Virginia Tech will hold its 134th University Commencement ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 12, in Lane Stadium/Worsham Field. Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will deliver the keynote address where approximately 3,590 undergraduate candidates will be honored. Individual college and departmental convocation ceremonies will be held throughout the day on Saturday, May 13.

Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board, will address Virginia Tech’s 2006 Graduate School graduates at a ceremony on Friday, May 12, at 3 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum. Approximately 1,150 graduate students will receive degrees -- 914 masters, 21 advanced graduate degrees, 1 education specialist degree, and 214 doctorate degrees. In addition, Virginia Tech will graduate 85 D.V.M. students.

Virginia Tech's 26th Northern Virginia Center commencement ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 14, at the George Mason University Center for the Arts in Fairfax, Va. Donald M. Norris, president of Strategic Initiatives, Inc. and Virginia Tech alumnus, will speak to the approximately 150 Northern Capital Region graduates.

Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger will preside over all three ceremonies.

From 2001 to 2005, Kaine served as lieutenant governor of Virginia under Gov. Mark Warner. In January, he was inaugurated as the state’s 70th governor. During his campaign, Kaine emphasized four principles to improve the quality of life for Virginia’s residents: raising the bar for public education, finding common-sense solutions to Virginia’s transportation challenges, creating more jobs in every part of the state, and giving local governments tools that will allow them to better serve their communities. Kaine also served four terms on Richmond City Council, including two terms as mayor.

Caperton was elected West Virginia’s 31st governor in 1988, and was re-elected to a second term in 1992. As governor, Caperton worked to improve education by developing a comprehensive plan that emphasized the use of computers and technology in the public schools, beginning with kindergarten through sixth grade, and later expanding to include grades seven through 12. His aggressive school building program resulted in $800 million in investments that benefited two-thirds of West Virginia's students. He also raised teachers' salaries from 49th to 31st in the nation and had more than 19,000 educators trained through a statewide Center for Professional Development.

Norris founded Strategic Initiatives, Inc., a management consulting firm, 15 years ago. His clients have included a blue-chip roster of corporations, colleges and universities, associations, and other non-profit organizations. Norris has authored 16 books and monographs, as well as dozens of articles and presentations. He is a recognized thought leader in organizational transformation and leading and navigating through times of change.

Each May, approximately 5,000 Virginia Tech undergraduate, graduate, and professional students are expected to complete their degree requirements and participate in commencement ceremonies. Approximately 15,000 to 20,000 family members and guests travel to Blacksburg to join graduating students.

For more information on Virginia Tech spring commencement activities, call the Commencement Hotline at (540) 231-3208 or visit the commencement website.

Should inclement weather be a factor in Friday’s Lane Stadium ceremony, call the university Weather Line at (540) 231-6668 or check the university homepage.

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