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Information for Graduating Students

A single column table for formatting purposes.
Tickets

Tickets will be emailed to graduates by Wednesday, May 19. You may then forward the tickets to your guests to display on their phone, or they may print out their tickets to be scanned. If using a phone, they should have the tickets open and ready for scanning when they reach the entry gate. Each ticket scans only once, so electronic tickets may not be duplicated. 

Extra Tickets

Any student who registered to receive extra tickets through the lottery received an email on April 29 asking them to indicate the number of tickets they would like to request. Each ceremony has a different number of lottery tickets based upon current guest counts. We will confirm the number of extra tickets each student will receive no later than Friday, May 7.

Ceremony Instructions 
  • What Not to Bring: Alcohol, non-disposable water bottles. Beverage containers will be collected and will not be returned.
  • Water: Each student will receive a factory-sealed bottle of water before the Walk begins. Bottles of water will also be provided under your seat at the ceremony.
  • Walk Across Campus: If you would like to participate in the Walk Across Campus, gather at the back of the Wren Building (Sunken Garden side) 75 minutes before your ceremony. The walk will cross the Crim Dell bridge and end at the Sadler Center Terrace (line-up location). If the Thunder Plan is called, report to Kaplan Arena one hour before your scheduled ceremony start time. View or print a map of the Walk Across Campus (pdf) including livestream camera locations. 
  • Line up: If you DO NOT plan to participate in the Walk Across Campus, you will need to meet at the Sadler Center Terrace 45 minutes before your scheduled ceremony. We will line you up by major/program. If the Thunder Plan is called, report to Kaplan Arena one hour before your scheduled ceremony start time.
  • Seating: Graduates will be seated on the field, separated by at least 6 feet, according to major. See the diagrams below for the approximate location of each major. Note the Sadler Center location is toward the bottom of each diagram. 
  • Crossing the Stage: Each graduate will have a chance to cross a ramp-accessible stage to have your name read out loud. Names will be grouped by your major. 
  • Photos: A professional photographer will be there to take your picture after you have crossed the stage. Students will receive more information about how to order and purchase their photos.
  • Diplomas: The diploma you receive when crossing the stage is not your actual diploma and will not have your name on it. You will be able to pick up your real diploma at a central location on campus on Friday and Saturday of Commencement Weekend (details below).
  • Recessional: At the end of the ceremony, students will recess out of the stadium. Please move away from the stadium to avoid congregating in groups.
Mask Requirements

In response to updated public health guidance and continuing increases in vaccination in our area and at the university, William & Mary is updating our masking policies as of May 18.

  • Students and guests must wear a face covering while in any shared indoor space, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Outdoor Commencement ceremonies will not require masks, but we will continue to observe the six-foot minimum distancing built into initial plans to protect those not yet vaccinated. Individuals not yet vaccinated are advised to wear masks and observe physical distancing guidelines.
  • W&M is not prohibiting masks nor distancing and will support you if you choose to continue to do so for your own comfort or for the protection of those who are unable to be vaccinated.
Ordering Your Regalia

Regalia is required if you wish to attend your in-person ceremony. You may purchase your regalia online at any time or at the Grad Fair. The W&M Bookstore is your contact for all regalia and graduation merchandise. If you need to place an order, please stop by the William & Mary Bookstore: 345 Duke of Gloucester Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185. You can also call 757-221-1669 or email: wmcloth@wm.edu.

You may also purchase class rings, announcements, diploma frames and other graduation merchandise (shipping charges may apply). Please note, the bookstore cannot accept payment over the phone. 

Regalia Options and Pricing

There is no change in style or design between the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 regalia.

Undergraduates and Masters Degree Candidates
  • Online ordering is now closed. If you need to place an order, please stop by the William & Mary Bookstore: 345 Duke of Gloucester Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185. You can also call 757-221-1669 or e-mail: wmcloth@wm.edu.

