For more than 4,000 West Virginia University students, Commencement weekend – and the four years that paved their way to it – may signal a final chapter.

But the experiences gained throughout a college career really serve as an intro – an intro to reality.

Commencement is that bridge between the intro and reality itself.

And this weekend, thousands of WVU’s newest graduates will step onto that bridge as they walk across the stage and bid farewell to friends, professors and Morgantown memories.

To send students out with a bang, 19 different ceremonies will be held at either the WVU Coliseum, the Creative Arts Center, the Mountainlair or Morgantown Event Center. For more information on each, visit

Graduates will get a final college pep talk from Commencement speakers who include Jay Chattaway, a 1968 WVU graduate best known for composing award-winning music for “Star Trek;” Richard Gingras, head of news products at Google; and retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert G. Jenkins, a 1967 WVU graduate. A complete list of speakers at each ceremony is available here.

Commencement will not just honor the present and the future, but the past, as WVU will bestow honorary degrees on five exemplary Mountaineers: Dr. Vicente Anido Jr., an international ophthalmology leader; Edward DiPaolo, a former Halliburton executive; Helen Holt, the first female West Virginia Secretary of State; Jennie Hunter-Cevera, a scientist who holds 15 patents; and Ken Kendrick, a business executive who made his career in computer software, banking and baseball.

To further celebrate the Class of 2013, be sure to visit the 24,000 project from WVUToday. The number 24,000 represents the number of hours that comprise a four-year career at WVU. The project features stories on graduates who found a second home at WVU. It also includes an ongoing Storify that captures the Class of 2013’s tweets and photos surrounding their final days as students. Seniors are urged to use the #wvugrad hashtag to join the conversation. Follow along on Twitter (@WestVirginiaU).

For the first time, during Commencement WVU is also conducting Daily Photo Challenge on the social media platform Instagram. Through next week, the entire WVU community can post photos on Instagram that coincide with that day’s theme. The best photo each day will receive a prize courtesy of WVU Trademark Licensing. Make sure those photos are posted with #wvugrad. For more information, follow WVU on Instagram (@WestVirginiaU).

If you aren’t able to travel to Morgantown to watch your loved one graduate, every Commencement ceremony will be available live via webcast. For more information, check out

General parking information for all ceremonies can be found at

Each ceremony will last approximately two hours. For more specifics, visit:



CONTACT: University Relations/News

Follow @WVUToday on Twitter.