Tips for Graduates and Guests
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- Discuss your ticket plans in advance. Decide who will attend Valedictory Exercises in John Paul Jones Arena if we have to follow the rain plan. Decide who will use tickets for Final Exercises and who will watch the ceremony from one of the Remote Viewing sites or elsewhere via Livestream on the University's web site. Decide who will attend your diploma ceremony if it is a ticketed event.
- Make a plan with your group for Sunday. The Lawn and McCormick Road will be very congested, and cell phone signals may be unreliable. Decide in advance where you will meet after Final Exercises, either near the Lawn or at your diploma ceremony site. Walk there on Saturday to be sure that everyone knows where you plan to meet.
- The west side of the Lawn always fills first at Final Exercises. If you wish to sit on the east side of the Lawn, you may cross on the north side (street side) of the Rotunda or across the center aisle on the Lawn. The center aisle on the Lawn will be closed at 9:30 a.m. to prepare for the academic procession. Guests should try to be in their seats by 9:45 a.m.
- Remote viewing sites closest to the Lawn (Newcomb Hall and Special Collections Library) fill first. If your diploma ceremony will follow shortly after the conclusion of Final Exercises, encourage your guests who will not be on the Lawn to select a remote viewing site close to your diploma ceremony site. This will help them avoid the crowds leaving the Lawn after Final Exercises conclude.
- Programs will be placed in the seat of each graduating student, so they need not pick up a copy prior to the Academic Procession. Programs for guests will be available at the Information Booths and along the colonnades, as well as at the remote viewing sites.
- Diploma ceremonies will begin after everyone has ample time to get to the sites from the Lawn. Do not panic if Final Exercises runs a bit long. Staff at each diploma ceremony site will be aware of this and will begin the diploma ceremony when graduates and guests arrive. Many venues will be used for more than one diploma ceremony on Sunday afternoon, so make your best effort to get to the site without delay.