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Commencement Information


Congratulations, Class of 2016!

This is the day that you've all been working toward. The information below should serve as your guide to making this day special for you, your family and friends.

Commencement Ceremonies

Saturday, May 14, 2016, 11 a.m
Commencement in the Convocation Center, Jane P. Batten Student Center, on the campus of Virginia Wesleyan. Doors to the Convocation Center open at 10 a.m. General seating is first-come, first-served.

No tickets are required.

Please check back soon for more detailed information on Commencement 2016, Baccalaureate and the ROTC Commissioning Ceremony.

2016 Commencement Speaker

Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Director of the U.S. Peace Corps
Director of the Peace Corps Carrie Hessler-Radelet will deliver the keynote address at Virginia Wesleyan College's 47th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 14, 2016 in the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Learn more

Senior Week Events

Contact Student Activities Office, 757.233.8785, or visit the Senior Week Events page for information.

Important Information For Graduating Seniors

Graduation Fair

February 16-18, 2016

Time to order: Announcements and Cap and Gown

For 2016 graduates: It's time to order your personalized graduation announcements and cap and gown for the May 14, 2016, Commencement. The announcements must be paid when placing your order.  The graduation fee of $150 for your cap and gown will be billed to your student account. College rings will also be on display. The Graduation Fair is:

Tuesday, February 16

10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Wednesday, February 1

10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Thursday, February 18

10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Please stop by and place your order. If you miss these dates, please call me at

(757) 455-3310 to order by phone.

Mandatory Rehearsals

All students intending to participate in the graduation must attend a rehearsal. If it is impossible to do so, it is particularly important that you contact College Marshal Dr. Sally Shedd via Humanities Division Secretary Leslie Hines at 757.455.3255 or

Two rehearsals for commencement exercises are scheduled for your convenience; you need attend only one. The main rehearsal will take place at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11 in the C-MAC of the Jane P. Batten Student Center. The make-up rehearsal will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11 in the C-MAC. You will not need to bring your cap and gown to the rehearsal.

Commencement Day Instructions

Please note that graduates must be in the C-MAC of the Jane P. Batten Student Center no later than 10 a.m. on Commencement Day (Saturday, May 16) to prepare for the procession. Bring your cap and gown to the gym, but do not bring purses or similar items of value. There is no safe place to leave them during the ceremony.

Following the ceremony, graduates and faculty members will process to the C-MAC of the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Diploma pick-up will take place in the C-MAC following Commencement. Graduates may retain their caps and gowns as keepsakes.

Following the ceremony, family and friends of graduates should travel to Boyd Dining Center to meet graduates and enjoy refreshments.

Attire for Graduates

Guidelines for appropriate attire at Commencement have been established by the Commencement Committee in order to maintain the dignity suitable for the occasion and to avoid embarrassment to the College, the graduates, and their families. Black academic gowns and mortar boards are the dress of the day, complemented by dark skirts, dresses, or dress pants and black dress shoes for women and dark dress pants and black shoes and socks for men. Flip-flops, tennis shoes, bare feet and shorts are unacceptable.

In accordance with the national code on academic regalia, no personal adornments of any kind are to be worn on the cap, gown, or hood. This includes badges, corsages, and lettering of any kind. Religious-based head wear should be a solid dark color.

Graduation Honor Cords

Graduating seniors may wear up to five graduation cords. Each cord is to represent one of the honors, memberships, and/or academic distinctions listed below. Each graduation cord must be either the unaltered specific approved cord of the honor society or the generic cord supplied by the Office of Academic Affairs.

  • Latin honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, cum laude)
  • Membership in an academic honor society, including Honors & Scholars (see detailed guidelines via the link below)
  • Presidential Scholar
  • Wesleyan Scholar
  • Membership in PORTfolio
  • Study Abroad

See more detailed Honor Cord Guidelines.

Caps and Gowns

Caps and gowns will be available in the Business Office beginning Monday, May 9 once you have cleared your account.  You are requested to pay any account balance you may have due at the Business Office during regular business hours prior to 12 p.m. on Friday, May 13.  Caps and gowns may be kept by the graduates as a keepsake. Questions regarding caps and gowns and settling your Virginia Wesleyan account should be directed to Elaine Aird in the Business Office at 757.455.3310. 


