The Commencement ceremony that takes place in the May following the completion of your degree is your official graduation ceremony, so you will be invited to participate fully in all events of that weekend. Assuming you submit an updated (post-December) address with the Registrar's Office, you should expect to receive all of the May Commencement mailings and will be eligible to pick up tickets for the main exercises in W&M Hall. We do urge you to notify your department chair of your intent to return to campus for the May ceremonies so he/she will know to call your name during the diploma presentation ceremonies.
There are a number of reasons we do not host a mid-year Commencement Ceremony. Even though William & Mary has relatively few students who complete their degrees mid-year (usually 250-300 people, including both undergraduate and graduate students), the cost of multiple graduation ceremonies is prohibitive. The primary factor, however, is it isn't possible to determine whether or not mid-year degree candidates have actually graduated until final grades are calculated late in December. By that time, the winter break has begun, residence halls are closed, and the campus community has scattered. We sincerely hope that mid-year graduates and their families will be able to come back to Williamsburg in May to enjoy the unmatched pomp and circumstance of a William & Mary Commencement.