Commencement : Frequently Asked Questions

Students need to know
When and where will the Commencement Ceremony be held?
The Commencement Ceremony will be Saturday, May 10 at 11 a.m. on the Lawn by the Lake.
Is there a rehearsal for Commencement?
Yes, rehearsal is planned for Thursday, May 8 at 4:30 p.m..  Graduates should report at 4 p.m. to Fred B. Greear Gymnasium to prepare for rehearsal. 
What are the plans in case of bad weather?
In the case of severe weather conditions, the ceremony may be delayed or moved to the David J. Prior Convocation Center.  Schedule and/or location changes resulting from severe weather conditions will be available on the college web page or on the following phone lines - 276-376-4766 or 276-376-4522.
Are tickets required for the Commencement Ceremony?
Tickets are NOT required for the Commencement Ceremony on the Lawn by the Lake.  All graduates and guests are welcome.  Seating on the lawn is first-come, first-served.
However, if the ceremony must be moved to the David J. Prior Convocation Center due to severe weather, tickets will be required.
If the Commencement Ceremony is moved to the David J. Prior Convocation Center how many guest seating tickets will I receive for the ceremony?
Each graduate will receive six tickets for family and guest seating at the Prior Center.  Tickets will be distributed to graduates (with a photo ID) at the Registrar’s Office May 2 through May 9 during regular business hours.  Tickets will also be available to graduates (with a photo ID) at the Prior Center ticket office on Friday evening, May 9 from 5 to 9 p.m.
Guests with tickets will be seated first.  Seats will be available for ticket holders until 10:30 a.m. and then released for other guests without tickets on a first come basis.  Guests may also observe the ceremony from the concourse level.
Faculty and staff will be admitted to the seating area by showing their campus ID card.
When will residence halls close?
Residence halls will remain open for all students until noon on Sunday, May 11. Check outs on Saturday will not begin until 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 10, after Commencement.
Where do I pick up my cap and gown?
Graduates will be given their cap and gown at Senior Salute on March 26. (Please visit   If you do not attend Senior Salute, you can pick up your cap and gown at the Registrar’s Office in Crockett Hall.
What time should I arrive for Commencement?
Graduates should arrive at the graduate robing area in Fred B. Greear Gymnasium no later than 10 a.m.
Parents and guests should be seated by 10:30 a.m.
Where should I park?
Graduates should park in the parking lot above Greear Gymnasium.
Other guests will be directed to parking areas by Campus Police.
Shuttle buses will run from all parking lots to the commencement site from 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where do I go to robe?
The robing area for the Graduates is in Fred B. Greear Gymnasium. Bring your cap and gown.  Staff will be available to assist with robing and to place you in the line-up.  Graduates should leave coats, purses and other valuables with a family member. The gym will not be secrued during the ceremony and the College is not responsible for items left there.
Faculty will robe in the Chapel of All Faiths.
When will I receive my Honor Stole?
Students graduating with academic distinction will receive honor stoles when they report for line up in Greear Gymnasium.  Stoles will be provided that morning based on coursework completed as of the end of the fall 2013 semester and may be adjusted based on all reported college coursework.
The GPA requirements for honors are as follows:
                                Cum Laude:  3.50 – 3.699
                                Magna Cum Laude: 3.70 – 3.899
                                Summa Cum Laude: 3.90 – 4.00
The student’s GPA must be maintained on graded work taken at UVa-Wise separately from and combined with all graded coursework taken, regardless of whether the work was accepted for transfer or not.
May I wear other cords?
Students who have earned membership in a recognized honor society will be permitted to wear the official cords or pins of their honor society, such as the Darden Society, Omicron Delta Kappa, Psi Chi, Sigma Zeta, Sigma Delta Pi, Phi Alpha Theta, Pi Sigma Alpha, Sigma Tau Delta, Lambda Pi Eta and others.
When will I receive my diploma?
Diplomas will be mailed to graduates approximately three weeks after Commencement.  Diplomas for graduates completing their degrees in the summer will be ordered after the second summer school session and mailed about six weeks later. Please be sure the Registrar’s Office has the correct mailing address where you want your diploma mailed. If you have questions call 276-328-0117.
I have a double major.  Do I get two diplomas?
A double major means you have completed two programs, but only one degree.  You will receive one diploma, unless you complete the hours required for two degree paths.
Will departmental and College honors appear on my diploma?
Final honors earned, based on all coursework, will appear on the official transcripts and on the diploma.
How will my name appear in the program and on my diploma?
During the Senior Salute, students are given an opportunity to approve the spelling of their name.  If you did not attend Senior Salute, check with the Registrar’s Office to verify the spelling of your name. If you applied late for graduation, your name may not be printed in the program.  The names of degree candidates must be submitted to the printer and diplomas ordered several weeks prior to Commencement.  However, your name will be called as you cross the stage, and any college honors earned will be announced.
When will transcripts be available?
Final transcripts for the spring 2014 semester may be ordered from the Registrar’s Office after June 1, 2014.  You may order the transcripts in person, by telephone at 276-328-0116 or on-line at
What obligations will prevent me from receiving my diploma?
Any financial obligation that would place a stop code on your student account, as well as disciplinary actions, could delay the release of your diploma.
How do I know if I am on track to complete my degree requirements?
Check with the Registrar’s Office.  You may call 276-328-0118 or email or
Will photos be taken of each graduate?
A professional photographer will take individual photos of graduates receiving their scroll on stage from the Chancellor.  A sample photo and order form will be emailed to graduates after Commencement.  For more information contact Chappell Studio at 800-424-3686 or you may visit    Grad Images
How do I order graduation announcements and class rings online?
Visit Balfour at  These items may also be ordered at Senior Salute on March 26. 
You may also purchase announcements and diploma frames from the College bookstore.  For more information, visit the bookstore on campus or at
Will the Bookstore be open on Commencement Day?
The campus bookstore will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the day of Commencement.
Be sure to say thank you!
Be sure to say thank you to Mom, Dad, a professor, a friend or anyone who has helped you achieve the important goal by purchasing a certificate to send to them.