Student and their families will see significant changes to the spring commencement and convocation ceremonies schedule beginning in 2012 — changes that will make these events even more enjoyable to participant as well as provide greater insurance from late afternoon weather systems that could affect the university commencement ceremony at Lane Stadium.

The most noticeable change is the new time for the University Commencement ceremony, held in recent years on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. in Lane Stadium. The 2012 University Commencement ceremony will be held at Lane Friday, May 11 at noon.

The Graduate Commencement ceremony will now begin Friday at 8:30 a.m. in Cassell Coliseum, rather than the 3 p.m. start time used in recent years.

The complete 2012 commencement and convocation schedule can be found at the Commencement website.

“We believe graduating students and their families will really like the new schedule,” said Dan Taylor, professor of agricultural and applied economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and chair of the University Commencement Committee. “The earlier start of the University Commencement ceremony will provide a greater defense against late afternoon pop-up showers that are typical in May — just as we experienced this past May. Should inclement weather be an issue earlier in the day, we will have more flexibility to delay the starting time of the ceremony to allow bad weather to pass.

By starting ceremonies earlier on Friday, convocation ceremonies will conclude earlier on Saturday.

“Our latest convocation ceremony on Saturday, (May 12) will begin at 2:30 p.m., rather than 4 p.m. as it did last year,” said Taylor. “By finishing earlier in the day on Saturday, graduates and their families will have more time to celebrate over dinner on Saturday, for example, or use the additional daylight hours to begin their journey home.”

The departments of communication, human development, and psychology will now hold their convocations on Friday afternoon. The Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine commencement ceremony and the combined Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets commencement and ROTC commissioning ceremony will occur on Friday evening at 7 p.m.

“In addition, the new schedule will afford more time in between convocation ceremonies on Friday and Saturday, providing additional time for graduates and their families to either arrive at or exit facilities, which will help lessen vehicular and pedestrian congestion in between ceremonies,” said Taylor. “That alone will make for a more enjoyable commencement weekend.”

Virginia Tech will again make residence hall rooms and suites available for families who wish to stay on campus during commencement weekend. In addition, university dining centers will stay open through breakfast on Saturday to accommodate campus visitors.

Details on on-campus accommodations and reservations, as well as dining center hours will be finalized early in this spring and will be posted on the Commencement website.

The time for the National Capital Region commencement ceremony has not changed. It will be held on Sunday, May 13 at 1:30 p.m. at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University.

Share this story