New beginnings: Medical school's first graduating class highlights 2014 Virginia Tech commencement ceremonies
May 5, 2014
Virginia Tech will add one more ceremony to its annual spring schedule of commencement events that honor those students who have completed all the requirements necessary for their undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree.
The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine will hold its first-ever commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 10 at 8:30 a.m. at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke.
The ceremony will honor the school’s first 40 graduates — the charter class that distinguished itself with a 100 percent residency program match rate. U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, who as governor of Virginia signed legislation to support the creation of the new school, will deliver the keynote address.
Less than a week later, approximately 30,000 friends and family members are expected to travel to Blacksburg for commencement ceremonies to be held Friday, May 16 and Saturday, May 17.
This year, the University Commencement ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. in Lane Stadium with the student procession starting at 8:40 a.m. Gates to the stadium will open at 7 a.m. to allow guests ample time to find seating.
The Graduate School Commencement ceremony will follow at noon at Cassell Coliseum and 28 more college and departmental ceremonies will be held across campus starting at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon and will continue Saturday morning and afternoon.
A complete schedule of all departmental and college convocation ceremonies may be found on the commencement website.
Virginia Tech will offer live streaming video of both the Graduate School Commencement and University Commencement ceremonies from the university homepage.
Approximately 1,300 friends and family members of graduates will stay in university residence halls that are within walking distance to all ceremony venues during their two- or three-day visit.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will deliver the keynote address at the University Commencement ceremony. Approximately 43 associate's degree candidates from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and 4,354 bachelor's degree candidates will be honored during the ceremony.
This year, 1,744 graduating seniors will complete their baccalaureate degree programs with honors, having achieved an accumulative grade point average of at least a 3.4 on a 4.0 scale.
This year's most popular major among graduating seniors is mechanical engineering. It is expected that 283 students will receive that bachelor of science degree. Biological sciences (276), human nutrition, foods and exercise (214); psychology (189), and industrial systems engineering (180) round out the five most popular majors.
At a ceremony to be held Friday evening at 7 p.m. in Burruss Hall Auditorium, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will honor 199 students graduating from its program. At the same ceremony, 53 students will be commissioned into the U.S. Army, 26 will be commissioned into the U.S. Air Force, 19 will be commissioned into the U.S. Navy, and 9 will commission into the U.S. Marine Corps.
Bachelor’s degrees to be awarded to students from each of Virginia Tech’s seven undergraduate colleges:
Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia, will address graduate degree candidates at the Graduate School Commencement. Approximately 1,450 students will be honored at that ceremony – 1,047 master’s degree candidates, 13 education specialist degree candidates, 19 Ed.D. candidates, 99 graduate certificate candidates, and 268 Ph.D. candidates.
In addition, 95 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree candidates are expected to represent the 31th graduating class of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. The veterinary college’s convocation will be held at 7 p.m. Friday evening in the Commonwealth Ballroom of Squires Student Center.
Virginia Tech's 34th National Capital Region commencement ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 18, at the George Mason University Center for the Arts in Fairfax, Va. Virginia Secretary of Technology Karen R. Jackson will give the keynote address to approximately 200 National Capital Region graduates and their guests.
Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger, who will step down as university president on May 31, will preside over the two Blacksburg ceremonies. Karen DePauw, vice president and dean for graduate education, will lead the Sunday event.
The academic procession at both the University and Graduate School Commencement ceremonies will be led by Commencement Marshal Sarah M. Karpanty, associate professor in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation in the College of Natural Resources and Environment. Henry R. Hollander, coordinator for outreach and alumni relations for the School of Architecture and Design, will serve as commencement marshal for the National Capital Region ceremony.
Student remarks given during the University Commencement ceremony include opening reflections from Colleen Thom of Yorktown, Va., a senior majoring in business information technology in the Pamplin College of Business; a speech by Class of 2014 President Jay Tucker of Oakton, Va., a senior majoring in marketing management in the Pamplin College of Business; and closing reflections by David Kenneth Caravati of Richmond, Va., a senior majoring in management in the Pamplin College of Business.
Soprano Rebecca Wiles, a senior majoring in music education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, will sing the National Anthem at both the University Commencement and Graduate School Commencement ceremonies and the Alma Mater at the University Commencement ceremony. Melinda Cummings of Leesburg, Va., a graduate student in human development, will perform the song during the Graduate School Commencement ceremony.
Shernita Lee of Birmingham, Ala., a doctoral candidate in the interdisciplinary program on genetics, bioinformatics, and computational biology, will provide student remarks during the Graduate Commencement ceremony. James Muetzel of Broadlands, Va., a doctoral candidate in the public administration and public affairs program, will give student remarks during the National Capital Region ceremony.
2014 marks the 143rd year of Virginia Tech. More information on all commencement and convocation activities may be found online.
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, the Virginia Tech News page, and Virginia Tech Mobile. Information will 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.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.