In its 141st year, Virginia Tech will hold its 2012 Fall Commencement ceremonies on Friday, Dec. 21, in Cassell Coliseum on the Virginia Tech campus, recognizing the academic accomplishments of approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students.

Students who completed their academic work at the end of the summer session or the fall semester will be recognized at this ceremony.

Information on all commencement activities may be found online or by calling 540-231-3208.

Annie Hesp, an instructor of Spanish in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, will give the keynote address at the University Commencement Ceremony.

The husband and wife team of Kirk Schultz, president of Kansas State University, and Noel Schulz, associate dean for research and graduate programs and Paslay Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Kansas State, will deliver the Graduate School Ceremony address. Both are Virginia Tech alumni.

At both ceremonies, Commencement Marshall Bruce E. Pencek, social sciences librarian at University Libraries, will lead the academic procession, and the Virginia Tech Brass Ensemble, conducted by Associate Professor of Music Wallace Easter, will perform.

Virginia Tech will offer live streaming of video of the Graduate School and University commencement ceremonies. Links to streams of both events will be accessible from the university homepage approximately one hour before each ceremony begins. At the conclusion of each ceremony, the video will be archived and accessible from the commencement website.

Should the university be closed due to inclement weather, commencement ceremonies would also be cancelled. Once the decision to cancel has been made, details will be posted on the Virginia Tech homepage, the Virginia Tech News homepage, and Virginia Tech Mobile. In addition, a campus-wide email will be sent to all students, faculty, and staff; a recorded message will be placed on the University Weather Line (540-231-6668); and information will be shared with local media outlets. The announcement will also be posted to VT News on Twitter and the Virginia Tech page on Facebook.

University Commencement

Undergraduate students will be recognized at the University Commencement ceremony held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Cassell Coliseum.

Associate’s degrees will be conferred to 12 students from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and bachelor's degrees will be conferred to approximately 1,431 students completing degree requirements at either the end of the summer session or fall term. Of those students, 292 graduating seniors completed their baccalaureate degree programs with honors, having achieved an accumulative grade point average of at least a 3.4 on a 4.0 scale.

Among the undergraduates completing their degree this summer or fall, the most popular majors are, in order, psychology, biological sciences, civil engineering, finance, and accounting and information systems and human development are tied for fifth.

Bachelor’s degrees to be awarded to students from each of Virginia Tech’s seven undergraduate colleges:

Student remarks during the University Commencement ceremony include opening reflections from Ryan Paul Sutton of Wilmington, N.C., a senior majoring in political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences; a speech by Class of 2013 President Tyler P. Campbell of Roanoke, Va., a senior majoring in aerospace engineering in the College of Engineering; and closing reflections by Class of 2012 Secretary Yuyu Schatz of Burke, Va., a senior majoring in interior design in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies.

Families and guests attending the University Commencement Ceremony are encouraged to be seated by 10:15 a.m. The procession of students and faculty will begin promptly at 10:40 a.m.

Graduate Commencement

The Graduate School Ceremony will follow from 3 to 5 p.m., also in Cassell Coliseum.

At that ceremony, approximately 59 advanced graduate certificates, one Education Specialists degrees, 699 master's degrees, 10 Ed.D., and 270 Ph.D. degrees will be conferred to students completing graduate programs at either the end of the summer session or the fall term.

In all, approximately 1,039 graduate students will be recognized during the Graduate School Ceremony.

During the Graduate Commencement ceremony, student remarks will be made by Katelin Shugart-Schmidt of Logan, Utah, a Master of Science degree candidate in fisheries and wildlife science in the College of Natural Resources and Environment.

Those attending the Graduate School Ceremony are asked to be seated by 2:15 p.m. The procession of students and faculty will begin at 2:45 p.m.

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.

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