Chancellor Zeppos and Kite Runner author to send off Vanderbilt graduates

Tradition and technology will each be a part of Vanderbilt University’s annual Commencement Week activities, which run May 12-14 with the main Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 14.

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos will deliver the traditional Commencement address in a ceremony beginning 9 a.m. on Alumni Lawn. Graduates are invited to tweet their thoughts during the ceremony and a new text messaging service is available for updates on weather, events and other Commencement issues.

In addition, Vanderbilt faculty will offer “Faculty Seminars” for visitors on subjects including President Obama and women in rock music. Festivities begin 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, with a performance by Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals at THE PARTY at The Commons Center Lawn. Advance tickets for the concert are sold out. Some will be available, for $20, at the gate the day of the show.

Vanderbilt is granting about 3,500 degrees this year, 1,600 to undergraduates and 1,900 to graduate and professional students. About 3,100 graduates are expected to attend the ceremony.

Those unable to attend may participate online.

Commencement (9 a.m. to noon May 14) will be streamed live on the Vanderbilt home page at The site will also broadcast the Senior Day address by Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 13, from Memorial Gymnasium. Hosseini is the 2010 winner of Vanderbilt’s Nichols-Chancellor Medal, one of the university’s highest honors, which is given to individuals who define the 21st century and exemplify the best qualities of the human spirit. It was created and endowed by Vanderbilt Law School graduate Ed Nichols and his wife, Janice, in honor of Edward Carmack and Lucile Hamby Nichols.

Twitter followers are invited to track the thoughts of Commencement participants at . Those wishing to contribute tweets during the event can add “#VU2010” to the end of their tweets so they are routed to the official site.

To sign up for the text messaging service for Commencement updates, go to .

For more information about the four “Faculty Seminars,” go to . For more information about Vanderbilt Commencement activities, go to

A map showing Commencement-related locations is available here:

Media contact: Jim Patterson, (615) 322-NEWS