Commencement - Christopher Newport University Commencement - Christopher Newport University
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Commencement

October 11, 2020 at 2 p.m.

Seating Chart

Click the image below for a larger version of the commencement seating chart.

Commencement seating chart

Schedule

Saturday, October 10

Schedule of events
TimeEventLocation
10 a.m. PLP Ceremony

PLP graduates and their families will celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2020. We will remember the past as we celebrate those who made a difference along the way.

Invitation only

Diamonstein Concert Hall
11:30 a.m. Commencement Rehearsal

Graduates only

Freeman Center
12:30 p.m. Senior Picnic The Great Lawn
2 - 6 p.m. Departmental Events Christopher Newport University
7 p.m. Latin Honors Ceremony

In this special ceremony, we will honor graduates who have earned Latin honors, faculty promoted in academic rank or awarded tenure, and all faculty awarded emeritus status during the academic year. Honors recipients, their families and friends are invited. Latin honors recipients will be notified through their CNU email.

Diamonstein Concert Hall
9 p.m. Candlelight Ceremony

In honor of the graduating Class of 2020, we will hold a candlelight ceremony at sunset on the eve of commencement as we commemorate the transition of our graduates to university alumni. Graduates are asked to wear white to this event.

The Great Lawn

Sunday, October 11

Schedule of events
TimeEventLocation
9 a.m. Baccalaureate Service

Baccalaureate provides an occasion to give thanks and celebrate the completion of the academic journey. Candidates for graduation and their families and friends are invited to attend. Program begins promptly at 9 a.m. Seating is limited and is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Pope Chapel
10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Dining Hall Brunch David Student Union
2 p.m. Commencement

Commencement will begin promptly at 2 p.m. (guests should be seated by 1:45 p.m.). The processional begins the formal ceremony, followed by the conferring of degrees. The ceremony lasts approximately 3-3.5 hours. A live-stream of the ceremony will be available at cnu.edu/live.

The Great Lawn

Mementos

Order a DVD

The ceremony will be professionally filmed. You can purchase a commencement DVD for a tax-deductible donation of $50.

Order a Brick

With a tax-deductible gift of $250, you will receive a personalized brick paver on the Great Lawn. Each brick includes a bronze plaque inscribed with your personal message. You may also receive an engraved brick paver on the walkways of the Gregory P. Klich Alumni House with a gift of $500. You will receive a complimentary commencement DVD with your brick order.

Order a Photo

Candid Color will take a professional photograph of each graduate as the president presents his or her diploma. Please allow approximately 10 days after the graduation for images to be posted on the Candid Color website. Click on Graduation Day, and then enter the code CNUG20. A 43-mm proof and all ordering information will be sent to the graduate's permanent address on file at the University.

Guests

Tickets

Tickets are not required for commencement exercises on the Great Lawn. If commencement is moved to the Freeman Center due to extreme inclement weather, rain tickets are required.

Parking

Free parking is available in any of the parking areas on campus. Check with parking attendants on duty; they will direct you to the closest available space. Remember that carpooling helps alleviate traffic congestion.

Cell phones and pagers

During the procession, ceremony and recession, we ask guests to please remain at their seats, keep all aisles clear, and silence all cellphones and pagers.

Photos

Guests are welcome to take pictures from their seats and open areas on the lawn. Please stay behind posted stanchions and police / security personnel.

Candid Color will take a professional photograph of each graduate as the president presents his or her diploma. Please allow approximately 10 days after the graduation for images to be posted on the Candid Color website. Click on Graduation Day, and then enter the code CNUG20. A 43-mm proof and all ordering information will be sent to the graduate’s permanent address on file at the University.

Special Needs

Special needs requests must be received on or before October 5.

A limited number of designated handicapped parking spaces are available. Your vehicle must display an official handicapped permit.

Limited special needs seating is available. This seating is reserved only for guests who have a medical reason to be out of the sun or who require the assistance of a sign language interpreter. For guests who are elderly and need to be out of the heat, there will be indoor seating available on a first come, first served basis.  Because seating in this area is limited, only one individual may sit with the special needs guest. Be sure to arrive early for special needs seating. Should commencement be moved indoors, both the special needs guest and the assisting individual must have a rain ticket.

The Great Lawn is a flat surface and is wheelchair accessible, therefore those with limited mobility do not need special needs access, but can sit in the regular seating on the Great Lawn. Drop off is available between York River and the David Student Union for those guests who need to be dropped off. Please follow posted signs.

Please send requests for special seating to cnuevents@cnu.edu. Call (757) 594-8061 if you have any questions.

