Commencement Ceremony

Vol State currently conducts two commencement ceremonies each year, one at the end of the Fall semester and one at the end of the Spring semester. Summer graduates participate in the following Fall ceremony. Participation in Commencement is optional, but strongly encouraged. Participating in the ceremony in no way confirms completion of requirements or official graduation. All program requirements must be completed before the credential can be posted to the student's transcript or diploma.

Due to the timing of grade entry at the end of each term, graduation honors to be included in the ceremony and on transcripts for degree seeking students are calculated based on the student's previous term GPA. All college level courses, including transfer work, will be included in calculating honors.

Student names will appear in the Commencement program as listed in our system. If a student has had a name change, an Update Student Record Form along with official documentation must be submitted to the Office of Records & Registration.

We strongly encourage all Graduates to attend the Commencement Ceremony. This is a time for you, your family and friends, instructors, and college staff to celebrate your achievement!

Commencement Ceremony Checklist

If you plan to participate in the Spring 2016 commencement ceremony, please make sure to do the following:

  • Your cap and gown has been purchased by the college for you to keep as a memento of this great accomplishment. ANY STUDENT PLANNING ON PARTICIPATING IN THE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY MUST ORDER A CAP AND GOWN THROUGH THE BOOKSTORE BY APRIL 1. Caps & gowns are ordered based on height measurements. If you should fall out of the range of standard sizes in either height or weight (small, medium, large) please ask the bookstore about sizing options. You may discuss sizing either by phone or in person. Be prepared to supply approximate height and weight to the bookstore staff. Please contact the Bookstore at 615-230-3636 or 1-888-335-8722 ext. 3636. The Bookstore is located in the Wood Campus Center, Room 212. Use this information sheet and order form.
  • Applicants graduating with honors may order honor accessories through the Bookstore when picking up their cap and gown. The Bookstore will have a list of all prospective graduates that qualify for honors.
  • Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society graduates may order honor accessories online at www.ptk.org. Leave time for shipping!
  • Veterans:  A special cord to identify your veterans status can be purchased through the main campus bookstore.  Please verify your veterans status and graduation with the Coordinator of Veterans Affairs office, 615-230-3444, so they can pass the information to the bookstore.
  • You will receive an email when your cap and gown is available for pick up.  Please pick those up by May 2 at the Bookstore. Tickets for your guests will be given to you at this time.
  • Attendees with physical challenges:  Attendees who use wheelchairs will be directed to a section at the front of the gym, left of the stage.
    There will be a limited number of seats on the floor for attendees who cannot ascend/descend the bleachers. These seats will be in a reserved section and only stamped ticket holders will be allowed to sit in this section. Each graduate will be allowed up to two tickets that they can get stamped for this purpose. Tickets can be stamped in the Office of Disability Services, Wood Campus Center, 108. Tickets will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. Attendees who do not have a stamped ticket and who cannot ascend/descend the bleachers, will be directed to the overflow area in the dining room in the Wood Campus Center. In addition to the marked accessible parking spots throughout campus, there will be an additional section reserved for cars with state accessible tags. Please call the Office of Disability Services at 230-3472 if you need additional information.
  • Contact the Office of Disability Services if you have special needs for the Commencement ceremony.
  • Attend Graduation Rehearsal on May 6 at 10:00 am at the Pickel Field House in the Gymnasium. It is extremely important for all participants to attend rehearsal.
  • Arrive by 9:00 am at the Pickle Field House and then in your designated room by 9:30 am on the day of Commencement, May 7.
  • Please complete our graduate surveys.

Information for your guests who will be attending the graduation ceremony is found on the Commencement website.