106th Sweet Briar College Commencement

Friday, May 15-Saturday, May 16, 2015

Congratulations, seniors! Watch this page for more information regarding Commencement events. Please feel free to contact the president's office at president@sbc.edu or (434) 381-6210 should you have any questions.

The 2015 events will be similar to last year's, which are listed below. The 2015 events will be updated as they are finalized.

105th Sweet Briar College Commencement

Friday, May 16-Saturday, May 17, 2014

Schedule — Quick View:

May 14, 2014
4:30-5:30 p.m.


Senior Toast
(Seniors only)
Sweet Briar House

May 15, 2014
10 a.m.

Baccalaureate Rehearsal

(Seniors only)
Murchison Lane Auditorium, Babcock Fine Arts Center

May 16, 2014
10:30 a.m.

Commencement Rehearsal

(Seniors and graduate students only)
Upchurch Field House, Fitness and Athletics Center in the event of rain
2:30-3:30 p.m. 

Baccalaureate Service
Murchison Lane Auditorium, Babcock Fine Arts Center

4-5:30 p.m.

President's Reception
(Seniors, graduate students, families, faculty and staff)
Sweet Briar House front lawn and terrace
Prothro Dining Room, Prothro Hall in the event of rain

May 17, 2014

8-8:45 a.m.


Seniors Meet in front of Benedict Hall (For Robing)

8:45 a.m.

Class Photo
In Front of Benedict Hall

9:30 a.m.

105th Commencement Ceremony
Upchurch Field House, Fitness and Athletics Center in the event of rain

11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.Complimentary Buffet Luncheon
(Graduates and their famlies)

11:45 a.m.

Education Department Champagne Toast
(Master's graduates and their families only)
Florence Elston Inn and Conference Center


2014 Commencement Speaker: 

Dr. Virginia Upchurch Collier ’72
Hugh R. Sharp, Jr. Chair of Medicine at Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, Delaware

General Information:

For those wishing overnight accommodations in the area, Lynchburg is 12 miles south of Sweet Briar. For more information about local accommodations, you may go to www.lynchburgonline.com. The College makes no recommendations with regard to any of the establishments listed.

Commencement Ceremony
No tickets are needed for the Commencement ceremony. The ceremony will be held in the Quad. In the event of rain, the ceremony will take place in the Upchurch Field House in the College’s Fitness and Athletics Center. The Upchurch Field House is named for Ann Samford Upchurch ’48, mother of Kathy Upchurch Takvorian ’72, emerita trustee, and Virginia Upchurch Collier ’72, former chair, Sweet Briar College board of directors. Sweet Briar will film the Commencement ceremony and plans to provide a live, online broadcast at sbc.edu/live.

Emergency and Health Issues
Until 5 p.m. Friday, May 16, call the health center at Ext. 6140. After 5 p.m., for health or other emergencies, dial Ext. 6111 from any campus phone, or (434) 381-6111 or toll-free (800) 333-6144 from any off-campus phone.

Facilities Open During the Weekend
Houston Bistro: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday and Friday; closed Saturday

Book Shop: (in Student Commons) 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday

Daisy’s Café: (in Book Shop) 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday

Sweet Briar House: 4-5:30 p.m. Friday

Sweet Briar Museum: (Terrace level of the Boxwood Alumnae House) 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday

Sweet Briar College Art Galleries: Works by graduating studio art majors, Anne Gary Pannell Center Art Gallery, 2-5 p.m. Friday; 1-4 p.m. Saturday.

Restrooms: Restrooms are located in Memorial Chapel, ground level; Babcock Fine Arts Center, main and lower level; the first floors of Meta Glass (men and women), Randolph, Grammer and Gray residence halls (men: second floor, women: third floor); and the Fitness and Athletics Center, lower level and first floor.

