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Families and Guests


Welcome, Parents and Families!

We look forward to welcoming you to the Vanderbilt campus for the events of Commencement. Our celebration takes place May 6-8, 2015.

All family members and guests are welcome at all Commencement-related events. If you or a member of your party need any disability assistance, we can help. Visit “Guests with Special Needs” or call (615) 322-4705.

Tickets are not required for any Commencement ceremony. Tickets will be required for THE PARTY and are available for purchase online.

Stay up to date with the latest changes by following Commencement online:

Know Before You Go

  • No umbrellas are allowed during the ceremony
  • Book your accommodations as early as possible - GO
  • No tickets are required for any ceremony (THE PARTY is the only ticketed event - GO)
  • Take care of any disabled guest needs - GO
  • Remember to bring your Commencement Handbook with you (mails in mid-February)
  • Undergraduate degrees will be awarded at the main ceremony, all other Graduate/Professional degrees will be awarded at individual ceremonies across campus
  • Indoor viewing areas are setup around Alumni Lawn for overflow, those sensitive to the weather or children - GO
  • Attire:
    • Senior Day:
      • Business casual or nicer
    • Commencement:
      • Men usually usually wear business casual or suits
      • Women usually wear sun dresses or skirts. High-heeled shoes are discouraged because of walking on grass (especially in wet weather conditions).

Key deadlines

  • April 3 – Last day to purchase custom Ph.D. or master’s REGALIA (cap and gown) to arrive for Commencement 2015
  • April 10 – Last day for students to rent REGALIA (cap and gown)
  • April 10 – Final day to order ANNOUNCEMENTS in time for them to arrive before Commencement 2015
  • April 17 – Deadline to reserve PRIVATE DINING RECEPTIONS
  • April 24 – Last day to purchase THE PARTY tickets online
  • May 1 – Deadline to reserve rooms for  ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE COMMONS
  • May 1 – Final day to order EXPRESS MEALS for Thursday and Friday of Commencement
  • May 9 – Residence halls close for all students at 1 p.m.
  • June 12 – Deadline to order COMMENCEMENT DVD
  • June 30 - Final day to make your SENIOR GIFT

International Guests

Are you coming to Commencement from outside the United States and need travel documentation? Request an “Invitation Letter” for Commencement. For more information, please visit the International Student & Scholar Services website.

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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

Sign up for Text Alerts!

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.