Following the ceremony, all graduates will process to the C-MAC in the Jane P. Batten Student Center, where you will pick up your diploma. Students with financial holds on their account will not receive their diploma until the hold is cleared by the Business Office and/or Financial Aid Office.

Required Application/Other Information from the Registrar

Students must submit an Application for Graduation via the Registrar to participate in Commencement, available on WebAdvisor. Click on "Application for Graduation" under Academic Profiles heading on the Student Menu. December graduates from the previous semester are eligible to participate in May Commencement.

Potential August graduates (students who have at most two courses remaining to be completed by the end of the spring semester of their graduating year) may petition the Registrar for approval to "walk" in the May ceremony. The specifics of the Two-Course Rule are listed on page 55 of the Academic Catalog. Complete the form and return it to the Office of the Registrar. Summer registration must be completed before approval can be granted. The Registrar's Office can be reached by calling 757.455.3358.

Financial Aid Information

Any student who received a Stafford Loan (Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized) is required to complete an exit counseling session prior to graduation. Each semester there will be multiple sessions held on campus. You can contact Betsy Payne by email at or call 757-455-3102 for more information. Additionally, before you will be able to pick up your cap, gown, or official transcript you must complete an online session. To complete the online exit counseling session, please log in to with the same PIN number you used to sign your Master Promissory Note and FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  Once you complete the online session, be sure to let financial aid know. Should you have difficulty completing the online exit counseling session or have questions, please contact us at 757.455.3345 or

Any student who has received a Perkins Loan while enrolled at Virginia Wesleyan College must complete an exit counseling session prior to graduation.   To complete the exit online please go to  Once there, follow the instructions to complete the exit.  Go to "View my Account" and go to E exit.  More information concerning this important matter will be sent by email and to campus mailboxes for resident students or mailed home for commuters. Please call Ms. Dely Johnson at 757.455.3286 with any questions.

Other Commencement Notes


If you need to drop off elderly guests or persons with disabilities at the door of the Jane P. Batten Student Center, please inform security personnel of that fact. You will be directed to the front of the Center for the drop-off. Please move your vehicle to the parking lot as quickly as possible to clear the drop-off area.  There will be designated space on the floor for guests in wheelchairs.  For the hearing impaired, the commencement ceremony will be signed.

The Scribner Bookstore

The bookstore will be open on Commencement Day from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. VWC diploma frames and other college memorabilia will be available for purchase. Graduation announcements, diploma frames and other college memorabilia may be ordered online at

Commencement Photographs

Candid Color Photography will photograph each graduate crossing the stage. Professional photos will be available for purchase online at Enter the access codeVWSG16 (this code will also be printed on your commencement booklet). Parents and graduates can already enter that code and pre-register on the website to be notified when the images are ready to view.  Please do not approach the stage to take your own photographs as this may interfere with the work of the photographers.

Hotel Accommodations

A variety of hotels are located in the Norfolk and Virginia Beach area. Visit our hotel information page to find out more. You can also find hotels, attractions and other information through the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau or the Norfolk Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Baccalaureate Service Information

A Baccalaureate Service will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 13 at Virginia Beach United Methodist Church on 212 - 19th Street in Virginia Beach. Questions regarding Baccalaureate may be directed to Chaplain Greg West, 757.455.3400 or

Directions to Virginia Beach United Methodist Church: From Virginia Wesleyan College, turn left on Wesleyan Drive. Take Wesleyan Drive to Northampton Boulevard and turn left at the light. Take I-64E to I-264E (to Virginia Beach/Oceanfront). Continue on I-264 about 13 miles to the end of the Expressway (on 21st Street). Turn right on Pacific Avenue. Go two blocks to 19th Street. The Church is on the left-hand side of Pacific Avenue. Church parking is available at 18th Street and 19th Street between Pacific and Atlantic. Additional parking is available in the Municipal lot across Pacific Avenue.  The Church phone number is 757.428.7727

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