Announcing Your Graduation

Let everyone know that you're about to graduate. We've put together some guidelines to help when sending graduation announcements for college seniors and soon-to-be alumnus:

  • The inner envelope holds the announcement. You can address this informally, such as "Grandma" or "Uncle John".
  • If you're hosting a graduation party, consider inserting your party invitation and open house card into the announcement. You can also mail them separately.
  • Formally address the mailing envelope by hand. Use titles like "Ms." or "Dr." Spell out words completely, rather than using abbreviations, like "Street" rather than "St."
  • Slip the announcement, fold first and face up, into the small inner envelope. Do not lick or tuck in the inner envelope flap. If you've purchased envelope seals use these to seal the inner envelope.
  • Slip the inner envelope into the mailing envelope, so that both flaps face the same way.
  • Write your return address on the envelope flap or use pre-printed return address labels. Out-of-town friends and family might use this to send cards and gifts.
  • If you're sending some announcements just to spread the news and want to eliminate any obligation for gift giving, write "No gifts please" at the bottom of the announcement.
  • Mail your announcement via first class mail. If your invitations are for the ceremony or your personal celebration, they should arrive at least two weeks prior to the ceremony or celebration. If simply announcing, standard etiquette suggests announcements can be sent up to two weeks prior to, to two weeks after, the actual event.

Name and Titles

  • Address correspondence to a woman who keeps her maiden name as "Ms. Mary Smith." If Mary Smith uses her married name, she should be addressed as "Mrs. John Doe."
  • Some married couples join their last names with a hyphen. Customarily, the woman's name comes first, so correspondence is address to "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith-Doe."
  • When a woman's husband dies, she usually does not change her name and therefore continues to be "Mrs. Adam White," ("Mrs. Jane White" would indicate that she's divorced).
  • "Ms." is a term that applies to a single or married woman. So when in doubt, "Ms." is always appropriate.

As you prepare to celebrate your achievement, ensure your graduation announcements for college commencement are properly written and that your loved ones are formally addressed. Look through our Graduation Guide for more information or resources for college graduation announcements.