Family and friends of Virginia Tech graduating students are finalizing plans to travel to Roanoke, Fairfax, or Blacksburg to attend one or more of the university's commencement ceremonies.

The first ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 9, at the Jefferson Center in Roanoke, Virginia, as the second graduating class of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine will be honored. Dr. Louis Sullivan, founding dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine and noted health policy leader, will address the graduate class of 40 individuals who, like last year's charter class, distinguished itself with a 100 percent residency program match rate.

Less than a week later, approximately 30,000 friends and family members are expected to travel to Blacksburg for commencement ceremonies to be held Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16. This year, the University Commencement ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. in Lane Stadium with the student procession starting at 8:40 a.m. Gates to the stadium will open at 7 a.m. to allow guests ample time to find seating.

The Graduate School Commencement ceremony will follow at noon inside Cassell Coliseum and 28 more college and departmental ceremonies will be held across campus starting at 4 p.m. Friday afternoon and will continue through Saturday afternoon.

A complete schedule of all departmental and college convocation ceremonies may be found on the commencement website.

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

Approximately 1,300 friends and family members of graduates will stay in university residence halls that are within walking distance to all ceremony venues during their two- or three-day visit.

Blacksburg native and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt will deliver the keynote address at the University Commencement ceremony. Approximately 33 associate's degree candidates from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and 4,611 bachelor's degree candidates will be honored during the ceremony.

This year, 1,778 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 mechanical engineering.The next four most popular majors: biological sciences; human nutrition, foods and exercise; industrial and systems engineering; and psychology.

At a ceremony to be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 15 in Burruss Hall Auditorium, the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets will honor 208 students graduating from its program. At the same ceremony, 71 students will be commissioned into the U.S. Army, 42 will be commissioned into the U.S. Air Force, 17 will be commissioned into the U.S. Navy, and eight will commission into the U.S. Marine Corps.

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

Ansley Abraham, founding director of the Southern Regional Education Board's State Doctoral Scholars Program, will speak to the students, family, and friends attending the Graduate School Commencement ceremony. Approximately 1,454 students will be honored at that ceremony – 1,006 master’s degree candidates, 27 education specialist degree candidates, 24 Ed.D. candidates, 118 advanced graduate certificate candidates, and 279 Ph.D. candidates.

In addition, 95 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree candidates are expected to represent the 32nd graduating class of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. The veterinary college’s convocation will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, May 15 in the Commonwealth Ballroom of Squires Student Center.

Virginia Tech's 35th National Capital Region commencement ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 17, at the George Mason University Center for the Arts in Fairfax, Virginia, Paul Singh, managing director and general partner at 1776, a Washington D.C.-based global business incubator and seed fund, will give the keynote address to approximately 200 National Capital Region graduates and their guests.

Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands 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 Joseph Merola, professor of chemistry in the College of Science. Henry R. Hollander, coordinator for outreach and alumni relations for the School of Architecture and Design, will serve as commencement marshal for the National Capital Region ceremony.

Student remarks given during the University Commencement ceremony include opening reflections from Nicole E. Crouch, a senior majoring in finance in the Pamplin College of Business; a speech by Class of 2014 President Jean-Luc Pierre Ford, a senior majoring in marketing management in the Pamplin College of Business; and closing reflections by Morgan Denfeld of South Riding, Virginia, a senior majoring in marketing management in the Pamplin College of Business.

Soprano Nora Cotter, a senior majoring in music education and performance in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, will sing the National Anthem and the Alma Mater at the University Commencement, and tenor Paul Wolf, a senior majoring in music education and performance, will sing the National Anthem at at the Graduate School Commencement ceremony. Melinda Cummings of Leesburg, Virginia, a graduate student in human development, will sing the National Anthem during the National Capital Region Commencement ceremony.

Christian Matheis, a doctoral candidate in the Social, Political, Ethical, and Cultural Thought program, will provide student remarks during the Graduate Commencement ceremony. Jeffrey Daniel Stern, a doctoral candidate in the public administration and public affairs program, will give student remarks during the National Capital Region ceremony.

2014 marks the 144th 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 and the Virginia Tech News page. Information will also 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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