BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 16, 2003 – Bowing to on-going space constraints, Virginia Tech will move the university-wide Spring Commencement ceremony from Saturday morning to Friday evening, beginning this year. The event scheduled for May 10 at 9 A.M. will now be May 9 at 7:30 P.M. in the same location, Lane Stadium.
"For as long as anyone here can remember, the university-wide ceremony has been held on Saturday mornings. However, we are running out of venues for the larger college ceremonies," said Ed Henneke, chair of the university commencement committee. Traditionally, the Spring Commencement ceremony in Lane Stadium kicks off undergraduate commencement activities. College or department ceremonies follow.
The College of Human Sciences and Education ceremony has outgrown Rector Fieldhouse and now must be held in Cassell Coliseum. The Pamplin College of Business and the College of Engineering also use the coliseum. "There were simply too many large events on Saturday and something had to get moved. We were faced with either having a college commencement late in the day or move the university ceremony to Friday," said Henneke.
Moving the university-wide ceremony creates a domino effect on the schedule. Major events are as follows:
Graduate School , Friday, May 9, 3:00 P.M. (Cassell Coliseum)
University Ceremony, Friday, May 9, 7:30 P.M. (Lane Stadium)
Veterinary Medicine , Saturday, May 10, 9:00 A.M.
Human Sciences and Education , Saturday, May 10, 8:30 A.M.
Engineering , Saturday, May 10, 11:00 A.M.
Business , Saturday, May 10, 1:30 P.M.
Corps of Cadets , Friday, May 9, 1:00 P.M.
Army Commissioning, Friday, May 9, 3:00 P.M.
Navy Commissioning , Friday, May 9, 3:30 P.M.
This is not a comprehensive list. Other events may change also. Henneke says that the university has not yet published the complete commencement schedule because, "It is possible that other college or department ceremonies will change times now that Saturday morning is open."
The university commencement committee considered several options and deliberated throughout the Fall semester. "We were concerned about the impact on students and families. But most people arrive in town Friday evening anyway, so we think this new scenario will be the least disruptive," said Henneke.
Graduates will be notified, as is customary, later this semester. The schedule will also be posted on the university website as information becomes available at: