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School of Nursing

Instructions for Commencement Week 2015

If you have questions not covered in these instructions, call 615-322-2870 or email commencement@vanderbilt.edu.

Wednesday, May 6

  • 8 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 Vanderbilt ID may pick up regalia (cap and gown) for you. Regalia are not available on Alumni Lawn.
  • 9 p.m. THE PARTY at The Commons Center Lawn. More information »

Thursday, May 7

  • 8 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 a.m. Senior Class Day speaker. Memorial Gymnasium. More Information »
  • 3 p.m. Pinning Ceremony for May 2015 degree candidates (MSN and DNP) and their guests. Wightman Chapel, Scarritt-Bennett Center.
  • 4 p.m. Reception for School of Nursing degree candidates and their guests. Godchaux Hall, Living Room.

Friday, May 8 (Commencement Day)

  • 7:30 – 8:15 a.m. Out of town students who arrive in Nashville just before the exercises can 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 (cap and gown) 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 School of Nursing will assemble in the following order and place:
    • School of Nursing candidates for Ph.D., D.N.P., and M.S.N. degrees. Candidates will line up in double file (not in alpha order) beginning at the Kirkland Hall esplanade and extending down the path toward Furman Hall. (see YELLOW LINE on the Assembly area map). Faculty line up behind the dean and banner bearer, but in front of the degree candidates.
  • STUDENTS: Bottled water and fans are available on the perimeter of the seating area. Please pick these up before you line up.  Programs will be available at the front of each procession line. Caps are normally worn throughout the exercises. Hoods are worn by all except those receiving bachelor degrees.
  • 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 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.
  • Hooding And Diploma-awarding Ceremony And Reception
    • 10 a.m. Degree recipients should line up alphabetically, according to specialty, in the Branscomb Quadrangle main lobby for the procession. The ceremony will begin at 10:45 a.m. Faculty will line up in the same lobby. Marshals will be on hand to assist.
    • Following the ceremony there will be a reception for graduates and their guests in the Formal Lounges of Branscomb Quadrangle.
  • 12:30 – 2 p.m. Informal luncheon for faculty participating in the graduation exercises. Buttrick Hall Atrium.

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.

In keeping with this tradition, candidates for degrees are encouraged not to wear adornments. Please read the Adornment Policy for more information.

Faculty should pick up regalia (Cap and Gown) in Light Hall as instructed by the School of Medicine.

Returning Regalia

Students –Return located the Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt

Deadline: Monday, May 11th, 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 return regalia (Cap and Gown) in Light Hall as instructed by the School of Medicine.

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, and the School of Medicine hooding and diploma-awarding ceremony as well. 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 2015 will be invited to participate in Commencement exercises in May 2016.

Commencement-Text Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather the ceremony will be held in Memorial Gymnasium. If in doubt, check the Commencement website or call the Vanderbilt telephone operators at 615-322-7311. An an alert will be sent to your cell phone if you have signed up for Commencement Text Alerts.

In Memorial Gym there will be no procession for candidates.

Graduate and Professional: (arrive by 8:15) Promptness in arrival is imperative.

Degree candidates should enter through the “Student Entrance” located on the south side facing the baseball field and make their way to the west end of the court via the “Southwest Connector.” School of Medicine candidates will sit in section 2L. Watch for signs and faculty marshals to assist.

Faculty who will be attending the diploma-awarding ceremony at Branscomb Quadrangle should sit with the degree candidates in section 3L.


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Future Commencement Dates

 2016  -  May 11, 12, 13
 2017  -  May 10, 11, 12
 2018  -  May 9, 10, 11
 2019  -  May 8, 9, 10

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Text Alerts

Vanderbilt offers a complimentary early alert system for all Commencement attendees. The system is designed to inform you, via text message, if any of the main ceremonies have been moved or canceled due to weather or any unexpected circumstance.