Before Commencement begins, Matt Freije takes his place in line. All of the candidates for degrees, including the graduate and professional students as well as undergraduates, join the procession. The faculty, the Chancellor and other dignitaries follow.
After everyone is seated, recipients of awards and honors are recognized, then Chancellor Gee gives his farewell remarks to the graduates. In his comments, he noted that this year's graduating class were the first class of freshmen that he welcomed to Vanderbilt. After the Chancellor's remarks, the masters and doctoral candidates leave for separate locations for the remainder of their ceremony,
Then diplomas are awarded to the undergraduates. One by one, they ascend to the stage. Zach Dailey of the men's tennis team approaches to podium to receive his diploma. After the ceremony, he left with the team for Ole Miss for the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Venessa Ferragamo from the women's basketball team leaves the stage, diploma in hand.
Scott Hundley from the men's basketball team prepares to return to his seat after making the walk across the stage.
Giant screens show the action up close for those people sitting too far from the stage to have a good view. Here, Chancellor Gee shakes hands with Martin Schnedlitz of the men's basketball team.
Soon afterwards, Martin walks back to his seat.
The diplomas are awarded in groups by school, degree, and date of graduation. Graduates from Peabody College are last on the list, and the August 2003 Peabody graduates are the last of the last. Former football star Jamie Winborn, now a lineback with the San Francisco 49ers, is the last of the last of the last. After he received his diploma, all that's left is the singing of the Alma Mater.
With the cermony completed, it's time for photos. Jamie poses with one of his former faculty mentors.
After the ceremony, the Chancellor hosts "Strawberries and Champagne" on the Bishop's Lawn. Jutta Korkko of the women's basketball team takes a moment to pose for a photo.
Finally, after the pomp and cermony is only a memory and the academic regalia returned, it's back to real life -- which includes moving out of the dorms. If you're lucky, like Hillary Hager of the women's basketball team, Mom is there to help you.