Commencement 2022

Class of 2022
Motto:  Ne obliviscamur
(Lest we forget)
Colors:  Green and Black
Emblem: Oak Tree

Congratulations on your graduation!

It’s almost time. . .Commencement is here. This is quite an accomplishment and we look forward to celebrating with you and your family and friends.

Unfortunately, there is a high probability that we will have rain showers and thunderstorms starting this evening and lasting through Sunday. Here’s what that means for the festivities. 

Rain Plan

Ceremony moved to the FAC:  After receiving input from our graduates, the decision has been made to move this year’s ceremony indoors to the FAC.  

Community Picnic:  Following commencement, the community picnic will take place in Prothro Dining Hall as originally planned.  

Check-in: All vehicles coming on to campus for commencement will need to check in at the gatehouse as they enter.  In order to keep traffic flowing, a check-in form will be provided to each vehicle upon entry. Completed forms should be returned to a campus safety at the designated parking area.

Parking: Campus safety will be directing traffic on Saturday morning. The FAC will have a drop-off zone for guests.  After drop off, drivers will be directed to commencement parking areas.  Shuttle vans will provide transport back to the FAC for the ceremony as needed.  Those pre-registered for handicapped parking will be directed by campus safety to the proper location.

Livestream

There will be a livestream of the event for family and friends who are unable to attend in person. You can view the livestream on YouTube or watch below.

If you have questions, please reach out to Kim Murray in the Office of the President. You can reach her at kmurray@sbc.edu or 434-381-6202.

Commencement Speaker

Maria Thacker-Goethe ’02 will address the class of 2022 at the College’s commencement on May 14, 2022. The title of her talk will be: The Power of Proving Your Mettle.

Maria is the president and CEO for Georgia Bio and the Georgia BioEd Institute, leaders among bioscience and medical technology associations. She is also the Executive Director of the Georgia Global Health Alliance, part of the Center for Global Health Innovation, which seeks to improve health outcomes through innovation and global collaboration.

Maria has a diverse background in environmental science, women’s health, and health communications and marketing. After graduating from Sweet Briar with a degree in environmental studies, Maria earned a Master of Public Health in health education and communication, and maternal and child health from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She has more than fourteen years of experience in non-profit management and development, and is passionate about the ways in which biotechnology and medical technology can benefit public health.

Maria also serves as a board member on a number of foundations and associations and has volunteered for more than a decade with the Junior League of Atlanta/La Amistad Estrellitas program, which helps empower Latina teens. In 2021 and 2022, she was named by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians,” and in 2019 was a recipient of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 Under 40” award.

From Shee Young-Mitchell, Senior Class President

Dear Class of 2022,

Congratulations! We are officially 7 weeks away from graduation. I’m so excited to be with you all to celebrate 4 years of hard work, dedication, and most importantly commitment to each of our respective studies. I want to make sure that graduation is a memorable occasion that leaves a lasting impression on you and your loved ones. One of those lasting impressions will be done through the speaker for our commencement ceremony. 

We are pleased to announce that the commencement speaker for this year’s ceremony will be Maria Thacker Goethe. Maria graduated with a degree from Sweet Briar College in Environmental Studies. After graduating she went on to earn a Master of Public Health in health education and communications, and maternal and child health from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Maria has spent more than 14 years working in nonprofit management and development. She passionately believes in the ways that biotechnology and medical technology can benefit public health. Maria is currently the president and CEO for Georgia Bio and the Georgia BioEd Institute. She is also the Executive Director of the Georgia Global Health Alliance, part of the center for Global Health Innovation, that seeks to improve health outcomes through innovation and global collaboration.

Maria has a diverse background in environmental science, women’s health, and health communication and marketing. Maria has also served as the board member of numerous foundations and associations. She has served as a volunteer for more than a decade with the Junior League of Atlanta/La Amistad Estrellitas program, a program that has worked to help empower Latina teens. In both 2021 and 2022 Maria was named by Georgia Trend Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential Georgians” and in 2019 she received from the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s “40 Under 40 Award”.

