Congratulations on your graduation

If you’re reading this page, it means you’ve made it! Four years (or more, perhaps) of countless hours spent in the classroom, poring over textbooks and notes, writing papers and lab reports, chasing tornados, riding in vans to forests, ponds, and wherever else your professors could think of. Whew, what a ride.

Make sure that one of your last journeys as a student — crossing the stage to be recognized at commencement — comes off without a hitch. Check out the information below so you are ready when your name is called.    

Thank you for being a part of the CNRE family. We hope you will continue to be involved and engaged as a proud Hokie and CNRE alum!

University Commencement information

The university-wide Commencement ceremony will be held online at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, May 15, 2020. It will include welcoming comments, speeches, announcements of awards and honors and the conferring of degrees to the newest Hokie alumni. In addition, all graduating students and two guests are invited to campus this fall to celebrate commencement with a senior tailgate, “Enter Sandman” entrance into Lane Stadium, and complimentary attendance at the Sept. 26 home football game. Graduates of the Class of 2020 are also welcome to participate in commencement in December and May 2021.

CNRE Commencement information

The College of Natural Resources and Environment Commencement Ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, 2020, in the Burruss Hall Auditorium. Please read the information below carefully to ensure you have the proper regalia and are on-time and on-point for the line up and procession.

Because diplomas will not be ready on the day of the ceremony, you can either have your diploma mailed to your permanent address OR you can pick it up on Saturday, May 16 from 10 a.m. to noon in Cheatham 138.

Cap and gown requirements

All graduates participating in the academic process and the commencement ceremonies must wear a cap and gown. Regalia for students is for sale at the on-campus and Volume II bookstores.

Directions for student line up

  • Line up begins at 5 p.m. in Burruss Hall.
  • You must wear a cap, gown, tassel, and footwear.
  • Line up is by major. There is a faculty member (marshal) for each department; you will be marching in by department.
  • The marshal will hand you two cards and a pencil: Card 1 is for the photographer and will have a hole in it; Card 2 is an index card that will indicate your position in line by major (this card will have your major, name, and hometown on it).
  • Fill in the information requested on Card 1 and return it to the marshal.
  • Fill in the job information on the back of Card 2. Hold onto it! Card 2 is your ticket to ride.
  • We march promptly at 6:30 p.m. to “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Directions for the processional

  • Follow the stage party and faculty into the auditorium.
  • File into the seats as directed.
  • Listen to the speakers!

Directions for walking across the stage

  • You will be asked to stand and come forward by major.
  • Follow your marshal to the podium.
  • Hand your line-up card (Card 2) to the marshal. The marshal will hand your card to the department head.
  • When the department head calls your name, you will cross the stage and shake hands with Dean Winistorfer.
  • You will be directed to the side of the stage for a photo.
  • You’ll then return to your seat to listen to closing remarks.
  • Then it’s time for the traditional CNRE send-off.

Directions for guests

  • Guests should enter through the main lobby of Burruss Hall, facing the Drillfield.
  • No strollers are allowed in the auditorium.
  • A clear bag policy is enforced for Lane Stadium, Cassell Coliseum, and Burruss Auditorium. Approved bags:
    • Bags that are clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12".
    • One-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
    • Small clutch bag approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap and no larger than 4.5" x 6.5".

Prohibited items

Please note the following items are prohibited from all commencement venues:

  • Outside food and drink (with the exception of an unopened bottle of water)
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Alcohol
  • Wrapped gifts
  • Balloons
  • Noisemakers
  • Pets
  • Purses larger than a clutch bag
  • Coolers
  • Briefcases
  • Backpacks
  • Fanny packs
  • Cinch bags
  • Luggage of any kind
  • Computer bags
  • Camera Bags
  • Any bag larger than the permissible size

Questions about the CNRE Commencement Ceremony? Contact Cathy Barker, Student Services Coordinator, at or (540) 231-3486. If you’re in Cheatham Hall, you can also stop by her office in Room 140.