107th Sweet Briar College Commencement

Friday, May 13-Saturday, May 14, 2016

Congratulations, seniors! Watch this page for more information regarding Commencement events. Please feel free to contact the president's office at [email protected] or (434) 381-6210 should you have any questions.

The 2016 events will be updated as they are finalized.

A live stream of the Commencement ceremony will be available at

Schedule — Quick View:

Sweet Briar’s 107th Commencement is a special time of celebration for the Class of 2016. The graduates have requested that their achievement be honored with respect for their families and friends. Priority seating at all events will be given to guests of the graduates. Thanks for your consideration of the wishes of the Class of 2016.


Friday, May 13, 2016


1:30-2 p.m.

Awards Ceremony
Murchison Lane Auditorium, Babcock Fine Arts Center

3-4 p.m.

Baccalaureate Service
Murchison Lane Auditorium, Babcock Fine Arts Center

4:30-6 p.m.President's Reception
(Seniors, graduate students, families, faculty and staff)
Sweet Briar House front lawn and terrace
Atrium and Prothro Dining Room in the event of rain


May 14, 2016


10 a.m.

107th Commencement Ceremony
(Graduates and their families)
Upchurch Field House, Fitness and Athletics Center in the event of rain
Speaker: PENDING

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Complimentary Buffet Luncheon
(Graduates and their families)
Student Commons Courtyard and Prothro Dining Room


2016 Commencement Speaker: 


General Information:

For those wishing overnight accommodations in the area, Lynchburg is 12 miles south of Sweet Briar. For more information about local accommodations, you may go to The College makes no recommendations with regard to any of the establishments listed.

Commencement Ceremony
No tickets are needed for the Commencement ceremony. The ceremony will be held in the Quad. In the event of rain, the ceremony will take place in the Upchurch Field House in the College’s Fitness and Athletics Center. Sweet Briar will film the Commencement ceremony and plans to provide a live, online broadcast at

Emergency and Health Issues
Until 5 p.m. Friday, May 13, call the health center at Ext. 6140. After 5 p.m., for health or other emergencies, dial Ext. 6111 from any campus phone, or (434) 381-6111 or toll-free (800) 333-6144 from any off-campus phone.

Facilities Open During the Weekend

Book Shop: TBA

Daisy’s Café: TBA

Sweet Briar House: TBA

Sweet Briar Museum: TBA

Sweet Briar College Art Galleries: Works by graduating studio art majors, Anne Gary Pannell Center Art Gallery, TBA

Restrooms: Restrooms are located in Memorial Chapel, ground level; Babcock Fine Arts Center, main and lower level; the first floors of Meta Glass (men and women), Randolph, Grammer and Gray residence halls (men: second floor, women: third floor); and the Fitness and Athletics Center, lower level and first floor.

Mobility-impaired Restrooms: Restrooms with mobility-impaired access are located in Memorial Chapel, lobby; Babcock Fine Arts Center, main level; Pannell Center, lower level; Sweet Briar Museum; the Conference Center, upper and lower levels; Gray Hall, first floor; the hallway off the Atrium in Prothro Hall; Grammer Hall, lower level; and in the Fitness and Athletics Center, Upchurch Field House.

Prothro Hall:


Handicap-accessible seating will be made available for the Commencement ceremony upon reservation.
If your party will include someone who has special needs, please contact the president’s office to reserve a handicap-accessible seat, (434) 381-6210. One companion will be allowed to sit with the special-needs guest in the handicap-accessible seats.

Media Notification
The Office of Media, Marketing and Communications will provide the service of notifying students’ hometown newspapers of their graduation, awards and honors. Students who wish to take advantage of this service must complete the Media Notification Release Form (PDF).

The Office of Media, Marketing and Communications will use only the information provided on the form. The completed form must be returned to MMC by May 13. 

Parking on Campus
For more information on available parking, go to our Campus Map. Additional handicap parking will be available in front of the Fitness and Athletics Center and next to Fletcher Hall.  

Photos of the Commencement Ceremony 
Sweet Briar will provide photos taken during the Commencement ceremony, which can be viewed and downloaded by going to a link provided following the weekend’s events. Individuals are responsible for making their own prints from the free, downloadable images. Class photos and presentation of diplomas will be included in the available images.

The program for the Commencement ceremony will not be available until immediately before proceedings begin on Saturday morning. The program lists all graduates participating in Commencement and the degrees they have earned. Students who do not permit their information to be published in the directory (i.e. “confidential”) will be contacted for permission to include their name in the program.

Regalia (mortarboard, tassel, hood and gown) is available from the Sweet Briar Book Shop, (434) 381-6106. The black bachelors’ gowns should have the hemline approximately 2 inches below the knee to ensure that all garments are completely covered. Dark shoes should also be worn. Other accessories include the Phi Beta Kappa key, the Presidential Medal, and other academic or honorary keys which the student is entitled to wear, such as the Alpha Lambda Delta cord.

Academic regalia is worn only at Baccalaureate and Commencement.

For Baccalaureate: Wear only the graduation gown with no adornments. Do not wear the Sweet Briar hood (representing the bachelor’s degree), the épitoge or sash (signifying a junior year abroad), or the mortarboard.

For Commencement: Seniors wear the Sweet Briar hood and the épitoge. The épitoge is worn on the left shoulder. The mortarboard should be worn straight on the head (parallel to the ground) with the tassel firmly attached. Before the ceremony, the tassel is on the right side of the mortarboard; upon degree conferral, it is transferred to the left side. Master’s graduates should not wear their hood but should bring it draped across their arm. You will be hooded on stage as part of the ceremony.

Baccalaureate: TBA. Seniors are strongly encouraged to attend Baccalaureate rehearsal.

Commencement: TBA. Senior attendance at graduation rehearsal is mandatory so that everyone knows where they are sitting and what takes place. Master’s graduates should also attend, if possible. The president, dean, faculty marshals and many others are there to run through the Commencement ceremony with the seniors. If a senior cannot attend, she should notify the dean’s office so that her seat can be reserved. (Please do not bring pets to the rehearsal or the ceremony.) 

Regalia is not needed at rehearsals.