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Graduation

GOVERNMENT/PUBLIC POLICY GRADUATION 2011

ATTENTION GRADUATING SENIORS: PLEASE BE SURE TO CLICK HERE AND FILL OUT THE GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT GRADUATION SURVEY--IT IS VITAL IN HELPING THE DEPARTMENT TO PLAN YOUR DIPLOMA CEREMONY (EVEN IF YOU ARE A DOUBLE MAJOR AND PLAN TO RECEIVE YOUR DIPLOMA AT ANOTHER CEREMONY ON SUNDAY, PLEASE FILL OUT THIS FORM AS WELL)  THANKS! 

1. Advance Preparations

  • Declaring Candidacy/Confirming Eligibility: Students intending to graduate in May, 2011, file a declaration of candidacy in the fall. In addition, students in the spring should run a degree audit for themselves under the myWM Banner system to confirm that they have completed all graduation requirements. Advisors or the Department are happy to provide clarification, but it is up to students themselves to confirm that they will have met all requirements.

  • Government Majors: Diplomas of students who declared a major in Government (as their only or primary major) and have been cleared for graduation will automatically be delivered to the Department's degree conferral site.

  • Double Majors: Double majors who have declared a primary major in a department other than Government but plan to attend the Government degree conferral ceremony must themselves inform the Registrar of their intention to do so by the last day of spring semester (i.e. unless you do so, your diploma will be sent to the department listed as your primary major). Likewise, those who originally declared Government as a primary major but prefer to receive their diploma with the department of their second major must inform the Registrar of that intention.

  • Public Policy Majors: The Public Policy program has a reception for its graduates, including graduating seniors. However, Public Policy majors receive their actual diplomas on Sunday. Public Policy majors must inform the Registrar’s office by the last day of class spring semester as to where they would like to receive their degree--at the Government ceremony, the Economics ceremony, or at the ceremony of another department--so that the diploma will be sent to the chosen area in time. If you have notified the Registrar’s office before the last day of classes that you plan to receive your diploma with the Government majors, you will be listed on the Government Department’s commencement program as Public Policy majors.

  • International Relations/Global Studies Majors: International Relations/Global Studies majors have a ceremony on the Saturday of Commencement weekend, and pick up their diplomas at the Wightman Cup Room of William and Mary Hall after the all-College ceremony Sunday afternoon.

  • College Commencement Information: The Office of the Vice-President for Student Affairs offers a commencement website including a weekend schedule, information on tickets for the main ceremony at William and Mary Hall, etc.

2. Commencement Day: Wren Building Ceremony
The one benefit of suffering through several years in Morton is that, as Government and Public Policy majors, you get to receive your diplomas at the Wren Building, in the picturesque back courtyard facing the Portico. It makes for a nice memory, and a great graduation photo op for the family.

Here is the deal--and please let your families/guests know in advance:

  • As soon as the main ceremony at William and Mary Hall ends (usually around 2:00 p.m.), please get yourself and your guests over to Wren as quickly as possible: we need to start the ceremony no later than 2:30. The sooner everyone arrives the better, especially since it can be quite hot and muggy, which is tough on older family members (not to mention faculty wearing silly, heavy robes). Also many families have early dinner or departure plans.

  • Grads may want to grab a lemonade, but then assemble on the right/south side of Wren Chapel (Jamestown Road/Campus Center side) as quickly as possible: we will be putting you in rough alphabetical order, and then starting the procession. It will move along the sidewalk between the Sunken Garden and Wren, and then down the center sidewalk into the rear court of the Wren Building.

  • Graduates will stand in line throughout the ceremony, and be called up by name to receive their diplomas: when you come up, feel free to pause and turn for family photographers. Also, there is a nice chance for a large group photo on the Portico after the last diploma is given out.

  • Grads and guests needing to use a  restroom should do so at another building (e.g. the Sadler Center), as those at Wren and Tucker Hall are unavailable.

Please note that seating for family/guests is limited: we have only 900 chairs for some 1000 guests. Seats there are thus intended first and foremost for older guests and those most in need. We strongly request that larger family groups attending not hold large blocks of seats at the expense of those more in need. Guests are of course very welcome to bring folding chairs.

Also please note that, depending on the weather, it can be very warm, and the sun beats down directly upon the guest seating; there is very limited shade in the courtyard. Guests are urged to dress accordingly and, though lemonade and water will be available, it is a good idea to bring a bottle of water for the ceremony.

Should you decide not to attend the ceremony, diplomas will be available at the Registrar's Office starting at 10:00 a.m. the Monday after Commencement.

3. Commencement Day: Rainsite Contingency Plan
Williamsburg's weather can be unpredictable in May (okay, it can be unpredictable all year long). Should inclement conditions require the College to shift to its rain plan, an announcement to that effect will be made during the main ceremony at William and Mary Hall (note that any such decision is usually made at the last minute).

The Government rain site is the College Recreational Sports Center, directly adjacent to William and Mary Hall, site of the main College ceremony. That makes access easy for graduates and family/guests who attend the larger ceremony. Those family/guests who do not should know that there will be no parking directly around the Recreational Sports Center and roads will be blocked (except for those with a Disability Access Pass); please plan accordingly.

Upon arrival, graduates should remain in the foyer, where they will be lined up in alphabetical order to process. Please gather there immediately upon arrival. Families/guests may proceed quickly into the main gym.

Should you decide not to attend the ceremony at the rain site, diplomas will be available for pickup on the Monday after Commencement at the Registrar's Office after 10:00 a.m..

View a map of campus (PDF) showing the sites of the main Commencement Ceremony (William and Mary Hall, 90), the regular Government Department degree conferral ceremony (The Wren Budiling, 91) and the Department ceremony's rain location (Recreational Sports Center, 68)