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Guests with Special Needs


Wheelchair reservation, reserved parking permits and interpreter/transcription services are provided by the Vanderbilt Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Disability Services Department’s Disability Services Program to ensure all guests enjoy a comfortable and accessible Commencement.

Contact Tammy King at (615) 322-4705 for information.

Special Needs Request Form »


wheelchairA limited number of wheelchairs will be available for loan by prior reservation. Wheelchairs can be reserved for the Thursday and Friday of Commencement. A valid driver’s license is required as collateral for borrowing a wheelchair. The ID will be returned when the wheelchair is turned in. An area within the seating section of all ceremonies will be reserved for wheelchair users. Only one guest is permitted to sit with the user due to limited space. If you request the use of a wheelchair, please know that you are responsible for returning the equipment to the designated location; otherwise a $500 replacement cost will be levied.

  • Senior Day (Thursday)
    • 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
      • Wheelchair pick up and drop off is located on the corner of Jess Neely Drive and 25th Ave. South (same corner as the baseball field and across from 25th Ave. Garage).
    • 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
      • Wheelchair pick-up and drop-off is located at Kirkland Hall located on the main campus.
  • Commencement Day (Friday)
    • 7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.*
      • The designated wheelchair pick up and drop-off location is Kirkland Hall, located on the main campus.
      • If there is inclement weather, the location for pick up and drop off will be moved to the corner of 25th Ave and Jess Neely Drive adjacent to the baseball field.

*Wheelchairs should be returned to Kirkland Hall (located on campus) by 2:30 p.m. After 2:30 p.m. all wheelchairs must be returned to the EAD office (located off campus) at the Baker Building, Suite 108, located on the corner of 21st and West End, by 4:00 p.m.

Disability Parking Permits

State issued placard or tag can still park in any accessible parking spot not marked reserved.

The university has reserved parking spaces for guests with mobility impairments; however, the total number of parking spaces is limited. A Commencement 2016 Disability Parking Permit is required to park in one of these reserved spaces. Graduates and guests with car license plates or placards indicating a disability also need to display a Commencement 2016 Disability Parking Permit in order to access any reserved campus parking lot the weekend of Commencement.

Drop Off Permits

Graduates and guests are also able to reserve Commencement 2016 Drop Off Permits.  This permit will allow a driver closer access to the ceremony site to drop off individuals with physical limitations. This permit will not allow the driver to park in a disability reserved parking space.

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Future Commencement Dates

 2017  -  May 10, 11, 12
 2018  -  May 9, 10, 11
 2019  -  May 8, 9, 10
 2020 -  May 6, 7, 8

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.