  • Regalia is available for purchase only there is no rental option
  • You can purchase regalia by the set (cap, gown, hood and tassel)
  • Items will be sold separately as well (inquire with the Bookstore).
  • Cap, Gown, Hood and Tassel $98.98 + $11.00 in shipping charges
  • Once purchased on the website, Bachelors and Masters Regalia and shipping fee is non-refundable at this time.
Doctoral Regalia - Rental
  • Order deadline is Saturday, May 1, 2021
  • Order your Doctoral Regalia and have it shipped to your home address.
  • Your Regalia will come with a Gown, Tam (cap) and Tassel. W&M Doctoral Regalia does not have a Degree Hood (the color of your Degree is showcased on the sleeves of the gown).
  • RETURN REGALIA INFO: You can return your Regalia using the UPS label that comes in your package or you can return at the W&M Bookstore (Second Floor). Here are the dates and times you can return to the Bookstore:
    • Sunday, May 23, 12 p.m.-5 p.m.
    • Monday, May 24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
    • Tuesday, May 25, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
  • You may keep the Tam and Tassel as a souvenir. Only return the Gown.
  • If your Regalia is not shipped out by Tuesday, May 25, 2021 or returned to the Bookstore by Tuesday, May 25, 2021, you will forfeit your $300 deposit.
  • If you return your Regalia to the W&M Bookstore, you must see a sales associate to properly check in your rental. Check-in will be at the “Online Pick-Up Window” on the Second Floor.
  • W&M Bookstore address: 345 Duke of Gloucester Street Williamsburg, VA 23185
  • If you would like to place your order in person, please come to the William & Mary Bookstore’s Grad Fair on April 13 – 14 from 10 am – 4 pm by appointment only. Location: W&M Bookstore, 345 Duke of Gloucester Street, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (Second Floor)
  • Contact the W&M Bookstore for additional information.
Doctoral Regalia - Custom Purchase Option 
  • William & Mary custom gown purchase: $779.00 + shipping
  • Measurements are needed for custom regalia and can be done at the W&M Bookstore by appointment.
  • Order deadline: preferably by April 2, 2021, but no later than April 9, 2021 to allow the six week mail time
Hood Colors

Arts (White), Business (Drab-Tan), Science (Gold), Education (Light Blue), Public Policy (Peacock Blue) (color is different than Education hood)

Order Questions?

Contact Marissa Risk at [[wmcloth]] or 757-221-1669.

When to Wear Regalia
Walk Across Campus & Commencement Ceremonies
  • Active duty or retired members of the U.S. armed services may have the option to wear a military uniform appropriate for the occasion at commencement ceremonies.
  • Graduates participating in their Commencement ceremony must wear the university approved regalia. Regalia consist of a robe, a cap, a tassel, and a hood with colors indicating the graduate's degree. 
  • The tassel is worn on the right side of the mortar board until the degree is awarded, at which time it is moved to the left.  Mortar boards may not have inappropriate messages attached.
  • Type of dress for underneath the robe is up to the graduating student. However, it should be tasteful and appropriate. We suggest business or business casual attire.
Wear Caps/Gowns Only (no hoods)

Candlelight Ceremony (tassel on the right side of the mortar board)

Diplomas

The University Registrar’s Office is responsible for preparing diplomas. Diplomas indicate the degree a student is receiving (e.g. Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science), but not specific majors and minors

Helpful things to know about diplomas
  • Graduating students must fulfill all degree requirements in order to receive a diploma.
  • Graduate A&S diplomas are mailed later in the summer.
  • Arts & Sciences and VIMS diplomas are in Latin (exception MPP).  Education, Business and Law are in English.
  • The diploma you receive when crossing the stage is not your actual diploma and will not have your name on it.
  • You will be able to pick up your real diploma at the following locations on campus on Friday, May 21 and Saturday, May 22  of Commencement Weekend (details below).
Diploma Pick-up (Undergraduates)
Dates
  • Friday, May 21 (9 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
  • Saturday, May 22 (9 a.m. - noon).
  • Diplomas not picked up during these time frames will be mailed to permanent home address in Banner
Locations
  • Last Names A-L = Monroe Tent
  • Last Names M-Z = Blair Tent
  • Lines form on Richmond Road side; exit toward Sunken Garden
  • Limited short-term parking available in Dawson Circle (front of Blow)
  • Inclement Weather: Blow 201
Instructions
  • Bring your W&M photo ID
  • Requests for proxy (someone else to pick up your diploma) must be emailed to [[wdurba]] before 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 20
  • Physical distancing must be observed; please come unaccompanied by family or non-graduating friends
  • Masks required
  • Be flexible when possible - come back if the lines are long when you arrive
Diploma Pick-up (Grad Students)
Arts & Sciences
  • Diplomas will be mailed to permanent home address in Banner
  • If individual program diplomas are ready by May 2021, students will receive email regarding pick up
Business

