Graduation at the Virginia Military Institute is an exciting time for cadets, family, faculty, staff, and the VMI community to celebrate the achievements of 1st class cadets as they complete their journey at the Institute. With ceremonies held for Institute Awards, Commissioning, and Commencement, Graduation celebrates the achievements and excellence of all aspects of a cadetship at VMI.

May 2021 Events

The May 2021 Schedule of Events is now available. Please note, any changes to this schedule will be posted to this page if and when they become necessary, and will also be noted on the VMI homepage.

Letter to Parents and Friends of Graduates, May 2021 Events

ⓘ Livestream Events: Video feeds will be added as they become available on the individual event pages linked below for: Cadet Change of Command, Memorial Parade, Joint Commissioning, Institute Awards, and Commencement.


Fully vaccinated attendees do not need to wear a mask. Others must wear face coverings. Social distancing is still in effect per the governor's orders.Thursday, 13 May 2021

  • 7:30 p.m. - Glee Club/Band Concert, J.M. Hall

Friday, May 14, 2021

  • 10 a.m. - Cadet Change of Command/Graduation Parade, Parade Ground
  • 1 p.m. -  Memorial Parade and Reading of Alumni Names, Parade Ground
    • NOTE: This is a change to the original start time. The parade will most likely still begin around 2 p.m., but viewers are encouraged to tune in early to ensure they can see the entire event.
  • 7 p.m. - Baccalaureate, J.M. Hall

 Saturday, May 15, 2021

Sunday, May 16, 2021

  • 8 a.m. - Post is open to parents and other visitors. No access to post prior to 8 a.m. will be permitted without a valid VMI identification card.
  • 9:30 a.m. Foster Stadium open to the parents and guests. 
  • 11 a.m. - Commencement, Foster Stadium (Ticket Holders only)  (*)
    • The ceremony will be simulcast in over the website
    • Ticket holders and invited guests with any special access needs may view the proceedings from Gillis Theater in Marshall Hall.

(*) Inclement Weather location will be Cameron Hall, no guests will be permitted inside due to Governor of Virginia guidelines and protocols. 

VMI has implemented a clear bag policy for all major events which limits the size and types of bags that may be brought into Foster Stadium and J.M. Hall.  Only clear tote bags that do not exceed 12" x 6" x 12", or one-gallon plastic freezer bags.  Small handheld clutch purses no larger than 4.5" x 6.5" will be permitted. Cameras and smartphones are permitted to be carried into VMI facilities. 

Foster Stadium will have only two available entrances for these events: the Main Entrance and the Bridge Entrance.


This information is subject to change, check this site frequently for updated information. All activities occur at VMI.

No tailgating is permitted on post from 13 to 16 May.


VMI Diplomas


Commencement is the culmination of four years of study at the Institute. The walk across the stage during this ceremony is a moment every graduate remembers. Details, including FAQs, are available.

Ceremony info

Cadets taking oat at commissioning ceremony


This ceremony, in which the new Officers take their commissioning oaths, marks the end of a four-year journey of education, training, and self-discovery and the beginning of a journey of military service. 

ROTC details

Variety of VMI Institute Awards on table

Institute Awards

Numerous awards recognizing the accomplishments of cadets are presented. Awards are presented by civic groups and the Institute, as well as the ROTC components. [Note: May-only event]

Awards presented

Frequently Asked Questions

There are two companies VMI deals with when ordering announcements:  

Tickets are required for Commissioning and Commencement.

Graduating cadets receive a certain number of tickets from the Office of the Chief of Staff.  These tickets will be handed out over the course of the last week of April. Individuals will not be able to request additional tickets from other cadets.  The number of tickets given are the only tickets that will be permitted due to seating pods being established in Foster Stadium due to Pandemic protocols.

Handicapped seating is available for commencement events.   A reserved area for persons with a walking disability or those using a wheelchair is available.  Due to the large number attending and the limited space, seating is available for the person who needs the special seating and one accompanying guest or attendant.  No individuals will be permitted down in the specialized seating area in Foster Stadium unless they are on the list. Please contact the Chief of Staff's office at to make necessary arrangements. 

Let us know of your needs as far in advance as possible.  We can not guarantee special seating requests made 72 hours prior to the ceremony. 

Foster Stadium is an outside venue so please plan accordingly. 

There are designated handicap parking slots across Post but please advise your family members and guests that parking is limited and it is available on a first-come, first served basis so please plan arrival times accordingly. Handicap parking will be available in the CPTF Building on a first come, first served basis. 

Casual business attire is appropriate for all events.  Foster Stadium is an outside venue, please plan accordingly.

Refreshments will not be provided during any of our May Events.

Restrooms are located in J.M. Hall, Foster Stadium, and Lejeune Hall (located at the end of Third Barracks.)

Graduation photos can be purchased from Candid Color Photography approximately ten days after graduation. Please visit their website at  Please enter access code VMIG21.

You may also call 1-800-321-4256.