Blackburn College Baccalaureate & Commencement

May 13-14, 2022

Stream the Commencement Ceremony

Greetings Class of 2022!

Here we have provided some helpful information for the ceremonies taking place this May. Please see the Commencement Guide for Graduates below which provides essential information about the ceremony and, most importantly, the order of procession.

For those unable to attend in person, Blackburn will stream the Commencement ceremony live. Watch on this page, with the stream beginning at 10:15 am.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the College Marshal, Dr. James Bray, or Shawna Poe, Executive Assistant to the President & Board of Trustees.

Important Events

Friday, May 13

  • 10:00 AM — Rehearsal for Baccalaureate and Commencement at Dawes Gymnasium
  • 4:00 PM — Senior Banquet in Woodson
  • 6:30 PM — gather in Bothwell’s classroom hallway to line up
  • 7:00 PM — Baccalaureate at Bothwell Auditorium

Saturday, May 14

  • 8:00 AM — Senior Breakfast in DING between 8:00-9:30 AM (families welcome)
  • 9:45 AM — Gather on second floor Hudson to robe and line up (Dawes Gymnasium in case of rain)
  • 10:30 AM — Commencement at Hudson Quad (Dawes Gymnasium in case of rain)

2022 Commencement Speaker

Thomas “Tom” Gayner is Co-Chief Executive Officer of Markel Corporation, a diverse financial holding company including insurance, reinsurance, and investment operations around the world. Markel is listed on the Fortune 500 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, with 61 offices in 16 countries.

Tom joined Markel in 1990 and oversees all investing activities. He is also responsible for Markel Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary which acquires controlling interests in manufacturing, technology, and service companies.

Prior to Markel, Tom served as Vice President of Davenport & Company LLC of Virginia and as a certified public accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Tom serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Davis Series Mutual Funds and on the boards of the Graham Holdings, Cable One, and Markel. He is a member of the Investment Advisory Committee of the Virginia Retirement System. Tom is a graduate of the University of Virginia and The Lawrenceville School.

Frequently Asked Questions about Commencement

There will be a professional photographer at the graduation events taking headshots of all the graduates and photos as you come off the stage after receiving your diploma. They will also have a “group” photo made from the headshots.  If you want to order any of them, you can fill out a form at rehearsal or go to their website.  You are NOT required to order photos, but you are required to have your picture taken.

We are still working to finalize our announcement site.  It appears the company we previously used are no longer in business.

To walk across the stage at Commencement, you will need to have a cap and gown.  It is recommended that you order from Herff-Jones before April 8 so all the graduates will look the same, but you may use another source if you wish.

Academic dress is appropriate clothing worn under academic cap and gown with no additional decoration on the gowns, except official pins and/or cords from recognized honorary societies. For Baccalaureate only, students / faculty / staff will attend without formal regalia.

At rehearsal we will:

  • Hand out information about ordering picture and/or DVD’s.
  • Hear important announcements from various campus offices regarding diplomas, events, etc.
  • Line you up in the exact order you will march in for Commencement.
  • Go over the steps you will follow as you process into the Commencement site with your classmates.
  • Practice entering the rows so you will be in the right order to receive your diploma.
  • Practice crossing the stage individually so you will know what to expect at Commencement.
  • Make sure we have the correct pronunciation of your name so it will be announced correctly as you cross the stage at Commencement.
  • Answer questions and concerns you may have.

Clearly, Rehearsal is extremely important, so it is MANDATORY!

Baccalaureate is an honored tradition that goes back hundreds of years and has been carried out at colleges around the world. It is a worship service for the Graduates and their friends and families. Students, faculty, staff will attend without formal regalia. You will process and sit with your classmates. YOU ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND. If you have a severe religious objection, or an unavoidable conflict, you must contact the College Marshal.

Baccalaureate, Friday, May 13 at 7:00 PM in Bothwell Auditorium. (Guests should arrive early)

Commencement, Saturday, May 14 at 10:30 AM on the Hudson Quad (or in the Gym in case of rain). Guests should arrive early.

Families can also join Senior Breakfast, 8:00-9:30 AM in DING, on Saturday, May 14.