Rain Plan

In the event of extreme inclement weather, commencement exercises will be held inside the Freeman Center Field House. Each degree candidate will receive six rain tickets for entry into the Field House. You can also watch the commencement live stream in Gaines Theatre and conference rooms in the Freeman Center, as well as Peebles Theatre in the Ferguson Center. Tickets are not required to view the live stream.

Due to the limited seating capacity of the Freeman Center Field House and the need to adhere to safety and fire code regulations for indoor assemblies, ticketing is strictly enforced.

NOTE: All guests who enter the Field House must have a ticket. Infants not in a carrier are the only exception.

At rehearsal, degree candidates participating in commencement exercises will receive six rain tickets for their guests. Graduates must ensure these tickets are in the possession of those who will be using them on the morning of commencement, before he or she enters the Freeman Center Field House.

If you are unable to attend commencement rehearsal and receive rain tickets, you must submit a request to cnuevents@cnu.edu. Your name will be placed on a pick-up list, and you will be able to pick up your tickets in person on Sunday, October 11, beginning at 7 a.m. in the Peebles Theatre lobby in the Ferguson Center. Please bring ID when picking up rain tickets. Guests, including those with special needs, must have a rain ticket to attend commencement exercises in the Freeman Center.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Commencement is October 11, 2020 on the Great Lawn. In the case of extreme inclement weather, we will implement the rain plan and move inside to the Freeman Center Field House.

We ask that all guests be seated by 1:45 p.m. for the 2 p.m. ceremony.

You do not need tickets when commencement is held outside. In case of rain, you must get rain tickets from your student. See the rain plan for more information.

Limited special needs seating is available. This seating is reserved for guests who have a medical reason to be out of the sun or who need a sign language interpreter. Because seating in this area is limited, only one individual may sit with the special needs guest. Be sure to arrive early for special needs seating. Should commencement be moved indoors, both the special needs guest and the assisting individual must have a rain ticket.

The Great Lawn is a flat surface and is wheelchair accessible. Those with limited mobility do not need special needs access, but can sit in the regular seating on the Great Lawn. Drop off is available between York River and the David Student Union. Please follow posted signs.

Please send requests for special seating to cnuevents@cnu.edu. Call (757) 594-8061 if you have any questions.

If it rains, commencement will still be held outdoors, so please bring rain gear such as rain coats, hats and ponchos. We ask that guests do not use umbrellas in the seating area as it blocks the view for other guests.

In the case of extreme inclement weather, we will implement the rain plan and move inside to the Freeman Center. If we implement the rain plan, we will announce it on cnu.edu and on social media.

Free parking is available in any of the parking areas on campus. Parking attendants on duty will direct you to the closest available space. Carpooling helps alleviate traffic congestion.

The ceremony lasts about 3 - 3.5 hours. Diplomas are distributed after the ceremony in the David Student Union Ballroom. Only graduates are permitted in the Ballroom for diploma pick-up.

You may order your announcements by going directly to the Jostens website or by contacting the Captains Locker at (757) 599-5170.

The Captains Locker has worked with Jostens so that you can order your cap and gown online and have it delivered to you.

  • All previous orders placed for a cap and gown will be canceled by Jostens.
  • Even if you have already placed your order, you must use the link below to re-order your cap and gown.
  • All orders must paid for at the time of the online order.
  • Cap and gowns will be mailed out to graduates within five weeks of the purchase date.
  • The deadline to purchase your cap and gown in order to receive it in time for October commencement is September 3, 2020.
  • If you do not purchase your cap and gown by the deadline, the Captains Locker will have a limited number of extras available at the end of September.
Order Now

Graduation registration opens on September 1. All students must register in order to graduate.

All graduating students should have filled out an Intent to Graduate Form during the second semester of your junior year. If you have a question about your status to graduate, please contact the Office of the Registrar at (757) 594-7155.

The Captains Locker will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Captains Locker will be closed Sunday.

Yes. Graduates are expected to wear business attire with no flip flops. Comfortable shoes and low heels are encouraged because there is a long walk across campus and you will be walking on the Great Lawn, which can be uneven and soft.

Guests are welcome to take pictures from their seats and open areas on the lawn. Please stay behind posted stanchions and police / security personnel.

Candid Color will take a professional photograph of each graduate as the president presents his or her diploma. Please allow approximately 10 days after  graduation for images to be posted on the Candid Color website. Click on Graduation Day, and then enter the code CNUG20. A 43-mm proof and all ordering information will be sent to the graduate’s permanent address on file at the university.

The ceremony will be professionally filmed. You can purchase a commencement DVD for a tax-deductible donation of $50. Please call the Office of University Advancement at (757) 594-7038 for more information.

Commencement will stream live on cnu.edu on October 11.

No. Drones are not permitted at commencement.