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Tickets are required for this event.


As part of our Commencement tradition, Vanderbilt hosts a big outdoor dance whose simple name says it all: THE PARTY. This event launches three days of festivities in a grand fashion with live entertainment and a huge dance floor — offering a memorable evening of fun and celebration under the stars.

  • May 6 from 9 p.m. – Midnight
  • Featuring The Zippers
  • Commons Center Lawn
  • Rain or shine
  • Tickets are required for admission
    One complimentary ticket will be sent to each graduating student. Additional guest tickets may be purchased for $20 online until April 24, or at the door the night of the show.
    * Children 12 years of age and under do not require a ticket.
  • Tickets will be available at the door. Check or cash only.
  • Effective July 1, 2014, Universal Carding is the law in the State of Tennessee. If you plan to purchase drink tickets for beer, wine or liquor at THE PARTY please remember to bring your ID. Regardless of age, everyone who plans to drink alcoholic beverages will be required to show ID before receiving a wristband which allows guests of legal age to purchase drink tickets and consume alcoholic beverages at THE PARTY.


THe Zippers

The Zippers

A key part of the event is the live entertainment. The featured band this year are The Zippers, who were recently named Best Dance Band In The USA by the National Music Awards. Their show is full of high energy performances, and witty and fun presentations of all your favorite songs. 

Campus favorites Soul Incision get the party started with their own brand of rock ‘n’ roll. Comprised of some of Vanderbilt’s superstar surgeons and ace administrators, they know how to have fun and invite you to join them.

Bring your dancing shoes and be prepared for an unforgettable evening!

To learn more about the featured entertainment, visit The Zippers.

NEW FOR 2015: Make your own t-shirt at THE PARTY!

shirt Pre-order your own commemorative t-shirt that you make yourself. Pick your shirt color, apply the screen print, slide it through the instant-dryer and your shirt is dry and ready to wear in less than 30 seconds!  Adult and Youth sizes available.  Click HERE to order.


What is THE PARTY?

Vanderbilt’s community celebration for its graduating students and their families and guests with a huge outdoor dance floor with live entertainment.

Who is invited?

Degree candidates (including undergraduate, graduate and professional school students), their families, friends. Other members of the Vanderbilt Community including friends from the administration, faculty and staff.

When is THE PARTY?

The Wednesday before Commencement, May 6 from 9 p.m. to midnight.

Where is THE PARTY?

Outdoors on the Commons Center Lawn

Are tickets required?

Yes, this is the only Commencement event requiring a ticket. One complimentary ticket will be sent to all degree candidates with their Commencement Handbook. Additional tickets may be purchased for $20 each. A ticket will admit you to the party, but does not guarantee seating. Children 12 and under do not require a ticket and will be admitted free of charge.

Can you reserve a table with guaranteed seating?

Yes, simply, complete the online ticket request form specifying your desire to reserve a table at a cost of $200 with a guarantee of 10 seats. You receive 10 event tickets with your table purchase. (Limited tables are available). 

What about lost tickets?

The Vanderbilt Commencement Office is not responsible for lost, stolen or destroyed tickets.

What is the attire?

No specific requirement. We recommend snappy casual with comfortable shoes for dancing.

Where do I park for THE PARTY?

Several lots near The Commons Center Lawn will be available specifically for guests attending this event. Please follow the parking signs.

Can I get a shuttle bus from the parking lots to THE PARTY?

Continuous shuttle service will be provided from the Wesley Place Garage to THE PARTY from 7:30 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.

Will alcoholic beverages be served?

Yes. Free soft drinks will be available for pickup throughout the event site. Guests of legal age may purchase drink tickets for use at the cash bars. Wristbands are required for purchase. Be prepared to show photo ID that verifies age at the entry gates in order to receive a wristband.

Will there be food?

Complimentary pretzels and popcorn will be available.

Where can I find a restroom?

Portable bathroom facilities will be available at the event site. Bathrooms will also be available on the first floor of the Commons Center.

What about disability related needs?

Accessible entrances are available onto the Commons Center lawn on east side of the Commons Center adjacent to Hobbs Lab. There will also be reserved parking for guests with mobility impairments in Lot #84 alongside 18th Ave. South. Please follow the signs.

What happens in case of rain?

THE PARTY will occur outdoors, rain or shine. Sign up for Commencement text alerts to be notified in the event of severe weather.

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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.