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Information for Families & Guests

We look forward to the arrival of families and guests in May to celebrate our graduates upon their Commencement! Read on for information to assist you with your planning!

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Stay Up to Date

Families may sign-up to receive email updates leading up to Commencement Weekend. We will use that information to also keep you updated on any changes or inclement weather during Commencement weekend. You can also review the latest email messages sent to the Class of 2022.

Need information or have questions?
Commencement Schedule and General Information

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

Regalia and General Graduation Merchandise

W&M Spirit Shop and Bookstore
757-221-1669

Tickets

Class of 2022 graduates will have an opportunity to request tickets during the Commencement registration period (February 1 - March 31). Each graduate may initially request up to 6 guest tickets for the ceremony in Zable stadium. Graduates will also be able to indicate if they would like to request any additional tickets that may be available after registration has ended. We will notify you in mid-April if you are able to receive additional tickets.

In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be moved indoors to Kaplan Arena. Due to limited seating capacity inside Kaplan, graduates will receive fewer guest tickets if we need to move the ceremony inside (exact # TBD in April, after registration has closed). 

Tickets are electronic and will be emailed to graduates in mid-May. Graduates may then forward the tickets to their guests to display on their phone, or guests may print out their tickets to be scanned. If using a phone, please have the tickets open and ready for scanning when you reach the entry gate. Each ticket scans only once, so electronic tickets may not be duplicated. 

 

Parking
  • We will provide diagrams of recommended parking areas and guidelines several weeks before Commencement.
  • Guests with limited mobility who display either an ADA tag or limited mobility access pass (provided electronically to the graduating student) will be permitted to drop off at the limited mobility entrance to Zable Stadium (good weather) or Kaplan Arena (weather plan). The driver will then be directed to park near the stadium or arena.
Prohibited Items for Zable Stadium and Kaplan Arena

The prohibited items list is for the enjoyment and safety of Commencement guests. This list is subject to change as conditions warrant. 

  • Backpacks (exceptions: diaper bags, string backpacks)
  • Bags measuring larger than 1’ x 1’ x 1’
  • Outside food & drink (except for factory sealed non-alcoholic beverages, no larger than one liter; juice boxes, factory sealed infant snacks, and baby food). 
  • Camera tripods / monopods / selfie-sticks
  • Firearms and other weapons
  • Laptop computers
  • Alcohol, use of any tobacco products, or illegal substances
  • E-cigarettes and vapor apparatuses
  • Noisemakers, laser pointers, balls, frisbees, inflatable objects
  • Coolers, ice chests
  • Pets
  • Strollers (there will be a stroller parking tent near the entrance)
  • Umbrellas
  • Anything deemed unsafe by police or event staff
Seating
  • Seating for guests is General Admission
  • Children 2 and younger do not require a ticket
  • Graduates will be seated on the stadium or arena floor
  • Graduates participating in the ceremony do not require a ticket.
Accessibility Accommodations
  • Wheelchair/limited mobility guests will be able to drop-off at an access point adjacent to the stadium (or arena).
  • Guests who can climb some steps will be ushered to lower rows of seating we have reserved and may sit with one companion.
  • Guests who cannot climb stairs will be ushered to the limited mobility seating area on the floor and may sit with one companion.
  • Guests in wheelchairs or scooters will be ushered to the limited mobility seating area on the floor and may sit with one companion.
  • We will have American Sign Language interpreters at each ceremony. Guests requiring live ASL interpretation will receive a vehicle access pass in order to drop off at the access point.
  • Live closed captioning will be available on the ceremony livestreams.
Ceremony Timeline

The ceremony begins with the student processional entering the arena. Each ceremony will last approximately 2 hours. 

Other Viewing Options

Live-streaming of the Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2022 will be available.

Accommodations (Special Lodging Rates)

Some area hotels and B&B's offer discounts to W&M guests and visitors. Contact the hotels directly to ask about any special lodging rates.