News & Events



Posted Feb. 24, 2010
Class of 2010 Graduation
Sunday, May 23


Saturday, May 22
4–7 p.m. Law School Foundation/Student Bar Association Reception for graduates and their families, Spies Garden and Caplin Pavilion

The reception is open to all family members and friends; RSVPs are not required. Dress will be “summer cocktail attire.” Members of the faculty and administration will join as we celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2010. The Law School Foundation is generously subsidizing this event. There will be heavy hors d’oeuvres and a live quartet. The reception occurs, rain or shine

Sunday, May 23 (Good Weather)
8–9:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast, East Range between Rotunda Alley and Green Alley

A light breakfast will be provided on the East Range; this is on the far side of the Lawn, toward the Medical School. The area will be roped off and marked with signs. This is a great time to put on your caps/gowns and find your friends before the Lawn procession.

9:45 a.m. Line Up for Lawn Ceremony with the class in Rotunda Alley (east side of Lawn, Rotunda end) for the University Ceremony on the Lawn, where law degrees are conferred en masse by President Casteen. 
10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Lawn Ceremony
Following the University Ceremony's conclusion, those attending must return promptly to the Law School for the Law School Ceremony.
1 p.m. Students Take Seats for the Law School Ceremony
Immediately after the Lawn Ceremony, graduates proceed to the Holcombe Green Lawn in front of the Law School (shuttle buses from the Lawn to the North Grounds will be available), and find their seats for the Law School ceremony, where Law School awards will be announced and Dean Mahoney will present diplomas to graduates individually. 

Parking will be available in the lots surrounding the Law School and at University Hall.  Shuttle buses will operate between the North Grounds and University Hall and between University Hall and the Lawn from early morning until after the Lawn ceremony has ended.

A professional photographer will take a picture of each graduate as he/she receives the diploma at the Law School (the photographers will contact you by mail shortly afterwards).

1:15 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Law School Ceremony Begins

Academic Procession

Welcome by Dean Paul G. Mahoney

Announcement of Class Gift and Introduction of Commencement Speaker by Student Bar Association President Daniel Rosenthal

Commencement Remarks by U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse ’82

Announcement of awards by Dean Paul G. Mahoney

Hooding Ceremony and Presentation of Diplomas
After the Law School Ceremony Return Gowns and Hoods, Holcombe Green Lawn (graduates may keep the cap and tassel)

Light Refreshments, Withers-Brown Hall (near the library), provided by the Law School Foundation

Sunday, May 23 (Severe or Inclement Weather)

Severe Weather Plan

10 a.m., Sunday, May 23 — Graduates-to-be gather for the Law School ceremony (the Law School will not participate in the University ceremony), which will take place in Memorial Gym (ceremony begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends around 12:30 p.m.).  Family members and other guests may attend, and handicapped parking and seating will be available. On account of limited seating in Memorial Gymnasium, tickets will be required, and three will be distributed to each graduate.  If local radio stations do not announce the severe or inclement weather plan by 8 a.m., the good weather plan is in effect. Check the Web site for updates.

Inclement Weather Plan

12:30 p.m., Sunday, May 23 (Lawn Ceremony goes on as scheduled.) — Law School Ceremony begins at 12:30 p.m. in Memorial Gymnasium. Tickets will be required as with the Severe Weather Plan.

For More Information:

Dean Steve Hopson and Sherry Morris in the Career Services Office and SBA Graduation Committee members can address specific questions or concerns regarding graduation not discussed here.

Details on the Sunday Ceremonies

At the beginning of the Lawn ceremony, law students march together down the Lawn from the gathering point in Rotunda Alley to seats in front of Cabell Hall, where they will, at an appropriate point in the program, be conferred their degrees en masse. Law students will march down the Lawn in two non-alphabetized lines, each led by two faculty marshals, as part of the University's general processional composed of faculty and graduates from all the schools. The path you will take while marching down the Lawn will be closer to the east side of the Lawn than to the west side.

After the Lawn ceremony, you should proceed immediately to the Law Grounds and find your seat for the Law School ceremony in front of Clay Hall on Holcombe Green Lawn. The seats are arranged alphabetically, and student and staff marshals will be available to assist you. Your name will be taped to the back of your seat. The J.D. graduates are seated first, followed by the joint degree graduates, the LL.M. graduates and the S.J.D. graduates. The Law School ceremony will begin at 1:15 pm, which gives graduates only a short amount of time to get to the Law Grounds from the Lawn ceremony, which typically ends around 12:45. The quickest way will be to proceed west from the Lawn past the Amphitheater to the McCormick Road bus stop in front of Alderman Library, then catch the shuttle to the North Grounds via University Hall which will let you out at the gatehouse in front of Darden. There is no need to change buses at University Hall. Any bus that is loading in the vicinity of Alderman Library will take you to the North Grounds after the Lawn Ceremony.

Once the graduates are in their seats and the faculty has assembled, the faculty will enter the Holcombe Green Lawn area and take their places on the stage. The Colonnades Brass Quintet will provide music for the processional.

Following remarks by U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse ’82 and the presentation of graduation awards, the graduates will be hooded and presented with their diplomas. At the appropriate time, student marshals will ask each row of graduates to rise and be hooded by professors just before going on stage. Graduates will be hooded by the first available professor. Dean Hopson will announce each graduate's name and Dean Mahoney will present the diplomas. A professional photographer will be taking pictures of each graduate. After receiving your diploma, graduates should proceed back to your seat while others receive theirs.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, graduates may join friends and family directly. Graduates should return rented gowns and hoods before leaving the Holcombe Green Lawn area. (Graduates may keep the cap and tassel.) Following the ceremony the Law School Foundation will provide light refreshments in Withers-Brown Hall near the library.

In the event of weather bad enough to force the ceremony indoors to Memorial Gymnasium, the ceremony will be approximately the same.