Commencement : Guest Information

Arrival Time
Traffic will be heavier than usual Saturday morning.  Plan to arrive on campus early.  Guests should park as directed by Campus Police, then go directly to the David J. Prior Convocation Center.  Doors will open at 9:30 a.m.  Family and guests with tickets should be seated by 10:30 a.m. The academic procession will start at 11 a.m.
 
 
Parking
Parking is available on the main campus and at the Prior Center.  Shuttle buses will run from designated stops on campus to and from the Prior Center starting at 8:30 a.m.
 
Disability accessible parking is in the lot immediately above the Prior Center.
 
Designated shuttle stops on campus
The following shuttle stops will be clearly marked with signs:
·        Greear Gymnasium
·        Crockett Hall
·        McCraray Hall
 
Seating
Each graduate will receive seven 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 4 through May 8 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 8 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.  Ushers will be taking tickets at each set of stairs. Guests may also observe the commencement ceremony from the concourse level.
Guests are not permitted in the robing area or graduate seating area until after the recessional. 
Faculty and staff will be admitted to the seating area by showing their campus ID card.
  
Guests Need to Know 
  • Beverages and packaged snacks will be available  for purchase from the Prior Center’s concession stands.
  • A first-aid station will be available in the Prior Center ticket office near the main entrance.
  • Ushers will direct lost children to the Prior Center’s ticket office.
  • All ushers and official Commencement staff will be wearing red vests and nametags.  Please look to these guides for assistance. 
  • The campus bookstore outlet in the Prior Center will open at 9:30 a.m. on the day of Commencement.
Restrooms
Public restrooms are located near the main entrance of the David J. Prior Convocation Center and are disability accessible.
 
Pets
For the safety of everyone attending Commencement, no pets other than service animals, are permitted in the Prior Center.
Disability Accommodations
UVa-Wise is pleased to offer services for guests with disabilities during Commencement weekend. The locations for these services are at the main entrance and are clearly marked with signs posted at the event.  In addition, there will be ushers wearing red vests at the event. Please feel free to ask for assistance.
 
Parking
Disability accessible parking is available in the lot immediately above the Prior Center; however, there are a limited number of spaces available.  Guests who wish to use the disability accessible parking must have a handicapped parking tag or license plate and make a reservation by calling 276-376-4522. 
 
Seating and Wheelchairs 
Accessible seating will be available for guests to accommodate wheelchairs or other mobility impairments.  Guests must check in at the front Disability Services Check-in to receive a pass for this reserved seating.  This seating is along concourse level.  In order to accommodate as many persons as possible, only one additional family/guest member may sit in the wheelchair seating area.  As with any other guest, tickets are necessary for seating until the designated release time.  After the release, the accessible seating is open but only to those with a pass obtained from Disability Services.
 
Some assistance, including wheelchairs, is available to assist guests to concourse level seating and to the designated pick-up areas after the event.  Guests will be accompanied by staff.
 
Deaf and Hearing Impaired
American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation is available at Commencement.  Please come to the Disability Services Check-in and let an usher know for seating purposes.
 
Restrooms
Public restrooms are located near the main entrance of the Prior Center and are disability accessible.
 
LODGING AND DINING
Area Lodging
Best Western of Wise     276-328-3500   www.bestwestern.com
Comfort Inn Hotel     276-523-5911   www.comfortinn.com
Days Inn     276-679-5340   www.daysinn.com
Holiday Inn     1-888-HOLIDAY or 276-679-6655  www.holidayinn.com
Quality Inn & Suites    276-679-7000  www.qualityinn.com/hotel-norton-virginia-VA521
Super 8 Motel     276-679-0893   www.super8.com
The Inn at Wise  276-321-7600   www.innatwise.com
 
 
Area Dining
Asia Cafe     276-679-1502
Applebee's     276-679-5790
Bonanza Family Restaurant     276-679-1918
China Garden     276-679-5201
Dari Barn     276-328-6449
El Castillo (Mexican)  276-328-2000
Fishtales     276-679-1651
Mi Finca (Mexican)     276-679-3330
Magnolia Kitchen (Cajun)    (276) 679-0300
Monterrey's (Mexican)     276-679-5850
Moon Dog Brick Oven Pizza  276-321-7452
Park Avenue Restaurant and Sky Lounge  276-679-6655
Prime Sirloin     276-679-0673
Reno's     276-328-2924
Roma's (Italian)     276-328-3714
Romano's (Italian)     276-679-1889
The Inn at Wise   276-321-7600
  • The Colonial Dining Room (Dinner Only)
  • The Corner Diner
Yamato's (Japanese)     276-679-0441
 
 
For more information or for disability accommodation, please contact:
Office of Commencement
276-376-4522