Vanderbilt Commencement 2011

Friday was Commencement Day at Vanderbilt, and the graduating class of 2011 included 63 Vanderbilt student-athletes. Whitney D. stopped by and shares these photos from the special day.

Unlike many other universities, Vanderbilt holds only one graduation ceremony each year, including students receiving undergraduate degrees as well as those who receive graduate and professional degrees. Students that complete their degrees at other times of the year, such as during the summer or at the end of the fall semester, receive their diplomas along with the students who have just completed their requirements.

Jence Rhoads, Rebecca Silinski, and Hannah Tuomi were the gradautes from the women's basketball team.

Representing the men's basketball team were Andre Walker, Darshawn McClellan and Joe Duffy.

Eleven members of the football team participated in graduation ceremonies.

Usually the main Commencement ceremony takes place on Alumni Lawn, but every year, Memorial Gym is also set up for the ceremony in case of rain. This year turned out to be one of the years when that double-preparation was necessary because a rainy Friday morning forced the ceremony to move indoors.

When Commencement is held indoors, Memorial Gym is packed. Undergraduates sit in folding chairs on the floor of the gym, and candidates for post-graduate degrees sit in Sections 2L and 3L, and friends and family jam into every available seat.

After the procession of the faculty, the welcoming remarks, recognition of retiring faculty, awarding of the Founders Medals in each of the schools and the Chancellor's farewell remarks to graduates, the candidates for graduate and professional degrees depart to separate ceremonies in each of the colleges scattered around campus.

The undergraduates stay in Memorial Gym and wait for their turn to line up and walk across the stage.

One-by-one the names of more than 1500 undergraduates are called, and they walk across the stage to receive the diplomas. Occasionally, a burst of cheers breaks out. With only a few seconds between the names, there isn't much time to react, but Joe Duffy managed to make a quick acknowledgement.

Click photo to view a larger image.

With their undergraduate college days behind them, some of the new graduates will stay at Vanderbilt to play a final year of eligibility or to attend graduate school, while others will be moving on to the next phase of their lives. From VandyManiacs everywhere, we say, "Thanks for four years of hard work, congratulations on your graduation, and very best wishes for the future!"

Photos copyright 2011 by Whitney D. for

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