Commencement set for Vanderbilt University

May 1, 2002

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Six broadcast-quality cameras, a television production truck, two jumbo video walls, 23,500 folding chairs and 30,000 strawberries usually mean it’s that time of the year again: Commencement at Vanderbilt University.

Approximately 2,200 students will receive diplomas at Vanderbilt’s graduation exercises Friday, May 10, on Alumni Lawn with ceremonies beginning at 9 a.m. Chancellor Gordon Gee will give the Commencement address to the graduates.

The night before, the University will play host to more than 4,000 graduating students, parents, alumni and others who will gather on the Peabody campus to dance to the music of KC and the Sunshine Band.

For the fifth year, the commencement ceremony will be cybercast live starting at 9 a.m. Six cameras and a production truck will be used to send pictures of the ceremony to people throughout the world. The webcast can be viewed by clicking on a link at In addition to the live webcast, two jumbo video walls will be placed on Alumni Lawn so people sitting away from the stage can get a better view of the ceremony.

The top scholar in each of the University’s undergraduate and professional schools will be awarded a Founder’s Medal during the ceremony. And faculty members who are retiring this year will be honored with the title “emeritus” or “emerita” in recognition of their years of distinguished service.

Commencement begins at 9 a.m. with the procession of graduates on Alumni Lawn, located near the Old Gym/Fine Arts Building just off West End Avenue at 23rd Avenue North. If it rains, the event will be moved to Memorial Gymnasium. The ceremony hasn’t been moved because of rain since 1970.

After Chancellor Gee’s address, the deans of the graduate and professional schools will award diplomas in separate ceremonies.

Bud Selig, commissioner of baseball, will be the keynote speaker at the Owen Graduate School of Management ceremony. That ceremony starts at 10:45 a.m. on Magnolia Circle Lawn, Peabody College, at Edgehill Avenue and 21st Avenue South.

Approximately 2,700 students completed requirements for degrees during the past year. Some students who completed degrees in August and December 2001 may elect not to return for Commencement exercises.

There will be a Strawberries and Champagne Celebration at Bishop’s Common after the main ceremony at about 11:30 a.m. Attached is a schedule of additional Commencement activities.

Vanderbilt University is a private research university of approximately 6,200 undergraduates and 4,200 graduate and professional students. Founded in 1873, the University comprises 10 schools, a public policy institute, a distinguished medical center and The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. Vanderbilt, ranked as one of the nation’s top universities, offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development, and a full range of graduate and professional degrees.

For more news about Vanderbilt, visit the Vanderbilt News Service homepage on the Internet at

Media Parking/Credentials: A limited number of parking spaces for print photographers and TV crews will be available in Lot 1, at West End Avenue and 23rd Avenue (across from Blockbuster Video). Reporters can park at the Terrace Place garage located at 21st Avenue and Terrace Place just off West End Avenue. All media must show proper news identification to Security officers to park. News photographers who want access to the graduates’ seating area and the grounds immediately in front of the stage must have credentials from the Vanderbilt News Service. Those credentials can be picked up at Lot 1 between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Commencement day. To request credentials, call Emily Pearce at 322-2706. On Commencement day, call 322-NEWS to reach a member of the News Service. If it rains, photographers/TV News can park at the Athletic Garage on 25th Avenue South next to Memorial Gym.


Vanderbilt University


Thursday, May 9

3 p.m. Reception for Day MBAs and their guests, Owen School’s Management Hall

3:30 p.m. Blair School of Music Senior Showcase and Senior Recognition Ceremony for Blair graduates and their guests, Ingram Hall

4 p.m. School of Engineering Awards Ceremony for engineering award winners and their guests, Cumberland Room, University Club

4 p.m. Phi Beta Kappa Meeting, 103 David K. Wilson Hall

4 p.m. Law School Open House Reception for degree recipients and their families.

4-5 p.m. Reception for Peabody Award Winners and their guests, Rotunda, Wyatt Center

4-5:30 p.m. School of Medicine Class Day, Langford Auditorium

5 p.m. Divinity School Reception and Worship, Tillett Lounge and Benton Chapel

5 p.m. School of Nursing Reception for degree recipients and their guests, Godchaux Hall

5:30 p.m. School of Medicine Reception, under tent, West Lawn, Light Hall

5:30 p.m. Reception for Executive MBAs and their guests, Owen School’s Management Hall

6:30 p.m. Black Graduates Recognition Ceremony, Ingram Hall, Blair School of Music

9 p.m. The Big Exuberant Commodore Graduation Party, featuring KC and the Sunshine Band, celebrating all graduates and their friends and families, Hill Student Center Lawn (Tickets required)

Friday, May 10

7 a.m. Blair School of Music Continental Breakfast for Blair graduates and their guests, Blair School of Music

7 a.m. Peabody College Continental Breakfast for Peabody graduates and their guests, tent on Peabody Mall

8:25 a.m. Graduating Students Line Up, Alumni Lawn

9 a.m. Commencement: Academic procession moves at 9 a.m.; ceremonies on stage begin at 9:20 a.m. and end about 11:30 a.m. for undergraduates, Alumni Lawn (Memorial Gym in the event of rain). Graduate and professional degree recipients and their faculties will recess at approximately 10:15 a.m. for their ceremonies.

11:30 a.m.-

12:30 p.m. Strawberries and Champagne Celebration for the Class of 2002 and their guests given by the Chancellor, provost, deans and faculty, Bishop’s Common

12:30-2 p.m. Open House, Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center

1 p.m. Initiation into the Order of the Engineer, Curry Field

2 p.m. Army, Navy, Marine and Air Force Commissioning, Langford Auditorium, reception following in lobby

Graduate and Professional School Ceremonies and Receptions

10:30 a.m. Divinity School, Benton Chapel, reception following in the Refectory

10:30 a.m. Law School, Curry Field, reception following

10:30 a.m. School of Engineering, Hermitage Room, University Club, reception following

10:30 a.m. Graduate School, Library Lawn, reception following

10:45 a.m. Owen Graduate School of Management, Magnolia Circle Lawn

11 a.m. School of Nursing, Ingram Hall, Blair School of Music, reception following

11 a.m. Peabody College, Wyatt Center Lawn, reception following

11:15 a.m. School of Medicine, Langford Auditorium

Contact: Emily Pearce, (615) 322-NEWS

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