Commencement FAQ

Commencement : Students' Frequently Asked Questions

When and where will the Commencement Ceremony be held?
The Commencement Ceremony will be Saturday, May 11 at 11 a.m. at the David J. Prior Convocation Center.

Is there a rehearsal for Commencement?
Yes. Rehearsal is Thursday, May 9. Graduates should report at 4 p.m. to the Prior Center Lakeview Room to prepare for rehearsal.

Are tickets required for the Commencement Ceremony?
Each graduate will receive eight (8) 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 Wednesday, May 8 through Friday, May 10 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 10 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Graduates are responsible for distributing tickets to family/guests prior to the Commencement ceremony.

If additional tickets are needed, ask a fellow graduate if they have any tickets not being used.

All guests will be admitted to the Prior Center when the doors open at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 11.  Guests with tickets will be seated first.  Seats will be available for ticket holders until 10:30 a.m. and then released for all remaining guests 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.

When will residence halls close?
Residence halls will remain open for all students until 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 12. Check outs on Saturday, May 11, will begin at 2 p.m. after Commencement. 

Where do I pick up my cap and gown?
Graduates will be given their cap and gown at Senior Salute on March 27, 2019.  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 the Prior Center’s Lakeview Room no later than 10 a.m.

Parents and guests should be seated by 10:30 a.m.

Where should I park?
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.

  • Graduates should park in the parking lots around Greear Gymnasium.
  • Faculty, staff and students should park in other campus lots.
  • Disability accessible parking is in the lot immediately above the Prior Center.

Where are the designated shuttle stops on campus?
The following shuttle stops will be clearly marked with signs:

  • Greear Gymnasium
  • Crockett Hall
  • McCraray Hall

Where do I go to robe?
The robing area for the Graduates is in the Prior Center’s Lakeview Room. 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 robing area will not be secured during the ceremony and the College is not responsible for items left there.

On what side of my cap is the tassel placed when I robe?
Graduates should position the tassel on the right side of the cap prior to the Commencement ceremony.  After the Chancellor confers your degree, you move the tassel to the left side of the cap.

When will I receive my Honors Tassel?
Students graduating with academic distinction will receive a gold honors tassels when they report for line up on Saturday. Tassels will be provided that morning based on coursework completed as of the end of the fall 2018 semester and may be adjusted based on all reported college coursework.

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.

Final honor designations will be printed on the transcript and the diploma.

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 four to five 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 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 as the names of degree candidates must be submitted to the printer 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 2019 semester may be ordered from the Registrar’s Office after June 1, 2019.  You may order transcripts online, in person, by telephone at 276-328-0116.

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 and honor court actions, could delay the release of your diploma and transcripts.

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 visit GradImages or call 1-800-261-2576

Where do I purchase graduation announcements and class rings?
You may purchase announcements from the College print shop.  For more information, visit the Bookstore.

Announcements and class rings can also be purchased from Balfour by visiting Balfour.

More information will be available at Senior Salute on March 27, 2019.

Will the Bookstore be open on Commencement Day?
The campus bookstore outlet in the Prior Center will be open on Friday, May 10 from 4 to 6 p.m. and will open at 9:30 a.m. on Commencement day.


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.