In the midst of spitting rain, Hokie graduates, family, and friends gathered in Lane Stadium on Friday morning for Virginia Tech’s University Commencement Ceremony. The start of the event was delayed by an hour due to nearby lightning

The rain eased throughout the ceremony, which featured Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech’s legendary retired football coach, as commencement speaker. The ceremony also recognized recipients of the Alumni Distinguished Service AwardHeywood Fralin, who received the William H. Ruffner Medal; and Steve Mollenkopf, recipient of the University Distinguished Achievement Award.

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Graduates keep dry beneath a tarp
Graduates keep dry beneath a tarp.
Graduates manage to smile despite the rain
Graduates manage to smile despite the rain.
Graduates flash a thumbs up at commencement ceremonies
Graduates flash a thumbs up at commencement ceremonies.

“Today I’m probably more nervous than any game that we ever played in,” said Beamer, addressing the Class of 2019, who entered Virginia Tech as freshman the same year that Beamer began his final year as the Hokies head football coach in 2015. Read his full remarks.

The Class of 2019 includes graduates receiving 5,485 bachelor’s degrees and 52 associates degrees.

Commencement ceremonies for individual colleges and departments continue throughout the weekend. See a complete list.

Graduate pets Growley
A graduate pets Growley II, a Labrador retriever, who is the canine ambassador for the Corps of Cadets.
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A graduate shows the VT sign
A graduate shows the VT sign.
Families and friends in the Lane Stadium stands sat beneath ponchos, tarps, and umbrellas to keep dry
Families and friends in the Lane Stadium stands sat beneath ponchos, tarps, and umbrellas to keep dry.
Graduating students from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine wave their exam gloves, which is a vet school tradition
Graduating students from the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine wave their exam gloves, which is a vet school tradition.
Graduates give a thumbs up
Graduates give a thumbs up.
President Tim Sands and Frank Beamer '69, the legendary Virginia Tech coach who gave the 2019 commencement address
President Tim Sands and Frank Beamer '69, the legendary Virginia Tech coach who gave the 2019 commencement address.
Graduates listen during the commencement ceremony
Graduates listen during the commencement ceremony.
Frank Beamer speaks
Frank Beamer speaks.
Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke presents the graduating class of 2019.
Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke presents the graduating class of 2019.