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Blair School of Music

Instructions for Commencement Week 20167

If you have questions not covered in these instructions, call 615-322-2870 or email

Wednesday, May 10

  • 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Students may pick up caps, gowns, tassels and hoods at the Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt by presenting a photo ID.
    Anyone presenting your Vanderbilt ID may pick up regalia (cap and gown) for you. Regalia are not available on Alumni Lawn.
  • 8:00 p.m.  9:30 p.m.  The Ingram Commons Open House Receptions at the Commons houses.  More Information »
  • 9:00 p.m. THE PARTY at The Commons Center Lawn. More information »

Thursday, May 11

  • 8:00 a.m. – 5 p.m. Students may pick up caps, gowns, tassels and hoods at the Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt by presenting a photo ID.
    Anyone presenting your valid Vanderbilt ID may pick up regalia (Cap and Gown) for you. Regalia are not available on Alumni Lawn.
  • 9:45 a.m. All degree candidates, family and friends are invited to be seated on the floor of Memorial Gymnasium. Seating is open and not dictated by school. Dress is business casual.
    Please do not bring any backpacks or large bags into the gymnasium.
  • 11:00 a.m. Senior Class Day speaker, Memorial Gymnasium. More Information »
  • 3:00 p.m. Senior Recognition Ceremony for Blair School of Music graduates and their guests. Reception following. Turner Recital Hall.

Friday, May 12 (Commencement Day)

  • 7:00 a.m. Blair School Continental Breakfast for Blair degree candidates and their guests. Ingram Lobby, Blair School.
  • 7:30 – 8:15 a.m. Out of town students who arrive in Nashville just before the exercises may obtain regalia (cap and gown) at the Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt by presenting a photo ID. Anyone presenting your Vanderbilt ID may pick up regalia for you. Regalia are not available on Alumni Lawn.
  • 8:25 a.m. Students and faculty report to assembly areas to line up for the Commencement Procession. Promptness in lining up is imperative. The Blair School of Music will assemble in the following order and place:
    • Blair School of Music followed by the School of Engineering undergraduates. Degree candidates from Blair School of Music will line up double file in alphabetical order, followed by the school of Engineering undergraduates, beginning at the Southwest corner of Alumni Hall between Neely Auditorium (see ORANGE line on the Assembly Area map). The assembly area will be indicated by ORANGE signs designating degrees.
  • STUDENTS: Bottled water will be provided for you at each seat on Alumni Lawn.  Programs will be available at the front of each procession line and fans are available on the perimeter of the seating area. Please pick these up before you line up.
  • GUESTS should be seated on Alumni Lawn no later than 8:30 a.m. to see the procession. Bottled water, programs and fans are available on the perimeter of the seating area. Please advise your guests to pick these up on the way to their seats.
  • 9:00 a.m. The procession of candidates enters Alumni Lawn to seating reserved for candidates and faculty as guided by faculty marshals.
  • After students are seated and at the second trumpet signal, the academic procession (the order of procession will be printed in your Commencement Program) will move toward the platform.
  • 10:15 a.m. Recession of graduate and professional school degree recipients and their faculties as instructed by the chair of the Faculty Senate from the platform. These groups will depart as led by a faculty marshal.
  • Noon – 1:30 p.m. Strawberries and Champagne Celebration for the Class of 2017 and their guests. Library Lawn and Bishop's Commons
  • 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. Informal luncheon for faculty participating in the graduation exercises. Atrium, Buttrick Hall.

Academic Regalia (Cap and Gown)

A strong tradition of Commencement, both at Vanderbilt University and at universities in general, is the wearing of uniform academic regalia. The uniformity of regalia, inconsistent only by reason of the particular degree being conferred and by distinctions for individual honors achieved, e.g. Founder’s Medals and class marshal ribbons, symbolizes that each graduate has fulfilled the same requirements for that degree.

Returning Regalia

Students  –Return located the Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt

Deadline: Monday, May 15th, by Noon

Bachelors: You keep all aspects of your cap and gown 

Masters: Keep tassel and cap, return hood and gown. 

Doctors and PhD: Return all aspects of gown, tam with tassel and hood.

Faculty should pick up and return regalia as instructed by their dean’s office.

Participation in Commencement Exercises

Degree candidates must have completed successfully all curriculum requirements and have passed all prescribed examinations by the published deadlines to be allowed to participate in the ceremony. Participating students should plan to attend the main ceremony. Guests and participants will be expected to remain at the respective ceremonies until the conclusion. Much depends on the courtesy and cooperation of all who attend.

Students unable to participate in the graduation ceremony will receive their diploma by mail.

A student completing degree requirements in August or December 2016 will be invited to participate in Commencement exercises in May 2017.

Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather the ceremony will be held in Memorial Gymnasium. If in doubt, check the Commencement website, Facebook or Twitter, or call Vanderbilt telephone operators at 615-322-7311. You may also sign up for the Commencement App .  If the ceremony is held in Memorial Gymnasium, there will be no procession for candidates in Memorial Gym.

Undergraduate: (arrive by 8:15 a.m.) Promptness in arrival is imperative.

Degree candidates (A&S, Blair, Engineering and Peabody) should enter the North or South lobby and sit in alphabetical order in the chairs situated on the gym floor. Watch for signs designating letters of the alphabet and degree at the end of the rows. Student and faculty marshals will be on hand to assist.

Faculty (arrive by 8:30) who will be staying for the undergraduate diploma-awarding ceremony, and marching in procession, should enter through the Procession Party Entrance (to the right of the main entrance doors) located on the East side of the gym facing 25th Ave.

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Future Commencement Dates

 2018  -  May 9, 10, 11
 2019  -  May 8, 9, 10
 2020 -  May 6, 7, 8

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