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Commencement

The College’s 58th Commencement Ceremony Will Take Place In-Person on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 11 AM.

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Congratulations, Graduates!

Graduates from the Class 2023 are invited to attend Villa Maria College’s in-person Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 11 AM.

This year’s exercises will take place on May 20, 2023 inside the College’s auditorium. All students are expected to attend all Commencement-related activities, including rehearsal, the hooding ceremony and liturgy and the formal exercises. Students should plan to attend not only as an active participant, but also in support of their fellow classmates.

Graduates should arrive on campus promptly at 10:30 for line-up and further instruction on the day’s events. Guests may go right to the auditorium to find their seats.

The College’s traditional liturgy and hooding ceremony will precede the exercises. The liturgy and hooding ceremony will take place on May 20 at 9 AM in the Villa Maria Convent Chapel located at 600 Doat Street. Students should arrive in the chapel by 8:30 AM and will be given further instruction upon arrival in the chapel’s lobby. Guests may go immediately to their seats.

2023 Commencement Speaker: Bill Fichtner

Bill is now starring in the ABC drama The Company You Keep. He can also be seen on the Peacock series Joe vs Carole. Notably, he played Adam on the CBS sitcom Mom. Fichtner also had series regular roles on Crossing Lines and Fox’s Prison Break, along with box office hits Heat, Armageddon, Go, Equilibrium, Black Hawk Down, The Perfect Storm, The Longest Yard, and Crash, just to name a few.

Details of the Day of Commencement

For more information, contact: DJ Schier at 716-961-1878 or [email protected].

Graduation is a very special time — a time to acknowledge you for all your hard work and honor you for all you have achieved.  As a graduate of Villa Maria College, you are expected to attend all Commencement Exercises. If you are unable to attend, please contact DJ Schier, dean of students, at 716-961-1878.

Full Schedule of Events

May 1-19, 2023: Cap, Gown, and Hood pick-up in Felician Hall.

Academic attire can be picked up between May 1 & 19 from 9 AM – 3 PM at the front desk of Felician Hall.

Thursday, May 18, 2023 – Commencement Rehearsal: 2 PM in the Commons

The seating chart and final instructions will be distributed at this time.  Dress is casual. Do not bring your associate or bachelor hood, cap and gown. Please be on time.

Thursday, May 18, 2023 – Graduate Reception: Immediately following the rehearsal in the Commons

Reception in the Commons and one last opportunity to celebrate with other graduates, faculty, and staff before the big day.

Saturday, May 20, 2023 – Hooding Ceremony and Commencement Liturgy: 9 AM in the Villa Maria Convent Chapel

Graduates will gather in your academic gowns (no cap) by 8:30 AM in the entrance to the convent chapel, 600 Doat Street.  Bring your academic hood with you—you will be hooded during a special ceremony. Family members are to go directly to their seats.

Saturday, May 20, 2023 – Commencement Exercises: 11 AM in the College Auditorium

Graduates are to assemble in the Commons by 10:30 a.m. Wear your cap, gown, and hood. Procession is to be ready by 10:45 a.m.

Saturday, May 20, 2023 – Reception: Immediately following Commencement Exercises on front lawn of the College (weather permitting)

Light refreshments will be served.

If you have any questions, please contact DJ Schier, dean of students, at 716-961-1878 or [email protected].

Academic Attire

All graduates participating in the Commencement ceremony need to wear academic regalia: black gown, black cap, tassel, and an academic hood.

Order your academic regalia through this link: https://villamaria.shopoakhalli.com. All orders need to be placed by March 24, 2023.

Associate Degree (Two Years)
Associate Degree Complete Package — includes cap, gown, tassel, and hood — $38.50

Bachelor Degree (Four Years)
Bachelor Degree Complete Package—includes cap, gown, tassel, and hood — $40.50

You will be asked to provide your payment information at the time of the order. Your order will be for the complete package which includes cap, gown, tassel, and hood. You will be asked if you want to purchase extra items (e.g., an extra cap or tassel). You do not need to order these as they are included in the complete package. To save on shipping costs, all orders will be assembled and shipped to the College. Orders can be picked up between May 1 & May 19.

