VCU Commencement 2018

Graduation Info

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Academic regalia

Students participating in the Commencement ceremony must wear academic regalia (caps, gowns and hoods). Regalia will be available for purchase during the Grad Fair events. The MCV Campus Grad Fair is scheduled on March 12 at the Jonah L. Larrick Student Center from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The Monroe Park Campus Grad Fair is scheduled on March 13 and 14 at the Monroe Park Barnes & Noble @ VCU from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Following the Grad Fair, regalia will be available for purchase at the Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the Monroe Park and MCV campuses. If you are unable to attend the Grad Fair or visit the bookstore, please order your regalia online at beginning March 15. Shipping charges will apply to all internet orders. Caps and gowns will not be available at the Commencement ceremony.

Regalia prices, including cap, gown, hood and tassel are: bachelor set, $56.98; master set, $73.98; Ph.D./Ed.D. set, $108.98; and professional doctorate set, $59.98 (professional doctorate programs include D.P.T., D.D.S., Pharm.D., M.D. and D.N.A.P.). Prices do not include sales tax.

In addition to being the place where you will receive your cap and gown, the Grad Fair will feature many other services and activities. Representatives from various departments and offices will be available during the Grad Fair to help you prepare for graduation, including VCU Alumni, the University Career Center, the Graduate School and many more. During the Grad Fair, you can also have your first graduation photo taken in full regalia, order graduation announcements, select an official VCU class ring and purchase graduation accessories.

Assembling and robing

All candidates attending universitywide Commencement should plan to arrive at the Coliseum by 9 a.m. Candidates should enter through the 5th Street entrance of the Coliseum and follow the signs located throughout the tunnel and concourse. Line-up areas are organized by school and by degree. Commencement staff will also be on hand to help you.

Class giving campaign

Commemorate your graduation year with a $20.18 class gift and make a difference for those following in your footsteps. This is your chance to give back to VCU as a soon-to-be alumnus. Join your classmates in supporting the university and create a lasting legacy for the Class of 2018. Make your gift online at

Class rings

See the many custom-crafted class ring options, get sized by a representative from Balfour and purchase your class ring during the Grad Fair events on March 12 on the MCV Campus and March 13 and 14 on the Monroe Park Campus. Current STAT members will save $60 on class rings, or if you update your post-graduation information with VCU Alumni, you could receive $35 off your class ring. Class ring informational brochures are available any time in the bookstores. For additional ordering information, please visit or call (866) 225-3687 (BALFOUR).

Commencement announcements

Standard announcements are $8 for a package of five. Announcements include two envelopes and a blank name card. Standard announcements are available for sale at the Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the Monroe Park and MCV campuses.

Personalized announcements are available at or (800) 433-0296. These announcements incorporate the graduate’s name, degree and major into the text. Please allow 5-7 business days for announcement order delivery. It is standard etiquette to send announcements out two weeks before graduation, but announcements may be ordered at any time and can be sent to friends and relatives after graduation.

Commencement exercises: departmental and universitywide ceremonies

Graduates have the opportunity to celebrate their achievement at two ceremonies: the universitywide ceremony and their school or department’s ceremony. At departmental ceremonies, graduates will be recognized individually and typically will walk across the stage. You will receive information concerning your individual ceremony from your school or department office. Visit for a complete listing of departmental ceremonies.

Departmental ceremonies are separate from the universitywide ceremony, held on Saturday, May 12 at 10 a.m. at the Richmond Coliseum, 601 E. Leigh St. At the universitywide ceremony, graduates are recognized collectively by school, with the exception of Ph.D. and Ed.D. candidates, who will be recognized individually.

Commencement speaker

Actor Boris Kodjoe will deliver the keynote address at VCU's university Commencement ceremony at the Richmond Coliseum.

Kodjoe, a 1996 graduate of the VCU School of Business, made his on-screen debut in 1998 on “The Steve Harvey Show.” He has since appeared in TV shows (“Boston Public,” “Soul Food,” “Second Time Around,” “The Last Man on Earth,” “Code Black”) and feature films (“Love & Basketball,” “Madea’s Family Reunion,” “Resident Evil: Afterlife”). He was a standout tennis player at VCU from 1992-96 and was inducted into the VCU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2017. For the VCU News story, please visit

Diploma frames

Diploma frames designed and matted especially for VCU will be available through the bookstores. For additional information, please visit or call the Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the Monroe Park Campus at (804) 828-1678, or the Barnes & Noble @ VCU on the MCV Campus at (804) 828-0336. You may also order diploma frames at

Diploma and degree conferral

Diplomas selected for pickup will be available in the Harris Hall Student Services Center, 1015 Floyd Ave., First Floor, Floyd Ave. Lobby, during office hours beginning on or after Monday, June 11. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. If a third party plans to pick up your diploma, you must provide an authorization notification to the Graduation Office via email ( 24 hours prior to the pickup. Diplomas not picked up by June 22 will be mailed starting June 25. Diplomas selected for mailing will be mailed beginning June 11.

