Skip to main content


Commecement 2017

The Peabody Commencement Ceremony will take place on May 12, 2017 at 11 a.m. at the Wyatt Center Lawn. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony.

The Peabody Distinguished Alumnus/a Award will be presented during the ceremony. You can learn more about the award and view a full list of past recipients here 

Vanderbilt’s Main Commencement Ceremony will take place on May 12 as well, at 9 a.m. on Alumni Lawn. To learn more, please visit Vanderbilt’s Commencement website.

Commencement 2017


Full Commencement Week Calendar

Friday, May 12

  • 7:30 – 8:15 a.m. Students from out of town who arrive in Nashville just before the exercises can pick up regalia at the Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt by presenting a photo ID. 
  • 8:25 a.m. Students and faculty report to assembly areas to line up for the Commencement procession. The Peabody College post baccalaureate candidates will line up double file beginning at the East side of Kirkland Hall esplanade near Moore College dorm extending down the path toward Furman Hall (not in alphabetical order – see the yellow line on the assembly area map).
  • 9 – 10:15 a.m. Vanderbilt’s Main Commencement Ceremony. Guests should be seated on Alumni Lawn no later than 8:30 a.m. to see the procession. Bottled water, programs and fans are available on the perimeter of the seating area. More information »
  • 10:40 a.m. Master’s degree recipients should line up alphabetically according to degree behind designated signs that will be on the sidewalks of Peabody Mall. Doctoral candidates and faculty should line up alphabetically behind designated signs on the sidewalk beside the Cohen Building.
  • 11 a.m. Peabody Commencement Ceremony. The procession onto Wyatt Center Lawn will start at 11 a.m. Water, programs and fans are available for guests. The ceremony typically lasts about one hour, and a reception will follow. The reception is also located at the Wyatt Center Lawn.
  • 12:30 – 2 p.m. Informal luncheon for faculty participating in commencement exercises at Buttrick Hall Atrium. 

Additional Facts

Tickets and Seating 

No tickets are required for the commencement ceremonies, and there are no limitations on the number of guests a student can have in attendance. Please note that saving seats is discouraged. Please be respectful of this request. Black chairs are reserved for graduating students. 

Accessibility and Special Needs 

The Peabody Commencement Ceremony will have designated seating space for guests who need special accommodations. The Wyatt Center parking lot will be available for those with handicap parking permits. (More information below.) More details about special accommodations for Vanderbilt’s Main Commencement Ceremony can be found here.


There are four complimentary parking garages on campus with shuttle service to various Commencement events. (See map here.) Parking for guests is available at the following locations:

  • Wyatt Center Parking Lot – Onlyfor guests who are in need of special accommodations and have handicap parking permits
  • 25th Ave. Garage on the corner of 25th and Highland avenues – please use the Highland Ave. entrance only
  • Terrace Place Garage on the corner of 21st Ave. and Terrace Place
  • Wesley Place Garage on the corner of 21st Ave. and Scarritt Place
  • Kensington Place Garage on the corner of 25th Ave. and Kensington Place

Inclement Weather Plan 

  • In the event of inclement weather, Vanderbilt’s Main Commencement Ceremony will be held in the Memorial Gymnasium. The decision to enact the rain plan will be made by 5 a.m. on Friday, May 12. Direct communication of any changes will be sent out via the Commencement App. (You can download it HERE.) If in doubt, check the main Vanderbilt Commencement website or call the Vanderbilt telephone operators at 615-322-7311. There will be no procession for candidates in Memorial Gym. Degree candidates should enter through the “Student Entrance” located on the south side facing the baseball field and make their way to the west end of the court via the “Southwest Connector.” Peabody School candidates will sit in section 2L. Watch for signs and Faculty Marshals to assist.
  • The Peabody Commencement Ceremony will still take place at the Wyatt Center Lawn, under tents.

Prohibited Items

Please ensure that you do not bring any of the following items to the ceremony:

  • Signs
  • Balloons
  • Noisemakers
  • Umbrellas (due to safety hazards in a crowded environment. Please bring a poncho.) 


  • Students: Business casual. In the past neckties, dresses, and shoes without heels comprise the preferred wardrobe. However, please wear whatever you are most comfortable in.
  • Guests: Commencement takes place outdoors. Nashville in May can be warm and potentially humid. Guests may need to walk a considerable distance from parking lots to the event site.  

Photography and Video 

Professional photography of each graduate will be available via Grad Images ( The Peabody Commencement is available to view for free on YouTube.

Regalia Pick-Up and Return 

  • Pick-up 
    Dates:  Wednesday, May 10 and Thursday, May 11
    Time:  8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    Location: Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt
    Important Notes: Students may pick up caps, gowns, tassels and hoods at the Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt by presenting a photo ID. Anyone presenting your Vanderbilt ID may pick up your regalia for you. Regalia are not available on Alumni Lawn.
  • Return   (for those renting regalia)
    Dates: Friday, May 12 – Monday, May 15
    Deadline:  Monday, May 15 at 12 p.m.
    Location: Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt
  • Masters: Keep tassel and cap, return hood and gown. 
  • MDs and PhDs: Return all aspects of gown, tam with tassel and hood.
    Important Notes: Undergraduate students have the option of recycling their regalia in white cardboard boxes labeled “Oak Hall Regalia Recycling.” These receptacles are for undergraduate regalia only. Rented regalia must be returned to Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt by 12 p.m. on Monday, May 15.

Participation in Commencement

Degree candidates must successfully complete all curriculum requirements and pass all prescribed examinations by the published deadlines in order to participate in the ceremony. Candidates also must rent or purchase the appropriate Vanderbilt cap, gown and hood through Oak Hall.

Participating students should plan to attend Vanderbilt’s Main Commencement Ceremony, and the Peabody College hooding and diploma-awarding ceremony. Guests and participants will be expected to remain at the respective ceremonies until the conclusion.

Students unable to participate in the graduation ceremony will receive their diploma by mail.

A student completing degree requirements in August or December 2017 will be invited to participate in Commencement exercises in 2018, slated for May 9, 10, and 11.