Virginia Tech's Graduate Education Week 2012, to be held March 26 through 30, is a week-long celebration sponsored by the Graduate School to recognize the skills and accomplishments of the university's graduate students, advisors, and research faculty and staff; increase community awareness of the many contributions of post-baccalaureate students; and offer festive social events for everyone.

The week begins with a Graduate Student Appreciation Luncheon on March 26. Departments are encouraged to join the Graduate School in celebrating the many contributions that graduate students make to the university by treating their students to this beach-themed event. Dean Karen DePauw will offer a welcome to mark the official beginning of Graduate Education Week.

The latest student research developments will be displayed at the Graduate Student Assembly’s day-long research symposium on Wednesday, March 28. Key note speaker Dan Pallotta, author of "Uncharitable" and writer for the Harvard Business Review, will provide a new perspective on for-profit charity organizations.  Formal recognition ceremonies, including the Graduate Student Awards Banquet on Thursday, March 29, will honor recipients of prestigious awards for graduate student contributions in teaching, research, and service.

The university community is invited to vote for their favorite entries in the Graduate Student Art and Photography Contest. Submissions will be on display in the Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown throughout the week.

The Graduate School and the Lyric Theater will give students a break from their studies. Graduate students may pick up free tickets to the Academy Award nominated film “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” for Movie Night at the Lyric on Thursday, March 29.

Also on March 29, Evalyn Gates, astrophysicist and CEO of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, will give a free public lecture on the mysteries of unknown dark energy in the universe. The lecture will be held in the Graduate Life Center auditorium at 7:30 p.m. A book signing with Gates will start at 7 p.m.

The week concludes with Grad Olympics from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the Graduate Life Center multipurpose room. Students will put their wit, physical skills, and team spirit to the test in a light-hearted team competition.  That evening, graduate students and their families are invited to enjoy free food, music, and games at a luau-themed cook-out.

A complete schedule with details can be found online.