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Faculty Instructions

 If you have questions not covered in these instructions, call 615-322-2870 or email

Academic Regalia (Cap and Gown)

Picking up Regalia. Faculty should pick up their regalia as instructed by their individual schools. Please contact your dean’s office ahead of time to ensure location. View the regalia contacts in your school.

Returning Regalia. Please pick up and return regalia as instructed by the office that ordered it for you.



Wednesday, May 6

7:00  8:30 pm  
The Ingram Commons Open House Receptions at the Commons houses  More Information »
9:00 pm 
The Party at The Commons Center Lawn More information »

Thursday, May 7

11:00 am 
Graduates Day speaker at Memorial Gymnasium More Information »
3:00 pm 

  • Senior Recognition Ceremony for Blair School of Music graduates and their guests at Turner Recital Hall
  • Awards Ceremony and Reception for Graduates of Owen Graduate School of Management at Management Hall
  • Law School Open House for degree candidates and their guests at Law School

4:00 pm

  • MSN and DNP Pinning Ceremony for May 2020 degree candidates at Wightman Chapel, Scarritt Bennett Center
  • Peabody College Awards Ceremony and a reception following for award winners and their guests at Wyatt Center Rotunda and Lobby
  • MD Program Class Day at Langford Auditorium with a reception following in the North Lobby of Light Hall
  • School of Engineering Awards Ceremony for award winners and their guests at Engineering and Science Building (ESB) room 044/048
  • Phi Beta Kappa Initiation Ceremony at Student Life Center, Commodore Ballroom

5:00 pm 

  • School of Nursing reception for graduates and guests at School of Nursing

7:00 pm 

  • Black Graduates Recognition Ceremony and a reception following in Langford Auditorium

Friday, May 8 – (Commencement Day)

  • 8:25 am Faculty and officers of administration should report to the northwest side of Rand Terrace to line up for the Academic Processions. Promptness in lining up is imperative.
    • Part 1 – The Academic Procession will be composed of the provost and the vice chancellor for health affairs who will lead in the 2020 emeritus faculty and the faculty who will remain on Alumni Lawn for the duration of the undergraduate ceremony. Faculty who will be attending graduate or professional diploma-awarding ceremony should line up with that school (in front of the candidates, behind the dean and banner bearer). Emeritus faculty who wish to attend a graduate or professional ceremony may leave their seats when the graduate and professional schools recess at 10:15 a.m.
    • Part 2 – The academic procession will be composed of the Alumni Association president, members of the Class of 1970, followed by the chair of the Faculty Senate carrying the mace, the trustees, the officers of administration, the chancellor and the chairman of the Board of Trust.
  • 8:30 am 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.
  • 9:00 am 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 am 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.
  • Noon – 1:30 pm Strawberries and Champagne Celebration for the undergraduate Class of 2020 and their guests on Library Lawn
  • 12:30 – 2:00 pm Informal luncheon for faculty participating in the graduation exercises in Buttrick Hall Atrium


Inclement Weather

In the event of inclement weather the ceremony will be held in Memorial Gymnasium. If in doubt, check the Vanderbilt website or call the Vanderbilt telephone operators at 615-322-7311. An alert will be sent to your cell phone if you have downloaded the Vanderbilt App and allowed notifications.

There will be no procession for candidates in Memorial Gym.

Members of Academic Processions Part 1 and 2 will still process and should enter through the Procession Party Entrance (to the right of the main entrance doors) located on the East side of the gym facing 25th Ave to line up. Faculty marshals will be on hand to assist.

Graduate & Professional (arrive by 8:15 am)

Faculty who will be attending the diploma-awarding ceremony at their respective schools should sit with the degree candidates in either section 2L (Peabody, Medicine, Law) or 3L (OGSM, Nursing, Divinity, Engineering, Graduate).

Undergraduate (arrive by 8:15 am)

Faculty who will be staying for the undergraduate diploma-awarding ceremony, and marching in procession, should enter through the Procession Party Entrance (to the right of the main entrance doors) located on the East side of the gym facing 25th Ave.

Procession Party Entrance