Women & men: black gown, black cap, academic hood, dark shoes
Delta Epsilon & Phi Theta Kappa members: follow above, plus honors stole if applicable.
Military: follow military protocol

Graduation cap must be worn according to regulation: level with ceiling when on your head, tassel on the right-hand side; hoods should be worn to the ceremony.

Please do not bring purses or any other item that you need to carry. Leave all items with family members or lock them in your car trunk.

Bookstore

The Spirit Store is now located in the Commons. College apparel and other branded items can be purchased here. The Spirit Shop will be open from 9 AM to 12 PM on Commencement Day.

Clothing

All graduates are asked to be in their cap, gown, and hood upon arrival.
For all questions related to caps and gowns, please visit https://villamaria.shopoakhalli.com.

Commencement Exercises

Commencement Exercises will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at 11 AM in the College auditorium. Graduates should assemble in the dining hall by 10:30 AM.  Wear your cap, gown, and hood. Guests may go immediately to the auditorium to find seats.

Commencement Reception

A Commencement Reception will be held on the front lawn of the College on Saturday, May 20, immediately following the exercises. Light refreshments will be served.  Graduates, family and friends are invited to share in the celebration! *Weather permitting.

Diplomas

Students will be given their diploma holder by Dr. Giordano during the ceremony. Once the ceremony is over, students who are eligible to receive their diploma on the day of Commencement during the outdoor reception.

Guest Policy

Students may invite as many guests as you wish to the Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 20, at 11 AM.  Guests do not need tickets for the graduation ceremony.

Hooding Ceremony & Commencement Liturgy

A Hooding Ceremony and Commencement Liturgy will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2023.  The Hooding Ceremony and Commencement Liturgy will be celebrated at 9 AM in the Villa Maria Convent Chapel. Graduates are asked to arrive by 8:30 AM, and gather in the Chapel’s entrance on 600 Doat Street for final instructions. Graduates should wear their gown only (no cap) and bring their hoods. Guests may go immediately to their seats.

Line-Up

Students: Check-in is in the ground floor hallway near The Commons and then find your spot in the procession line-up.

Board members: Academic Regalia will be located in Room 103 and the procession lineup will be in the main lobby.

Faculty members: Academic Regalia will be located in Room 102 and the procession lineup will be in the main lobby.

Post-Ceremony

Following the Commencement Ceremony, the Class of 2022 and their families are invited to celebrate at an outdoor reception. The reception will take place on the lawn outside of the Main Building and will be held rain or shine. Light refreshments will be served. Diplomas can be picked up during the reception.

All graduates will have the opportunity to pick up their diplomas and a gift from Student Life and Alumni Affairs. Graduates and their guests can use the time after the ceremony to take pictures on campus.

Rehearsal

All graduates are required to attend a short rehearsal for this year’s Commencement ceremony.

Commencement Rehearsal will be held on Thursday, May 18, 2023 at Villa Maria College. Please come to the Commons for rehearsal at 2 PM sharp. Please arrive on time. The seating chart and final instructions will be distributed at the rehearsal. Dress is casual — do not bring your hoods, caps or gown.

A graduate reception will immediately follow the rehearsal. This is an opportunity to gather with your fellow graduates one last time before the big day. Faculty and staff who have worked with you throughout your time at Villa will  be present to share in your success. This is your moment. Come and celebrate! Refreshments will be served.

Seating

Graduates will be lined up by degree type and will process to their seats assisted by ushers. Seating in the auditorium is available for all guests on a first-come, first-served basis. Families and friends are welcome to sit in any section that is not marked as reserved. A section of the auditorium will be reserved for guests who prefer to continue social distancing.

Tuition and Fees

All tuition and fees must be cleared before participation in the May Commencement activities. Graduates may not be permitted to attend Commencement if financial obligations are not settled. Please settle all financial obligations by May 1.