Approximately 2,500 Virginia Tech students will be honored for completing their academic degrees as Virginia Tech holds Fall Commencement ceremonies Friday, Dec. 16.

Students, parents, faculty, staff, and guests who seek detailed information on the event may go to the Fall Commencement website.

Undergraduate students will be recognized at the University Commencement Ceremony held from 2 to 4 p.m. (PLEASE NOTE THE TIME CHANGE) in Cassell Coliseum on the Virginia Tech campus. Bachelor's degrees will be conferred to approximately 1,050 students completing fall semester classes and an additional 508 students who completed their degree at the end Summer Session.

The Graduate School Ceremony will follow from 6 to 8 p.m. (PLEASE NOTE THE TIME CHANGE), also in Cassell Coliseum. At the ceremony, 274 master’s degrees, two Ed.D.s, 65 Ph.D.s, three graduate certificates, and 16 education specialist degrees will be conferred to students who completed their graduate programs at the end of Summer Session. In addition, approximately 270 master's degrees, five Ed.D.s, 175 Ph.D.s, six graduate certificates, and three education specialist degrees will be conferred to students completing graduate programs at the end of the fall term. In all, approximately 1,050 graduate students will be recognized.

Minnis E. Ridenour, a member of the Virginia Tech community for 30 years who has served as executive vice president and chief operating officer and currently serves as Senior Fellow and director of the Office of Government and Non-Profit Organization Management, will deliver the keynote address at the University Commencement Ceremony. Philip S. Thompson, retired vice president of emerging markets at IBM and member of the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, will deliver the Graduate School Ceremony address.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1974, Ridenour has enjoyed a distinguished career at the university marked by a succession of promotions, culminating in his appointment as executive vice president and chief operating officer from 2001 to 2004. He also served as executive vice president of the Virginia Tech Foundation and on the boards of other university related corporations. Because of his ability to formulate sophisticated fiscal strategies, several university special initiatives and strategic public-private partnerships operate today. In addition to his demanding administrative schedule, Ridenour has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in financial management throughout most of his tenure at Virginia Tech.

Thompson, who received a master’s degree in systems engineering from Virginia Tech in 1977, has held a variety of corporate leadership positions with IBM, Pitney Bowes, and Zenith Electronics. Earlier this year, Thompson retired from IBM as vice president of emerging markets, where he was responsible for driving revenue and profit growth in Brazil, China, India, South Africa, and Eastern Europe. In 2000, Gov. Jim Gilmore appointed him to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors. In 2004, Gov. Mark Warner reappointed him to a second four-year term.

Families and guests attending the University Commencement Ceremony are encouraged to be seated by 1:15 a.m. The procession of students and faculty will begin at 1:40 a.m. Those attending the Graduate School Ceremony are asked to be seated by 5:15 p.m. The procession of students and faculty will begin at 5:45 p.m.

Should the university close due to inclement weather, these ceremonies would also be cancelled. Please refer to the university homepage for up-to-date information. The Virginia Tech Commencement Hotline is 540-231-3208.

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become among the largest universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech’s eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 180 academic degree programs.