureate, ushers need to report by 3:00 p.m. For Commencement, ushers need to report to the SJU Hagan Arena by 9 a.m.

Q: How long does Commencement last?

A: The graduation ceremony at SJU begins promptly at 10:30 a.m. (graduates should arrive by 9 a.m.) and concludes at approximately 12:15 p.m. After the ceremony you will want to allow yourselves time to take photos and greet the graduates. With this in mind, you might be at SJU until 1:00 p.m. or later.

Q: How many people can we bring to the Commencement Ceremony?

A: Due to the size of the Hagan Arena at SJU, we do not have to worry about capacity issues, thus you are not limited in the amount of family and friends you can invite to the commencement ceremony. Furthermore, seating at Commencement is available on a first-come, first-served basis, so you may want to arrive early to secure seating for your entire family.

Q: What is the dress code for Commencement?

A: The graduates will be supplied a tuxedo at graduation rehearsal on Thursday, May 30, which they should immediately try on once they arrive home that afternoon/evening to ensure it fits. On the morning of graduation, graduates should arrive at SJU wearing the tuxedo. Graduates will be given a boutonniere and pin to apply to their tuxedos, so the left lapel must be kept free of pins and decorations to expedite the application of the boutonniere and pin. If any issues are discovered with your tuxedo, call Stan Levin at Rochester Formal Wear: 856.755.1466.

Q: I have a handicapped family member attending the events. Will he/she be able to comfortably attend Baccalaureate and Commencement?

A: Both the Church of the Gesu and the Hagan Arena are wheelchair accessible, with entry ramps and/or an elevator. You will want to arrive early to ensure a comfortable and timely transition and to secure your seating. In the Church of the Gesu, wheelchairs will be seated at the ends of the pews, and at the Hagan Arena, there are open spaces available for wheelchair seating. Upon your arrival please ask one of the student-ushers to guide you to a wheelchair accessible seat.

Q: How can I find transportation information and driving directions to the Hagan Arena at Saint Joseph’s University?

A: For driving directions and transportation information, visit:

Q: Is there parking at SJU, and is there a fee for parking?

A: Yes, SJU will have ample parking in both their main lots and parking garage. Entrances to the lots are off of 54th Street, just south of City Avenue. There is no fee for parking at SJU on the day of graduation.

Q: I believe my son has held perfect attendance throughout the past 4-12 years. How can I verify this?

A: Please contact Mr. Al Greene, Dean of Students, for verification of perfect attendance: or 215.978.1967.

Q: Does the Prep have official St. Joseph’s Prep party invitations I can use to invite family members to our graduation party?

A: On Wednesday, April 24, graduates receive a pack of 20 graduation announcements and personalized name cards that can be distributed to family and friends, but the announcements are not party invitations. Party invitations with the Prep seal are available for purchase in our Prep Spirit Shop. Stop by the store or call 215.978.1977 for further information.

Q: How do I get a copy of the professional video and photos taken during Baccalaureate and Commencement?

A: The videography company for Baccalaureate and Commencement is Active Image Media. The still photography company for Commencement is Legacy Photo. For more information, click here.

Q: How do I order a composite photo of the Class of 2019?

A: The class composite photo can be ordered online here. You can pick up your composite photo at the family reception following the Baccalaureate Mass. If you have any questions about the photo, please contact Sue Ann Kruszewski at

Q: I have more questions. What should I do?

A: Call or email Mrs. Carol McLaughlin, Director of the Principal's Office, at or 215-978-1957.

St. Joseph's Preparatory School
1733 West Girard Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19130
tel: 215.978.1950
fax: 215.765.1710
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