One of life’s greatest accomplishments — the successful completion of a college degree — will be celebrated at Virginia Tech as students, together with their faculty, family, and friends, prepare for commencement ceremonies to be held on Friday, May 13.

Twenty-seven college and departmental convocation ceremonies will be held throughout the day on Saturday, May 14 at locations across campus.

Kenneth R. Feinberg, best known for serving as the special master of the federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 and who later became fund administrator for the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund following the April 16, 2007, tragedy, will address the graduates shortly after the ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. at Lane Stadium/Worsham Field.

Approximately 21 associate's degree candidates from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and 4,363 bachelor's degree candidates will be honored at the Friday night event.

This year, 1,540 graduating seniors will complete their baccalaureate degree programs with honors, having achieved an accumulative grade point average of at least a 3.4 on a 4.0 scale.

As it was last year, this year's most popular major among graduating seniors is biological sciences, followed by psychology, mechanical engineering, finance, and communication.

At a ceremony to be held Friday morning, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will honor 134 students graduating from its program. Also on Friday morning, 38 students will be commissioned into the U.S. Army, 34 will be commissioned into the U.S. Air Force, and 26 will be commissioned into the U.S. Navy. In addition, six students will join the U.S.Marine Corps after graduation. 

Bachelor’s degrees to be awarded to students from each of Virginia Tech’s seven undergraduate colleges

Virginia Tech alumna and entrepreneur Betty P. Chao, founder, president, and chief executive officer of WESTECH International Inc., will address graduate and professional degree candidates at the Graduate Commencement ceremony beginning at 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon at Cassell Coliseum. Approximately 1,372 students will be honored at that ceremony – 1,039 master’s degree candidates, 21 education specialist degree candidates, 16 Ed.D. candidates, 70 graduate certificate candidates, and 226 Ph.D. candidates.

In addition, 84 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree candidates will represent the 28th graduating class of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

Virginia Tech's 31st National Capital Region commencement ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 15, at the George Mason University Center for the Arts in Fairfax, Va. Wayne Clough, the 12th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and former professor and dean of the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, will speak to the approximately 300 National Capital Region graduates.

Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger will preside over the two Blacksburg ceremonies and the National Capital Region event.

Student remarks during the University Commencement ceremony include opening reflections from David B. Ramras of Dumfries, Va., a senior majoring in economics in the Pamplin College of Business; a speech by Class of 2010 President Nathan T. Lavinka of Chester, Va., a senior majoring in marketing management in the Pamplin College of Business and communications in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences; and closing reflections by Jessy K. Miller, a senior majoring in history in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

Ganesh Balasubramanian of Blacksburg, Va., a doctoral candidate in engineering mechanics, will share student remarks during the Graduate Commencement ceremony. Beth Sue Offenbacker of Arlington, Va., a doctoral candidate in public administration and public affairs, will provide student remarks during the National Capital Region ceremony.

2011 marks the 140th year of Virginia Tech. More information on all commencement and convocation activities may be found online.

Should the university be closed due to inclement weather, commencement ceremonies would also be cancelled. Once the decision to cancel has been made, details will be posted on the Virginia Tech homepage, the Virginia Tech News homepage, and Virginia Tech Mobile. In addition, a broadcast e-mail will be sent to all students, faculty, and staff; a recorded message will be placed on the University Weather Line (540-231-6668); and information will be broadcast on WVTF-FM 89.1 and shared with other local media outlets. The announcement will also be posted to the VT News page on Twitter and the Virginia Tech page on Facebook.

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