About VWU

2018 Commencement Information

altCongratulations, Class of 2018!

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

2018 Commencement Ceremonies

Baccalaureate Service

Friday, May 18, 2018
5:30 p.m., Pre-service concert by the Wesleyan Chorale
6:00 p.m., Baccalaureate Service
Haygood United Methodist Church
4713 Haygood Rd., Virginia Beach

Baccalaureate speaker
The Reverend Karla M. Kincannon ​'76 More

Live Stream Information
Baccalaureate will be live streamed at: https://boxcast.tv/view/2018-baccalaureate-service-559849

No tickets required for Baccalaureate Service

Commencement Ceremony

Saturday, May 19, 2018
11:00 a.m.
Convocation Hall in the Jane P. Batten Student Center
5817 Wesleyan Dr., Virginia Beach
Campus Map/Parking

Commencement Speaker
First Lady of Virginia Pamela Northam More

Commencement Reception
A reception for graduates, family and friends will be held in Boyd Dining Center following the ceremony.

Live Stream Information
Commencement will be live streamed and will also be simulcast in Boyd Dining Center for guests on campus during the ceremony. Watch Commencement live at: https://boxcast.tv/view/vwus-49th-commencement-ceremony-644036

Commencement Ticket Information
The ceremony has been moved to the Convocation Hall inside the Jane P. Batten Student Center. Tickets are required for entrance to Convocation Hall. Each graduating student receives up to seven tickets for guests. Graduates not needing all seven of their tickets are encouraged to turn in any that will be unused to the Batten Center Hub. This will allow graduates needing additional tickets to check on availability of extra tickets on Saturday morning.  Read more below.

ROTC Commissioning Ceremony

Saturday, May 19, 2018
1:00 p.m. (following Commencement)
Hofheimer Library, First Floor
5817 Wesleyan Dr., Virginia Beach
Campus Map/Parking

Commencement ticket information: Since Commencement has been moved indoors due to expected thunderstorms, tickets will be required for guests to enter Convocation Hall. All graduates  receive seven tickets when they pick up their cap and gown. Graduates not needing all seven of their tickets are encouraged to turn in any that will be unused to the Batten Center Hub. This will allow graduates needing additional tickets to check on availability of extra tickets on Saturday morning. 

Please note: All student account balances, as well as Registrar Office and Financial Aid Office holds must be satisfied prior to receiving a cap, gown and commencement tickets.

Senior Week Events

Visit the Senior Week Events page or contact the Office of Student Activities at 757.233.8785 for more information.

Important Information For Graduating Seniors

Mandatory Rehearsals
All students intending to participate in Commencement must attend rehearsal. If it is impossible to do so, please contact College Marshal Dr. Kathy Merlock Jackson via Kathy Reese at 757.455.3240 or kreese@vwu.edu.

Rehearsal will take place at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 17, in the C-MAC of the Jane P. Batten Student Center. You do 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 19) 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.

Graduates will receive their diplomas during the ceremony. Students with financial holds on their account will not receive their diploma until the hold is cleared by the Office of Finance and Administartion and/or the Office of Financial Aid.

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 show respect for the University, its 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.

ALL GRADUATES MUST FOLLOW the University's Commencement Attire Policy, which outlines appropriate Commencement attire, including detailed guidelines for academic honor cords, military honor cords, stoles, pins and more.

Caps and Gowns
Caps and gowns will be available in the Office of Finance and Administration (inside Boyd Dining Center) beginning Monday, May 14, once you have cleared your account.  You are requested to pay any account balance you may have due during regular business hours prior to 12 p.m. on Friday, May 18.  Caps and gowns may be kept by the graduates as a keepsake following Commencement.

Questions regarding caps and gowns and settling your Virginia Wesleyan account should be directed to Elaine Aird in the Office of Finance and Administration at 757.455.3310. 

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 at 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 Financial Aid Director Teresa Rhyne by email at trhyne@vwu.edu 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 www.studentloans.gov 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 finaid@vwu.edu.

Any student who has received a Perkins Loan while enrolled at Virginia Wesleyan University must complete an exit counseling session prior to graduation.   To complete the exit online please go to www.mycampusloan.com.  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.

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

Commencement Photographs
Lifetouch Special Events Photography will photograph each graduate crossing the stage. Professional photos will be available for purchase, if desired. This is a complimentary service and there is no obligation to purchase photographs. Please do not approach the stage to take your own photographs as this may interfere with the work of the photographers.

For more information about commencement photographs from Lifetouch, visit https://events.lifetouch.com/vwu. Any questions can be addressed to specialevents@lifetouch.com, 800-505-9496 Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. EST, or http://events.lifetouch.com/about/contactus.aspx.

A link to commencement photograph proofs will also be sent to participating graduates via email. Please do not contact the school with inquiries related to photographic service.

Hotel Accommodations
Visit our hotel information page to find hotels in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. You can also find accommodations, attractions and other information through the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau or the Norfolk Convention and Visitors Bureau.