The official conferral date for May 2018 degrees is May 19, 2018. Degrees will post to your record on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. Degrees will not appear on your academic transcript until this date. Degrees will only show for those students who have satisfied all degree requirements and receive final approval. Check your academic transcript via eServices to ensure your degree has been posted before requesting official transcripts.

Graduation Office

If you or a family member have any questions concerning graduation, please feel free to contact the Graduation Office at (804) 828-1917 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Graduation portraits

GradImages will take studio-quality portraits featuring your choice of background plus cap and gown at the Grad Fairs on March 12 on the MCV Campus and March 13 and 14 on the Monroe Park Campus. This is the best time to have your photo taken, so please come prepared. A final opportunity will be available before Commencement exercises, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., May 12 at the lower Leigh Street entrance of the Richmond Coliseum. Portrait opportunities are sponsored by VCU Alumni. For more information, visit

Guest seating

The plaza-level doors to the Coliseum will be opened for guests at 9 a.m. Tickets are not required, and there is no reserved seating. Seating for guests is available on a first come, first served basis.

Guidelines for cords, stoles and pins

We hold all of our graduates in high esteem and recognize their achievements at Commencement, a ceremony at which we celebrate the unity of the body of undergraduates and honor their academic achievements. Although there is no set protocol for Commencement regalia, members of organizations, not based on academic merit, may be eligible to wear appropriate graduation stoles, honor cords, and/or pins, badges or insignias with the approval of the Dean of Students Office. If your organization is interested in wearing these accoutrements, please submit your request in writing to the Dean of Students Office at

In addition to the traditional cap and gown regalia worn at this event, students are entitled to wear honor cords and stoles to signify achievement through college organizations or association with international groups or programs. The student/organization/group is responsible for the cost of any such regalia. Graduation stoles and honor cords must be in keeping with the decorum of the event and within the following guidelines:

Graduation Stole: A stole takes the form of a cloth scarf-like garment worn over the shoulders adorned with the organization's colors and/or insignia. A student may wear only one stole at a time.

Honor Cord: An honor cord is a token consisting of twisted cords with tassels on either end. The cord signifies specific academic achievement or membership in a recognized academic honor group or society. More than one cord may be worn at the same time.

Please note: at this time, the university does not distribute or sell cords based on or related to Latin honors designation. Latin honors will be acknowledged in the Commencement booklet. For more information on Latin honors, please visit

Pins/Insignia/Badges: These items are tokens specifying academic achievement or membership in a recognized academic honor group or student organization. These items are traditionally worn on the gown. More than one of these items may be worn at the same time.

All three items may be worn simultaneously as long as they do not conflict in appearance with the official stoles worn by faculty marshals or other designated members participating in the ceremony.


Public parking is available in parking decks on both 5th and 7th streets for a nominal fee. The VCU 8th Street Parking Deck (659 N. 8th St.) will be free and open to the public on Commencement day.

Guests and candidates with reduced mobility may park on 7th Street at the Coliseum entrance.

Prohibited Items

The Coliseum strictly prohibits alcohol, backpacks and duffle bags, balloons, coolers, bottles, cans, outside food and drink, laser pointers, fireworks, artificial noise makers or air horns, firearms, weapons, chains or tools, wrapped packages, and banners and signs. Be advised that the police will confiscate these items. In addition, graduates are asked not to bring their purses or other valuable items, beach balls, Silly String or flammables of any form.

Regalia assistance

A fund has been established to provide relief for those who need financial assistance in purchasing regalia. Students may access the application for regalia assistance online at Applications will be accepted from March 12 to May 1.

RSVP for VCU Commencement

Students who plan to participate in VCU’s universitywide Commencement ceremony at the Coliseum are asked to RSVP.

Visit to RSVP and reserve your seat.

For questions, please email

Sign up for SALT

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Special accommodations

Accessible seats are available on each level of the Coliseum. Guests with hearing impairment can sit in Section 17L, where an interpreter can be seen easily. Guests and candidates with reduced mobility may park on 7th Street at the Coliseum entrance.

If you are a graduate with a disability and need accommodations at the ceremony, please contact Student Accessibility and Educational Opportunity at (804) 828-2253.

Family and guests seeking additional information about accessibility/ADA at the Richmond Coliseum should visit

Please note: seating for guests is available on a first come, first served basis. There is no reserved seating.

VCU Alumni

You’ve had a great ride, and the memories of your time at VCU will stay with you forever. But don’t leave VCU in the rear view. Connect now with VCU Alumni to discover all the ways you can remain connected with your alma mater long after the big day. As a graduate, VCU Alumni offers opportunities for you to join regional, academic or special interest-based chapters; take part in networking opportunities; save on insurance with Nationwide; and learn about VCU Career Services. Most importantly, make sure you stay connected after graduation by providing a non-VCU email and other updated contact information at Becoming official alumni is closer than than you think. If you have any questions, email

Visitor information

If you need information about lodging and dining accommodations, “The Complete Visitor’s Guide” is available from the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, 401 N. 3rd St., Richmond, VA 23219. Call (804) 783-7450 or (888) 742-4666, or visit