Commencement 2017 - Information for Graduating Students

Register for Commencement 2017 today

All JD, Masters, and LLM students who anticipate completing their coursework by December 31, 2017, are invited to participate in the May 20, 2017 commencement ceremony. Commencement Registration and Intent to Graduate Forms must be completed by February 1, 2017. Late submissions cannot be guaranteed inclusion in the commencement program.

Commencement Registration Form (residential students)

Intent to Graduate Form (residential students)

Commencement Registration Form (distance learning students)

The Commencement Ceremony is Saturday, May 20, 2017.

On commencement morning, graduates will meet at the Cornell Library steps at 8:45 am for the Class of 2017 photo. Please plan to arrive a few minutes early, dressed in cap and gown and carrying your hood(s). The commencement procession will form in front of Debevoise Hall at 9:15 am. Commencement begins promptly at 10 am as the Debevoise Hall bell rings, with graduates, faculty, and trustees marching from campus to the village green.

Full Commencement Schedule

Invitations to commencement

Vermont Law School will send invitations to two addresses/guests of your choice. You may request up to 10 additional invitations if you'd like. You will be notified by email when the invitations are ready for pickup. There is no cost for additional invitations.

FAQ: What is the difference between an invitation and an announcement? When you send an invitation, you are asking people to attend the celebration here at Vermont Law School. Announcements simply let people know of your accomplishment.

Graduation Announcements

Graduation announcements are available through Whitman Communications.

Commencement photographs

A team of professional photographers will photograph each graduate as you receive your diploma and hood; they will also take candid shots before and after the ceremony. All photographs will be available for viewing and purchase online following commencement. To get a great photo of each graduate, it is important that the photographers have a clear line of sight to the platform when each graduate is hooded. Please ask your guests to not step in front of the photographers when you make your way to the platform for your diploma. The photographers will be in the position and have the equipment to get the best shot of your moment.

Caps and Gowns

The traditional academic attire will be worn at commencement: a cap, gown, and hood are rented on behalf of each graduate who plans to participate in the commencment ceremony.

Caps and gowns are to be picked up immediately following the class meeting on Thursday, May 18. Before your cap and gown are released to you, you will need to have cleared all outstanding charges with the business office and the library. You will be notified of any outstanding charges on your account by Friday, May 12. You will also need to have turned in to the alumni office a Graduate Exit-Info form that will give us (along with other information) an address for forwarding your final grades. Caps and gowns need to be returned following the commencement ceremony, unless you determine that you would like to purchase any or all of your regalia. An email with purchase instructions will be sent prior to Commencement.

If you are unable to pick up your cap and gown at the designated time, please email Kathy McCullough (

Regalia return is conveniently located in the Yates Common Room during the commencement reception. Any regalia (cap, gown, hoods) not returned by 2:00 p.m. on May 20 will be subject to purchase by the graduate and the charges will be placed on your student account.

class meeting, Thursday May 18, 10 a.m.

All graduates are expected to attend the class meeting. At the class meeting, we go over the commencement ceremony proceedings—since there is no formal ceremony practice, it is very important that all participants hear about the steps of the ceremony and know how to "commence" on Saturday. Participation certificates are awarded to Law Review, VJEL, Moot Court teams, and a short presentation is given by the Vermont Law School Alumni Association.

Diploma Frames and other VLS Gifts

Barrister's Book Shop offers a wide selection of diploma frames and other Vermont Law School gifts and memorabilia. Visit their website or stop in the store on Commencement Weekend.

Election of class speaker and commencement marshals

Check back for updates!

Election of class agents, class secretaries, and class president

These leadership positions are vital to maintaining a strong alumni network. The class president serves as the leader of his or her class and is responsible for keeping the class actively involved in VLS and alumni events. The two class secretaries are responsible for keeping the VLS community up to date with the Class of 2017 by collecting information about their classmates and publicizing it in Loquitur and on the VLS alumni website. The class agents are responsible for encouraging financial support of VLS and helping to identify potential volunteer leaders. The key to increased participation for the class is the personal touch that each class agent brings to the job. The 2017 Class Officers will be announced at the Commencement Dinner Dance.