President Woo asked Maria to be the Class of 2022 commencement speaker because of her work she has done to improve the health of people around the globe, through building collaborative networks between the business sector, non-profits, academia, and government. She, epitomizes the kind of leadership we develop at Sweet Briar College throughout our time here. It’s a type of leadership that emphasizes communication, cooperation and innovation. It is a type of leadership that truly makes a difference in individual lives. As we prepare to graduate from Sweet Briar. I’d like you to think about the mark you want to make on the world. Hopefully you see Maria’s accomplishments as an example of the  brighter future we could create for everyone. I hope you find this speaker as inspirational as I do, for our lives beyond Sweet Briar.

Additionally, personalized graduation announcements and stationary accessories are now available to order. There are three packages & individual items to choose from. You could order these at the following website: https://collegegrad.herffjones.com. Also, here’s a flyer with more information.

Again, I’m looking forward to a memorable and rewarding experience for the class of 2022, and can’t wait to celebrate with you on May 14th. 

Holla Holla, 
Shee Young-Mitchell 
Senior Class President

Covid Information

Sweet Briar College is currently mask optional. We are planning for a commencement week that will return to normal without mandatory masking and without limits on the number of guests. That said, we ask that you only attend the event if you are feeling well and are symptom-free. This is all the more important given that the event will be taking place indoors at the FAC.

Information about Visiting Campus for Commencement

Sweet Briar’s 2022 Commencement will take place in person on campus.

There are no limits to the number of guests you can have, but we do ask that you provide us with your best realistic guess on the number of attendees you will have that day as those numbers drive decisions for catering our community picnic. 

Pre-Registration of Guest Vehicles

In order to decrease traffic delays in getting everyone on campus commencement morning, we are requiring that vehicles be pre-registered to enter campus.  Please relay the following directions to your family and friends so that can pre-register their vehicles.

Directions to Pre-Register Guest Vehicles

Please note that you will need an @sbc.edu email address in order to establish an account on Envoy.

  • Visit Envoy to pre-register at dashboard.envoy.com/
  • Enter your student email address.
  • Go to your @sbc.edu email to confirm your email address and set up a password for your account. Students can share the Envoy log-in information with families.
  • Once you are successfully logged in, click on “New Invite” in the upper right corner.
  • Complete the form. Under Visitor Type, select “Commencement 2022”
  • Select the arrival date and the anticipated time of your arrival on campus (best guess).
  • Provided additional Information requested: name, email address, additional visitors (in your car), phone #, email address, make and model of vehicle, color of vehicle, license plate and state of issue.  
  • For “campus host,” your guests should enter your name as the student they are here to see.
  • If handicap parking is needed for that vehicle, please provide that info under “Private Notes.”

Accessibility

There will be designated handicapped parking on the day of commencement. The College will provide shuttle service via golf carts to and from that parking area.

Commencement Schedule

Wednesday, May 11 

  • 11 a.m. Fancy Hat Brunch
    Hubbard House (Seniors only)
  • 2 p.m. Baccalaureate Rehearsal
    Memorial Chapel (Seniors only)
  • 4:30 p.m. Champagne Toast and Photo with the President
    Sweet Briar House and balcony (Seniors only)

Friday, May 13

  • 10:30 a.m. Commencement Rehearsal, Upper Quad
    (Seniors, December graduates and graduate students)
  • 1:30 p.m. Awards Ceremony
    Murchison Lane Auditorium
  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. Baccalaureate Service
    Memorial Chapel (graduating students, family and friends of students, faculty, staff and visiting members of the Sweet Briar College Board of Directors)
  • 4 p.m. Phi Beta Kappa Initiation
    Cochran Library Browsing Room
  • 4:30-6 p.m. President’s Reception
    Wailes Conference Center (graduating students, family and friends of students, faculty, staff and visiting members of the Sweet Briar College Board of Directors) Please note the location change due to expected inclement weather.

