Katrina Butner
Office Manager 
Col. Gary Bissell
Deputy Chief of Staff and Operations

P: (540) 464-7104
F: (540) 464-7660
201 Smith Hall
Virginia Military Institute
Lexington, VA 24450
Email the Office

Commencement FAQs

Printed Programs:  A limited number of printed programs are available at the entrances to the seating area.

Are tickets required for events? How do I get extra tickets for Commencement?

 Answer:  The only event that requires tickets is Commencement.

 Answer:  Graduating Cadets receive a certain number of tickets from the Office of the Chief of Staff.  These tickets will be handed out the week of 25 through 29 April.  For cadets requesting additional tickets, it is recommended that they first ask their Class Officers for any unused tickets.  This is the most effective way of identifying unused tickets and redistributing them.  The Class of 2016 Class Officers will arrange an "excess ticket turn in" system.  Additionally, there will be a ticket turn in and pick-up booth outside of Cameron Hall the morning of graduation.  Family members who do not use all of their tickets may turn them in and those who need additional tickets may get them on a first come, first served basis; there will be a booth where families general turn in extra tickets, but we can not guarantee there will be availability.  

Do children need a ticket?

Answer:   Children 3 and over will need a ticket. 

Cameron Hall is a basketball stadium and there is limited room for strollers.  Strollers can not be kept inside the access portals leading into the area due to fire code.  If you feel the need to bring one they will need to be folded and kept in the hallway.   VMI will not be responsible for unattended strollers and items. 

Is Commencement open to the public?

Answer:  Commencement Ceremonies in Cameron Hall are restricted to guests of the graduating class. However, the simulcast viewing of the event in Marshall Hall (Gillis Theater) is open to the public.

If you have family and friends that will be unable to attend the events in person, they may be able to view the ceremonies of the VMI Commissioning Ceremony and the VMI Commencement ceremony via life streaming at it will be broadcast at www.vmi.edu/livestream.

Which events are open to the public? All events are open to the public, except the Superintendent's Reception and Commencement. 

Limited seating is available for many of the events so we encourage guests to arrive early. For additional information, please contact the Chief of Staff's office at (540) 464-7104.

Handicapped seating and access?

Answer:  Handicapped seating is available for commencement events.   A reserved area for persons with a walking disability or those using a wheelchair is available.  Due to the large number attending and the limited space, seating is available for the person who needs the special seating and one accompanying guest or attendant.  No individuals will be permitted down in the specialized seating area in Cameron Hall unless they are on the list. Please contact Katrina Butner at butnerkk@vmi.edu in the Office of the Chief of Staff to make the necessary arrangements.  All guests using wheelchairs must enter Cameron Hall through the front entrance and will be escorted to the designated handicap seating area. 

Please let us know of your needs as far in advance as possible.  We can not guarantee special seating requests made 72 hours prior to the ceremony. 

There are designated handicap parking slots across Post but please advise your family members and guests that parking is limited and it is available on a first-come, first served basis so please plan arrival times accordingly. 

Guests needing assistance should bring their own or rented wheelchairs or walkers since these, or other devices are not provided by VMI. 

What should I wear?

 Answer:  Casual business attire is appropriate for all events.

Refreshments for the public? Refreshments are available in the Keydet Kanteen located in Lejeune Hall / Third Barracks.  There will also be refreshments outside of Cameron Hall on the morning of graduation for a fee. 

Are there public restrooms?
Answer:  Restrooms are located in J.M. Hall, Preston Library, Cameron Hall and Lejeune Hall (located at the end of Third Barracks.)
Where do I order graduation photos?

Graduation photos can be purchased from Candid Color Photography approximately ten days after graduation. Please visit their website at www.candidcolor.net.  Please enter access code VMIG16.

You may also call 1-800-321-4256.