West Virginia University will send more than 4,500 graduates into the world this weekend as commencement ceremonies take place in three venues for all 17 colleges and schools.

Of those 4,500 graduates, 3,083 will receive their undergraduate degrees or certificates, 915 their master’s degrees and 531 have earned their doctorates.

Reed College of Media’s graduates will be the first to turn their tassels Friday (May 12) at 9 a.m. in the WVU Coliseum.

Commencement weekend concludes with the School of Medicine professional programs graduates, who will toss their mortarboards during a ceremony that begins at 6 p.m. Sunday (May 14), also in the WVU Coliseum.

Thirty-seven students walked at Lavender Graduation, which was held April 30 with 175 people in attendance.

The U. S. Army Commissioning will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday (May 11) in the Mountainlair. The U.S. Air Force Commissioning will be held at 7 p.m. Friday (May 12) in Brooks Hall, 202.

Students and guests are asked to arrive at their commencement venues no earlier than one hour prior to its start, as earlier arrivals may affect parking availability. All seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

WVU’s PRT system will not be in operation during commencement weekend. The Coliseum and the Creative Arts Center will have shuttle service surrounding short-term parking on the Evansdale Campus, Lots 1 and 9, Areas 51 and 56. The Mountain Line bus service will also be available.

More than 400 students will participate in the 148th Commencement for Fairmont State University at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 13, in the Feaster Center.

Dr. Maria C. Rose, FSU President, will present special remarks for the ceremony, which will mark her last as president; she will retire when her contract ends on June 30.  Julian Pecora of Clarksburg will be the student speaker representing the Class of 2017.

For those who would like to view the May 13 ceremony from home, video will be streamed live at www.fairmontstate.edu/livegraduation. A screen also will be set up in the second floor Main Street area of the Falcon Center to allow guests to watch the ceremony live from that location. A reception in Gym 1 of the Falcon Center with light refreshments will immediately follow the ceremony.

FSU’s School of Nursing and Allied Health Administration Spring Commencement and Pinning Ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 11, in the Feaster Center. The pinning ceremony is a long-held tradition that is a symbolic welcoming of newly graduated nurses into the profession of nursing. The graduate nurse is presented with the nursing pin by the faculty of the nursing program. Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Associate of Science in Nursing graduates may participate in the May 13 ceremony.

“As a graduate of Fairmont State myself, I know firsthand the life-changing power of a higher education degree. Our graduates are equipped to enter the workforce as highly-qualified and well-prepared employees,” Rose said. “Our faculty and staff take pride in watching students walk across the stage during the ceremony.”

To keep traffic flowing smoothly on campus on May 13, the Department of Public Safety will re-route the loop around campus to become one way. Officers and other attendants will be on hand to direct traffic and answer parking questions. General parking will stay in the right line upon entering campus. The left lane will be for shuttles and handicapped parking only. Shuttle pick up and drop offs will be indicated on the map with a star and a color that will correspond with the shuttle route.

Some parking changes also will be in effect. Students participating in Commencement should park in the tennis courts area for rehearsal. A temporary parking lot with 245 spaces is available and is located adjacent to the Tennis Courts. Faculty and staff are encouraged to park in the parking garage to allow graduates and guests access to the parking spaces closest to the Feaster Center.

All handicapped accessible parking will be located in the Pence Hall parking lot. Handicapped accessible seating is available on the second floor of the Joe Retton Arena, so those with mobility issues should enter the Feaster Center from the second floor entrance.

The best advice for those attending Commencement is to arrive early for the event and to carpool as much as possible. Thank you in advance for your attention to these changes and for your patience.