Saturday, May 14 

  • 10-11:30 a.m. Commencement
    Fitness and Athletic Center (graduating students, family and friends of students, faculty, staff and visiting members of the Sweet Briar College Board of Directors)
  • 11:30-1 p.m. Campus Community Picnic
    Prothro Main Dining Room (graduating students, family and friends of students, faculty, staff and visiting members of the Sweet Briar College Board of Directors)
  • 1 p.m. MAT Champagne Toast
    Elston Inn Lounge (by invitation)

Commencement FAQs

Ordering Commencement Announcements

Sweet Briar College is partnering with Herff Jones to provide commencement announcements. Visit their website. Here’s a flyer with additional information.

Accommodations for Commencement

The Florence Elston Inn is available only by lottery. Because guest rooms at the Florence Elston Inn are limited, it is a tradition here at the College to hold a lottery to give families an equal chance at reserving an on-campus room for Commencement. The lottery is the only way to book a room at the Florence Elston Inn for that weekend.

However, there are a number of other places to stay in the area.

Information from the Office of the Registrar

All students, undergraduate and graduate, must submit their graduation application to the Registrar’s Office by mid-October. Any academic changes (i.e. adding or dropping a minor) must also be finalized at this time. If a student intends to graduate in September or December, she should communicate her intentions no later than the preceding semester.

Financial Obligations of Seniors

Graduating students must settle all of their financial obligations with the Business Office before they may receive their diploma. If you need assistance with your account, please call 434-381-6335 and email studentaccounts@sbc.edu.

End of Year Residence Hall Move-Out Procedures

Graduating Seniors must be completely moved out no later than 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 14.

Students will be billed $100 per hour for overstaying. All students should return their residence hall room keys in the provided envelope to the key dropbox in the Office of Student Life.

Students may choose from two options for check out: express checkout or standard checkout.  

  • Express Checkout allows you to depart campus at any time, without scheduling an appointment to meet with your RA.   You will be held financially responsible for any missing items, damages, or exceptional cleaning, and may not appeal these charges.  
  • Standard Checkout requires you to schedule an appointment to have your room reviewed by your RA before leaving.  If you have concerns about potential damage charges, you should consider choosing the Standard Checkout option. 
Required Cleaning (Express and Standard Checkout)

Your room should be left in the same condition you found it. All students are required to:

  • Return furniture to its original position (no furniture in closets, all beds assembled, everything in correct room)
  • Sweep the floor and/or vacuum carpets
  • Dust off all surfaces, cabinets, and drawers
  • Remove all adhesive, putty, tape, etc from walls and furniture
  • Unplug, defrost, and clean the refrigerator/microwave (J Melvin Corp will come to collect later if you rented)
  • Clean kitchen (counters, cabinets,  and appliances) and bathrooms (toilets, tub, and sink) [Suites and Green Village only]
  • Dispose of all trash in hallway bins
  • Close and lock windows, pull shades/blinds down, lock door
Senior Robes/Club Materials

Graduating Seniors who are still in possession of any decorated senior robes or club materials that need to be passed on to new officers should bring these items to student life before leaving campus. Please leave them in the lobby with a note clearly stating your name, the items you are leaving, and who the items should go to.

Commencement Photography

Check back here after graduation for images from the events!

What is the difference between graduation and commencement?

The term “graduation” refers to the completion of all degree requirements as recorded on the official transcript. Students will be marked as “graduated” once the Office of the Registrar has officially confirmed that all degree requirements have been met. Graduation (degree completion) may be confirmed before or after participation in the commencement ceremony.

Commencement” is the ceremony that celebrates the culmination of the Sweet Briar experience and most often occurs near the completion of the degree. However, participation in the commencement ceremony, including the publication of the names of candidates in the commencement program, does not imply that a student has graduated.

 

Graduation Collection

This collection provides all the products that our graduates will need for graduation, including regalia and announcements.