Commencement 101: Details about this year's ceremonies
May 10, 2019
Update, May 17, 8:14 a.m.: The University Ceremony will be delayed until 9:30 a.m. Visit the Commencement page for updates.
Thousands of people — from excited graduates to proud families – are gearing up for Virginia Tech’s spring commencement ceremonies this week. The events began on May 11 with the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine graduation in Roanoke and will continue the following Thursday in Blacksburg through Sunday in Fairfax, Virginia.
Saturday, May 11: Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine held its graduation ceremonies at 9 a.m. on Saturday in Roanoke at the Jefferson Center. See photos and video from Saturday's ceremony.
Thursday, May 16: Virginia Tech’s Graduate School Commencement Ceremony will be held at 2:30 p.m. in Cassell Coliseum. Also, the College of Natural Resources and Environment commencement will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Burruss Hall Auditorium.
Friday, May 17: The University Commencement ceremony begins at 8:30 a.m. with the procession into Lane Stadium. Gates to the stadium will open at 7 a.m. Guests are encouraged to arrive early to avoid traffic delays.
Friday, May 17- Saturday, May 18: Beginning at noon Friday, college and departmental ceremonies will be held across campus. See a complete listing.
Sunday, May 19: Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region Commencement Ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University in Fairfax.
Virginia Tech will offer live-stream video of both the Graduate School Commencement and University Commencement ceremonies from the university homepage.
Use #hokiegrad to follow or make posts on Virginia Tech social media channels.
Frank Beamer, legendary retired Virginia Tech football coach, will deliver the keynote address to undergraduates during the University Commencement Ceremony. Candidates planning to participate in Friday’s University Commencement Ceremony procession must arrive at the staging area at the corner of Beamer Way and Southgate Drive, in the parking lot adjacent to the outdoor track, no later than 7:30 a.m. Signs will be posted designating the location lineup for each college's candidates.
Thirty two college and departmental ceremonies will be held across campus, beginning at noon Friday and continuing through Saturday afternoon in Blacksburg. A complete schedule of all ceremonies may be found on the commencement website.
To minimize congestion, President Tim Sands has approved a 10 a.m. opening for all university offices in Blacksburg on May 17. Employees who are not involved with commencement are urged not to travel to campus before the 10 a.m. opening. Details
Approximately 52 associate degree candidates from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and 5,485 bachelor’s degree candidates from all colleges will be honored throughout the weekend. This year, 2,219 graduating Hokies will complete their baccalaureate degree programs with honors, having achieved cumulative grade point averages of at least 3.4 on a 4.0 scale.
Mechanical engineering is this year's most popular major among graduating seniors. The next four most popular majors are business information technology; human nutrition, foods and exercise; computer science; and finance.
Here are the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to students from Virginia Tech’s colleges:
- College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: 556
- College of Architecture and Urban Studies: 334
- College of Engineering: 1,653
- College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences: 937
- College of Natural Resources and Environment: 225
- Pamplin College of Business: 997
- College of Science: 783
- Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine: 37 (graduates honored May 11)
The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will honor 205 graduates from its program during a 7 p.m. ceremony on Friday in Burruss Hall Auditorium. Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, commander of Air Force Space Command at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, will be the keynote speaker.
During the same ceremony, 66 students will be commissioned in the U.S. Army, 41 will be commissioned into the U.S. Air Force, 38 will be commissioned into the U.S. Navy, and 10 will commission into the U.S. Marine Corps.
Melody Barnes, co-director of the Democracy Initiative at the University of Virginia, will speak at the Graduate School Commencement Ceremony. Approximately 1,227 graduate students will be honored. They include 839 master’s degree candidates, four education specialist degree candidates, five Ed.D. candidates, 111 advanced graduate certificate candidates, and 268 Ph.D. candidates.
The Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine Commencement Ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre at Moss Arts Center. Approximately 122 students will receive DVM degrees.
Joshua Johnson, host of “1A,” a radio program produced by WAMU in Washington, D.C., will give the keynote address during the National Capital Region Commencement Ceremony on Sunday. Approximately 275 students will be honored.
In the event of inclement weather, the University Commencement ceremony in Lane Stadium may be delayed. If heavy rain or dangerous conditions prevail, the university may cancel the ceremony. Once a decision has been made, details will be posted on the Virginia Tech homepage and the Virginia Tech News page. Information will also be recorded on the University Weather Line (540-231-6668), shared with area news outlets, sent using campus-wide email and VT Alerts, and posted to the VT News page on Twitter and the Virginia Tech page on Facebook.