Mobility-impaired Restrooms: Restrooms with mobility-impaired access are located in Memorial Chapel, lobby; Babcock Fine Arts Center, main level; Pannell Center, lower level; Sweet Briar Museum; the Conference Center, upper and lower levels; Gray Hall, first floor; the hallway off the Atrium in Prothro Hall; Grammer Hall, lower level; and in the Fitness and Athletics Center, Upchurch Field House.

Prothro Hall:

Friday breakfast, 7-9:30 a.m.; $6.75 adults, $4.20 children 11 and under.

Friday lunch, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; $7.85 adults, $4.70 children 11 and under.

Friday dinner, 5-7 p.m.; $8.90 adults, $5.25 children 11 and under.

Saturday breakfast, 7-9:30 a.m.; $6.75 adults, $4.20 children 11 and under.

Saturday Commencement Luncheon, Student Commons Courtyard and Prothro Hall, 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; complimentary.

Handicap-accessible seating will be made available for the Commencement ceremony upon reservation.
If your party will include someone who has special needs, please contact the president’s office to reserve a handicap-accessible seat, (434) 381-6210. One companion will be allowed to sit with the special-needs guest in the handicap-accessible seats.

Media Notification
The Office of Media, Marketing and Communications will provide the service of notifying students’ hometown newspapers of their graduation, awards and honors. Students who wish to take advantage of this service must complete a release form. (The form may be found here: Media Notification Release Form)

The Office of Media, Marketing and Communications will use only the information provided on the form. The completed form must be returned to MMC by May 16. 

Parking on Campus
For more information on available parking, go to our Campus Map. Additional handicap parking will be available in front of the Fitness and Athletics Center and next to Fletcher Hall.  

Photos of the Commencement Ceremony 
Sweet Briar will provide photos taken during the Commencement ceremony, which can be viewed and downloaded by going to a link provided following the weekend’s events. Individuals are responsible for making their own prints from the free, downloadable images. Class photos and presentation of diplomas will be included in the available images.

The program for the Commencement ceremony will not be available until immediately before proceedings begin on Saturday morning. The program lists all graduates participating in Commencement and the degrees they have earned. Students who do not permit their information to be published in the directory (i.e. “confidential”) will be contacted for permission to include their name in the program.

Regalia (mortarboard, tassel, hood and gown) is available from the Sweet Briar Book Shop, (434) 381-6106. The black bachelors’ gowns should have the hemline approximately 2 inches below the knee to ensure that all garments are completely covered. Dark shoes should also be worn. Other accessories include the Phi Beta Kappa key, the Presidential Medal, and other academic or honorary keys which the student is entitled to wear, such as the Alpha Lambda Delta cord.

Academic regalia is worn only at Baccalaureate and Commencement.

For Baccalaureate: Wear only the graduation gown with no adornments. Do not wear the Sweet Briar hood (representing the bachelor’s degree), the épitoge or sash (signifying a junior year abroad), or the mortarboard.

For Commencement: Seniors wear the Sweet Briar hood and the épitoge. The épitoge is worn on the left shoulder. The mortarboard should be worn straight on the head (parallel to the ground) with the tassel firmly attached. Before the ceremony, the tassel is on the right side of the mortarboard; upon degree conferral, it is transferred to the left side. Master’s graduates should not wear their hood but should bring it draped across their arm. You will be hooded on stage as part of the ceremony.

Baccalaureate: 10 a.m., Thursday, May 15 in Murchison Lane Auditorium, Babcock Fine Arts Center. Seniors are strongly encouraged to attend Baccalaureate rehearsal.

Commencement: 10:30 a.m., Friday, May 16, in the Quad (Upchurch Field House, Fitness and Athletics Center, in the event of rain). Senior attendance at graduation rehearsal is mandatory so that everyone knows where they are sitting and what takes place. Master’s graduates should also attend, if possible. The president, dean, faculty marshals and many others are there to run through the Commencement ceremony with the seniors. If a senior cannot attend, she should notify the dean’s office so that her seat can be reserved. (Please do not bring pets to the rehearsal or the ceremony.) 

Regalia is not needed at rehearsals.