More than 6,000 Virginia Tech graduates to be honored at spring commencement this week

Virginia News

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Over the course of the week, Virginia Tech will hold in-person commencement ceremonies in Lane Stadium as a way to celebrate graduating seniors, graduate school students, and their families while still following public health guidelines.

Virginia Tech says all in-person ceremonies will be live-streamed, but you can find more details about attending in-person commencements online

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine already honored its class of 38 graduates at a ceremony in Roanoke on Saturday, May 8.

While the first of two graduate school commencement ceremonies and the ceremony for the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine begin on Monday, May 10, the rest of the week will include in-person ceremonies for undergraduates from both the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021.

Here is a full schedule of the commencement ceremonies for Virginia Tech this week:

  • Monday, May 10:
  • Tuesday, May 11:
    • Graduate School (two of two) at 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 12:
    • Class of 2020 at 1 p.m.
    • College of Engineering (one of three) at 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 13:
    • College of Engineering (two of three) at 8 a.m.
    • College of Engineering (three of three) at 1 p.m.
    • College of Architecture and Urban Studies at 6 p.m.
  • Friday, May 14
    • College of Science (one of two) at 8 a.m.
    • College of Science (two of two) at 1 p.m.
    • University Commencement virtual ceremony at 6:15 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 15:
    • College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (one of two) at 8 a.m.
    • College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (two of two) at 1 p.m.
    • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 16:
    • College of Natural Resources and Environment at 8 a.m.
    • Pamplin College of Business (one of two) at 1 p.m.
    • Pamplin College of Business (two of two) at 6 p.m.

School officials say Joseph Kozak, a recipient of a doctoral degree in electrical and computer engineering, is the Graduate School student speaker.

Meanwhile, Class of 2021 president Grant Bommer — who is set to receive a bachelor’s degree in business and finance — will share a message with fellow graduates during the virtual ceremony Friday evening.

The university announced last month that Francis S. Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, would serve as the commencement keynote speaker last month.

Throughout the week, Virginia Tech says it will honor 47 associate degree candidates from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, as well as a total of 5,554 bachelor’s degree candidates from all colleges. The number of bachelor’s degrees being awarded per college are listed below:

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: 571
  • College of Architecture and Urban Studies: 360
  • Pamplin College of Business: 1,089
  • College of Engineering: 1,789
  • College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences: 1,012
  • College of Natural Resources and Environment: 224
  • College of Science: 888

According to the university, 3,127 of the Hokies graduating this year completed their baccalaureate degree programs with honors by achieving a cumulative GPA of at least 3.4 on a 4.0 scale.

School officials say business information technology topped the list of the most popular majors among graduating seniors in the Class of 2021, followed by mechanical engineering; computer science; human nutrition, foods, and exercise; and biology.

Of the 217 graduates from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets program, 156 will reportedly be entering service in the military as commissioned officers, including 65 in the U.S. Army, 48 in the U.S. Air Force, 36 in the U.S. Navy, and seven in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Meanwhile, hundreds of graduate degrees are also being awarded, according to Virginia Tech:

  • Ph.D’s: 244 in Blacksburg; 21 in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area
  • Ed.D’s: 24 in Blacksburg; two in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area
  • Master’s degrees: 724 in Blacksburg; 115 in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area
  • Education specialists: Six in Blacksburg; one in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area
  • Advanced Graduate Certificates: 153 in Blacksburg; one in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area

As for the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, 128 people are ready to receive their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees.

In addition, Virginia Tech will be hosting eight different cultural achievement ceremonies throughout the week, including Aliyah (a celebration of Jewish students); American Indian and Indigenous (for Native students); APIDA (for Asian Pacific Islander Desi American students); Donning of the Kente (for students of African-American heritage); Gesta Latina (for students of Hispanic or Latino descent); Disabilities Achievement; Lavender (for LGBTQ+ students); and Muslim (for students who practice Islam).

“This year, much like last year, we will be celebrating our graduating seniors through a video tribute which will feature faculty, staff, and students sharing congratulatory messages, a keynote by Dean DePauw [dean of Graduate Education], and photos of the graduates,” said Ashleigh “Bing” Bingham, the director of the LBGTQ+ Resource Center. “We’re excited to celebrate our queer class of 2021 with music, well wishes, and some thoughtful remarks on how we as a community can move forward in a world that challenges LGBTQ+ folks, but hopefully also changes with them.”

“We are really happy to celebrate this milestone with graduates,” Melissa Faircloth, the director of the American Indian and Indigenous Community Center at Virginia Tech, said. “Not only have they achieved such an amazing accomplishment, but they did it during the most trying times, which speaks to their resilience.”

If you have any questions or want more information about commencement, visit vt.edu/commencement

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