News & Events
Posted Feb. 21, 2013

Commencement Information: May 19, 2013

The Law School ceremony will begin at 1:15 p.m. (the "good/fair weather" plan).


Students' guests will need tickets to sit in the family-designated seats for the University-wide Lawn Ceremony, and each graduate will receive three; there are also seats and standing room available towards the rear of the Lawn for any additional guests who wish to attend. If the weather is good, no tickets will be required for the Law School ceremony, and seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis. In the event of rain, tickets will be required for the Law School ceremony. 


Saturday, May 18
4–7 p.m. Law School Foundation/Student Bar Association Reception for graduates and their families, Spies Garden and Caplin Pavilion

The reception will be open to all family members and friends. RSVPs for this event are not required and everyone in town for the festivities is welcome. Dress will be “summer cocktail attire.” Members of the faculty and administration will join as we celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2013. The Law School Foundation is generously subsidizing this event. There will be heavy hors d’oeuvres. The reception occurs, rain or shine.

Sunday, May 19 (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. Detailed directions will be provided. 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; line-up for the ceremony is at 9:45 a.m. 

9:30 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 Sullivan. 

The Lawn Ceremony begins at 10 a.m. and ends around 12:30 p.m.  You are very much encouraged to attend the Lawn Ceremony; it is truly a remarkable experience. Following the University Ceremony's conclusion, those attending must return promptly to the Law School for the Law School Ceremony.

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.

Address by former U.S. Sen. and Secretary of the Navy Jim Webb

1:15-2:45 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 Alexandra Aurisch

Commencement Address by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson '68

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 (lemonade and cookies), Withers-Brown Hall (near the library), provided by the Law School Foundation

Uncertain Weather Plan for Sunday, May 19

The University determines if the "severe" or the "inclement" weather plan will be implemented for Final Exercises. This decision will be made and announced on the Law School website by 8 a.m. on Sunday, May 19.

If the University decides to implement either the severe or inclement weather plans, the Law School Final Exercises will occur on Sunday, May 19 in Memorial Gymnasium. Due to Memorial Gym's limited seating capacity, each graduate will be limited to three guest tickets. Tickets will be distributed to student mailboxes prior to the event, and more information on the bad weather plans will be distributed as we get closer to graduation.

Severe Weather: The University-wide ceremony on the Lawn will be canceled, and the Law School Final Exercises will take place in Memorial Gymnasium at 10 a.m. The SBA breakfast will take place in Memorial Gym beginning at 7:30 a.m.

Inclement Weather:  The Lawn Ceremony will proceed and the continental breakfast will take place as scheduled, and the Law School Final Exercises will take place in Memorial Gymnasium at 5 p.m. 

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.

The Law School ceremony will begin promptly at 1:15 p.m., which gives graduates only a short amount of time to get to the Law Grounds from the Lawn ceremony, which typically ends around 12:30. The quickest way will be to proceed west from the Lawn to the Chapel area (Do NOT board the buses at the Alderman Library bus stop — these buses are for handicapped passengers only), then catch the shuttle to the North Grounds via University Hall, which will let you out on the uphill side of Duffy Boulevard (west of the Darden gatehouse). There is no need to change buses at University Hall. Most buses that are loading in the vicinity of the UVA Chapel will take you to the North Grounds after the Lawn Ceremony. View the signage posted in this area or ask transit personnel to ensure you get on the correct bus.

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 Sen. Bill Nelson 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 lemonade and cookies.