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Information for Graduating Students

A single column table for formatting purposes.
Registration & Tickets

Class of 2023 graduates will have an opportunity to request tickets during the Commencement registration period (February 24 - March 24). Graduating students will receive an email in February with the registration link. 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 severe weather, the ceremony will be moved indoors to Kaplan Arena. Due to limited seating capacity inside Kaplan, graduates will receive fewer guest tickets for the inside location (exact number to be determined in April, after registration has closed). Only guests presenting all-weather tickets (valid in both Zable & Kaplan) will be permitted to enter Kaplan Arena. 

Tickets are electronic and will be emailed to graduates in mid-May. 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. 

Main Ceremony Instructions
  • Ceremony Date: Friday, May 19 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Ceremony Location: Zable Stadium
  • Dress: Full regalia is required to participate in the ceremony
  • What Not to Bring: Alcohol, and non-disposable water bottles. Beverage containers will be collected and will not be returned.
  • Walk Across Campus: The walk will begin promptly at 6:15 p.m. If you would like to participate in the Walk Across Campus (pdf), gather at the back of the Wren Building (Sunken Garden side) on Friday at 6:00 p.m. The walk will cross the Crim Dell bridge and end at the Sadler Terrace where you will be directed to a line-up location. If the severe weather plan is called, the Walk Across Campus will be canceled and you should proceed directly to Kaplan Arena and arrive by 6:15 p.m. 
  • Line up: Once you arrive at Zable or Kaplan (severe weather), you will be directed to your line-up location (pdf) by staff volunteers. If you DO NOT plan to participate in the Walk Across Campus, you will need to meet at the Sadler terrace or Kaplan Arena (severe weather) by 6:15 p.m. You will receive further instructions about where to be and when.
  • Seating: Degree candidates will be seated on the field of Zable (pdf) or, in the case of severe weather, on the floor/stands of Kaplan (pdf). Graduate degree candidates will sit with their schools. Bachelor's candidates are not required to sit with their major. 
  • Diplomas: Will be distributed by departments on Saturday. Degree candidates do not cross the stage or have their name read at Friday evening's ceremony. Instead, you will cross the stage and have your name read at your departmental event on Saturday.
  • Recessional: Please remain at your seats until the official party and faculty have recessed out of the stadium or arena.
How to Purchase Regalia

Regalia is required if you wish to attend your in-person ceremony. 

  • Bachelor and Masters regalia are available for purchase beginning March 28th during the bookstore Grad Fair
  • Online ordering will become available on April 4th and then close on April 17th via the Oak Hall website. Shipping charges may apply to online orders. After April 17th, regalia may be purchased ONLY at the Spirit Shop & Bookstore.

The Spirit Shop & Bookstore is your contact for all regalia and graduation merchandise. Please email [[wmcloth]] with any questions. Check out the Spirit Shop & Bookstore social media pages for additional information:

Regalia Pricing - Bachelor & Masters

There has been no change in regalia style or design since 2019.

  • Bachelor set (cap, gown, hood, & tassel) - $98.98
  • Masters set (cap, gown, hood, & tassel) -  $98.98
Individual Pieces
  • Gown, cap, tassel - $65.98
  • Hood - $35.98
  • Gown - $49.98
Undergraduates and Masters Degree Candidates
  • Regalia is available for purchase only - there is no rental option
  • You can purchase regalia by the set (cap, gown, hood, and tassel)
  • You may also order individual pieces separately
  • Purchase online via the Oak Hall website from April 4th through April 17th. Shipping charges apply to online orders. Starting after April 17th, all purchases must be made in person at the Spirit Shop & Bookstore.
  • If purchased on the Oak Hall website, Bachelor and Masters Regalia and the shipping fee is non-refundable.
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 Wynter Cannatelli at [[wmcloth]] or 757-221-1669, or check out their social media channels for answers to common questions:

Regalia Pricing - Doctoral

Regalia - Rental
  • Cost $110.98 
  • During the Law Fair on March 22nd, at the Law School graduates can place their Regalia order in person. Following this online ordering is available through March 31st.  
  • 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).
  • You may keep the Tam and Tassel as a souvenir. Only return the Gown
  • Rental regalia is not eligible for a refund once the order ships.
Doctoral Regalia - Custom Purchase Option 
  • Cost $803 + $19.95 shipping 
  • Order online
  • Order deadline is April 1, 2023
  • Regalia is for PhD, JD/LLM, and EdD degree candidates
  • Measurements are needed for custom regalia and can be done at the Spirit Shop & Bookstore by both walk-in or appointment. Contact Wynter Cannatelli at [[wmcloth]] or 757-221-1669. 
Order Questions?

The Spirit Shop & Bookstore is your contact for all regalia and graduation merchandise. Please email [[wmcloth]] with any questions, or call 757-221-1669, or check out their social media channels for answers to common questions:

Regalia 101
  • Regalia consists of a robe, a cap, a tassel, and a hood with colors indicating the graduate's degree
  • How to wear your hood
  • Graduates participating in their Commencement ceremony must wear the university-approved regalia. 
  • 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.
  • For undergraduates, 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.
  • For graduate students who have already earned an undergraduate degree, the tassel remains on the left side of the mortar board.
  • Mortar boards may be decorated, but may not display inappropriate or obscene messages. 
    • Do not exceed the dimensions of the flat mortar board.
    • Do not create anything that will distract your fellow graduates from enjoying what is also their ceremony.
    • Do not create anything that may offend a future employer. 
  • 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. 
When to Wear Regalia
  • Walk Across Campus - Full regalia (cap, gown, hood*)
  • Main Ceremony (Friday evening) - Full regalia
    • Tassel situated on right side of mortar board for undergraduates, and the left side for graduate students
    • Tassel moves to the left side for undergrads when president confers your degree 
  • Departmental ceremony/event - Full regalia (unless otherwise instructed by your department)
  • Candlelight - Cap and gown ONLY (no hood)
    • Tassel situated on right side of mortar board for undergraduates, and the left side for graduate students 

*Instructions for wearing your hood

Bell Ringing

Graduates of the Class of 2023 will  have the opportunity to ring the Wren Bell on their last day of classes.

  • Friday, April 28 (Graduate Students) - 12:00 noon - 2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, May 5 (Undergraduates & remaining graduate students) - 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Line-up will begin outside the courtyard fence (on the Sunken Garden side of the Wren Building). Volunteers will be there to assist.
  • No food or drink is permitted inside the Wren Building.
  • The entire process can take anywhere from 5-45 minutes, depending on how many students are in line to ring the bell when you arrive.
Senior Class Dance

Wednesday, May 17, 9:00 p.m. - midnight (Sunken Garden) - Come dance the night away at the traditional senior class dance! Ticket purchase required.

Candlelight Ceremony

Thursday, May 20, 9:30 p.m. (Wren Building) - Tradition holds that the graduating class select one student, one staff, and a member of the faculty to give brief remarks to graduates. The ceremony provides an opportunity for the Class of 2023 to celebrate and reflect on their time at the university. Class of 2023 graduates wear cap and gown (tassel positioned on right side of mortar board). 


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 University Events
[[commencement, Commencement Planning Team]]

Regalia and General Graduation Merchandise

Spirit Shop & Bookstore