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Commencement Day


The following information reflects Commencement 2016 details.

Graduates – view your Commencement week instructions » Print the Schedule

Open Seating - Tickets are not required.


Friday, May 13

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Commencement Ceremony - Alumni Lawn is the site where all undergraduate and graduate/professional schools process and gather for the day's ceremonies.  At approximately 10:15 a.m., graduate/professional students dismiss to individual ceremonies across campus, while undergraduates remain on the lawn for Chancellor Zeppos' conferral of degrees upon the Class of 2016.

Graduates – view your Commencement instructions.

Indoor Viewing Areas (see maps)

Sarratt Cinema
Showing: Commencement ceremony
The cinema is located in the Sarratt Student Center adjacent to Alumni Lawn. This is an ideal location for guests of Graduate and Professional students who wish to view the main ceremony prior to their graduate’s ceremony. (Seating capacity: 309)

Baseball Glove Lounge
Located on the Alumni Lawn side of Sarratt Student Center, the Baseball Glove Lounge is a casual area to see the ceremony on the small screen.

Old Gym
The Old Gym is located at the north end of Alumni Lawn adjacent to West End Avenue. (Seating capacity: 100)

Neely Auditorium
Neely is located on the southeast corner of Alumni Lawn near Rand Hall. (Seating capacity: 298)

Rand Dining Hall
Rand Dining Hall is located on the south end of Alumni Lawn and is connected to the Sarratt Student Center.  Screens are located throughout the hall. Food and beverage options are available for purchase.

10:15 a.m.

Brief intermission of Commencement ceremony to allow the graduate and professional candidates and their guests time to leave the main ceremony to go to their designated areas (listed below).

10:30 a.m.

  • Divinity School Diploma Ceremony (more info) — Benton Chapel, reception following
  • Law School Diploma Ceremony (more info) — Curry Field, reception following

11:00 a.m.

  • School of Nursing Diploma Ceremony (more info ) — Branscomb Quadrangle, reception following
  • Graduate School  Diploma Ceremony (more info) — Magnolia Circle Lawn , reception following
  • Owen Graduate School of Management Diploma Ceremony (more info ) — Student Recreation Center,  reception following
  • Peabody College Diploma Ceremony (more info) — Wyatt Center Lawn, reception following

11:30 a.m.

  • School of Medicine Diploma Ceremony (more info) — Langford Auditorium, reception following


Noon – 1:30 p.m.

Strawberries and Champagne – Library Lawn and Bishop's Common
Reception for Class of 2016 and their guests.

3 p.m.

  • ROTC Graduation and Commissioning Ceremony — Wightman Chapel, Scarritt-Bennett

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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.