Friday, May 21:

  • All Business Grad diploma pick-ups will be at Miller Hall
  • MBA programs (Flex MBA, Full-tim MBA & Online MBA) -10 am to noon
  • One Year Masters (MAcc, MSBA, and Online MSBA – noon to 2 pm
  • No diploma pick-up from 2:00 pm until after ceremony concludes
  • MBA programs (Flex MBA, Full-tim MBA & Online MBA) - immediately after until 8:00 pm
  • One Year Masters (MAcc, MSBA, and Online MSBA – 6:30 to 8:00 pm

 Saturday, May 22:

  • All remaining business grad students (Miller Hall) – 10 am to noon
Education
  • All vehicles enter SOE from Mt. Vernon Ave
    • Friday 5/21 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
    • Saturday 5/22 2:00 – 5:00 pm
  • Drive through diploma pick up at front of building
  • Treyburn Ave @ traffic light designated exit only
Law
  • Pick up times and location will be announced by Tuesday, May 18. The Law School will send an announcement directly to Law grads.
Marine Science
  • Pick up Friday, May 21 from 9 a.m. - noon at the Academic Studies Suite on VIMS campus. Contact John Griffin at [[jmgriffin]] with questions.
Photo Opportunity

President Rowe will open the President’s House Garden to students who would like to use the space for photos in their Commencement regalia.  

  • Stop by on Wednesday, May 19 or Thursday, May 20 between 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. . 
  • Enter using the gate on the Wren Yard side of the garden.
Bell Ringing

Graduating students who could not participate in the bell-ringing tradition during the last week of classes have the opportunity to ring the Wren Bell when they return for Commencement Weekend. 

Dates and Times
  • Friday, May 21 - 6:30-8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 22 - 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 23 - 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Guidelines
  • No registration required.
  • Line-up begins outside of the courtyard fence.
  • The Wren Building is open ONLY to members of the William & Mary community (faculty, staff, students). A current student who is not graduating may accompany you to take a photo, but family or friends outside of the W&M community are not permitted inside.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Line-up will begin outside the courtyard fence (on the Sunken Garden side of the Wren Building). Volunteers will be there to assist.
  • Be sure to maintain at least 6 feet between others while waiting in line.
  • Graduates must wash their hands in the center hall Wren restroom prior to ringing the Wren Bell. There will be hand sanitizer for you after ringing the bell.
  • No food or drink is permitted inside the Wren Building.
  • The entire process should take anywhere from 5-15 minutes, depending on how many students are ringing the bell during your time slot.
Honors
Honor Cords

Honors are determined by a graduating student’s final GPA. William & Mary does not issue honor cords. 

Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors are granted by individual departments and programs to recognize achievement in independent study and research projects. These student projects may receive their degree with "Honors," "High Honors," "Highest Honors," or "Honor in Research," depending on the department and the quality of the work.

Latin Honors

Latin Honors are awarded to undergraduates on their overall grade point average as follows:

3.50 - 3.64 cum laude
3.65 - 3.79 magna cum laude
3.80 or higher summa cum laude

Latin Honors are indicated on the diploma.

Class Rings

Class rings may be purchased online at the Jostens website. If you have any questions about class rings, please contact Jostens at 800-854-7464.

Graduation Announcements
  • Generic: W&M graduation announcements may be purchased at the Bookstore beginning in March.
  • Personalized: William & Mary graduation announcements imprinted with an individual's name and degree may be purchased online at the Jostens website. Basic packages start at $95.98. If you have any questions about announcements, please contact the Bookstore at 757-221-1669 or Jostens at 800-854-7464.
Questions?

Graduating students will automatically receive email announcements/instructions beginning in the fall and continuing to the days before Commencement. All emails are sent to the student's W&M account.

Commencement Schedule and General Information

Office of Student Affairs
757-221-1236
[[commencement, Commencement Planning Team]]

Graduation/Academic Requirements/Diplomas

University Registrar's Office
[[wendy.urbano, Wendy Urbano]]

Regalia and General Graduation Merchandise

W&M Bookstore
757-221-1669