Two commencement speakers -- first lady Michelle Obama and U.S. Sen. Mark Warner -- headline Virginia Tech’s University Commencement ceremony to be held on Friday, May 11.

The University Commencement ceremony will begin at noon, but gates to Lane Stadium will open at 7 a.m. to accommodate the expected large crowd and additional security measures.

For the first time, Virginia Tech will offer live streaming video of both the Graduate School Commencement and University Commencement ceremonies from the university homepage.

Five college or departmental convocation ceremonies will be held on Friday and 23 more will be held on Saturday, May 12, at locations across campus throughout both days. A complete schedule of all departmental and college convocation ceremonies may be found on the Commencement website.

Approximately 38 associate's degree candidates from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and 4,447 bachelor's degree candidates will be honored Friday at the noon ceremony.

This year, 1,724 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 has been the last several years, this year's most popular major among graduating seniors is biological sciences. Mechanical engineering; psychology; human nutrition, foods, and exercise; and civil engineering round out the top five most popular majors.

At a ceremony to be held Friday evening at 7 p.m., the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will honor 122 students graduating from its program. At the same ceremony, to be held in Burruss Auditorium, 36 students will be commissioned into the U.S. Army, 16 will be commissioned into the U.S. Air Force, and 18 will be commissioned into the U.S. Navy. In addition, 10 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 Senior Vice President and Provost Mark G. McNamee will address graduate degree candidates at the Graduate School Commencement ceremony beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday at Cassell Coliseum. Approximately 1,382 students will be honored at that ceremony – 1,035 master’s degree candidates, 11 education specialist degree candidates, 17 Ed.D. candidates, 85 graduate certificate candidates, and 234 Ph.D. candidates.

In addition, approximately 90 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree candidates will represent the 29th graduating class of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine. The veterinary college’s convocation will be held at 7 p.m. Friday evening in the Commonwealth Ballroom of Squires Student Center.

Virginia Tech's 32nd National Capital Region commencement ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 13, at the George Mason University Center for the Arts in Fairfax, Va. Virginia Tech alumna and Virginia’s Secretary of Education Laura Fornash will speak to approximately 150 National Capital Region graduates.

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

The academic procession at both the University and Graduate School Commencement ceremonies will be led by Commencement Marshal Michael Ellerbrock, professor of agricultural and applied economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Kathleen Hancock, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering and co-director of the Center for Geospatial Information Technology, will serve as commencement marshall for the National Capital Region ceremony.

Student remarks during the University Commencement ceremony include opening reflections from Amanda Jade Eberhardt of Disputanta, Va., a senior majoring in psychology in the College of Science; a speech by Class of 2012 President Sandy D. Bass Jr. of Virginia Beach, Va., a senior majoring in marketing management in the Pamplin College of Business; and closing reflections by Class of 2012 Vice President Marco Leung, a senior majoring in computer science in the College of Engineering.

Soprano Aurora Martin of Arlington, Va., a senior majoring in music in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, will sing the National Anthem and the Alma Mater at the University Commencement ceremony. Soprano Paige E. Russell of Virginia Beach, Va., also a senior majoring in music, will sing the National Anthem at the Graduate School Commencement ceremony.

Amanda Cronin Rumore of Lynchburg, Va., a doctoral candidate from the Department of Biological Sciences, will provide student remarks during the Graduate Commencement ceremony. LaShonia Michelle Murphy of Fairfax, Va., a doctoral candidate in public administration and public affairs, will provide student remarks during the National Capital Region ceremony.

2012 marks the 141th year of Virginia Tech. More information on all commencement and convocation activities may be found online.

In the event of inclement weather, the University Commencement ceremony in Lane Stadium may be delayed. If heavy rain or dangerous conditions prevail, the university may cancel the ceremony. Once a decision has been made, details will be posted on the Virginia Tech homepage, the Virginia Tech News page, and Virginia Tech Mobile. Information will be recorded on the University Weather Line (540-231-6668), shared with area news outlets, sent using campus-wide email and VT Alerts, and posted to the VT News page on Twitter and the Virginia Tech page on Facebook.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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