It’s graduation week, and a number of events that celebrate the Class of 2023 will culminate with Old Dominion University’s 138th Commencement Exercises on Friday and Saturday.

ODU will formally recognize its newest alumni at two ceremonies:

Friday: Advanced Degree Ceremony for all colleges and schools, 6 p.m. at Chartway Arena. Approximately 600 education specialist, master’s and doctoral degrees will be awarded. The speaker will be Nina Brown, Ed.D., professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Services.

Saturday: Undergraduate Ceremony, 9 a.m., Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium. This event will confer degrees for graduates of the College of Arts and Letters, the Strome College of Business, the Darden College of Education and Professional Studies, Batten College of Engineering and Technology, College of Health Sciences, College of Sciences, School of Cybersecurity and School of Nursing. Approximately 2,000 students will receive degrees. The speaker will be Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin.

This will be the first Commencement Ceremony for an individual class held outdoors since May 2002, when graduates received their degrees at Foreman Field.

In the event of inclement weather, undergraduates will receive their degrees at Chartway Arena, with ceremony times to be announced 24 to 48 hours beforehand.

Families and guests:

Friends and family members should plan to arrive at the venues 30 to 60 minutes before the ceremony start time. Signs on Hampton Boulevard will direct you to entrances to parking lots.

All guests over the age of 2 must have a ticket to enter Chartway Arena or S.B. Ballard Stadium.

If you do not have a guest ticket, auxiliary viewing for the Advanced Degree ceremony will be available in the Big Blue Room at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. Follow the signs to the entrance on 43rd Street.

There is no auxiliary seating location for S.B. Ballard Stadium. If you do not have a guest ticket, you can join the celebration of your graduate through ceremony livestream on the ODU website homepage.

Additionally, ODU has implemented a Clear Bag Policy at S.B. Ballard Stadium. Guests can bring one clear bag and one small bag per person. Clear bags approved for entry: A clear tote (12x6x12 inches) or a one-gallon, clear plastic storage bag. Small bags (6.5x4.5 inches) and wallets are allowed. Also approved are seat cushions (16x16 inches) without arms or pockets. One cushion per person. Not approved: Large purses, briefcases, backpacks, drawstring bags, personal seatbacks, diaper bags, fanny packs, coolers, computer bags, camera bags, binocular cases, and luggage of any kind.

Clear bags can be purchased at the University Village Bookstore, the Monarch Market at Webb University Center and online.

Student information:

There is no rehearsal for the ceremony. Information on reporting place and time and Student Information and Instructions were emailed to all participants.

Student parking – Advanced Degree Ceremony (Friday): Students should park in the 49th Street Stadium Garage or 43rd and Bluestone Avenue Garage. Students who utilize a DMV accessibility placard may park on the first level. Undergraduate Ceremony (Saturday): Students should park in the 43rd and Elkhorn and 43rd and Bluestone Parking Garages. Students who use a DMV accessibility placard may use the 49th Street Stadium Garage.

More information about commencement can be found here.

Among the events this week ahead of commencement that celebrate the Class of 2023 are:


  • Rainbow Graduation, 4 p.m., North Café, Webb University Center. This annual ceremony and reception celebrates Rainbow graduates from the Monarch LGBTQIA+ Monarch community.


  • Joint Commissioning Ceremony, 9:30 a.m., Chartway Arena. The guest speaker is Lt. Gen. Maria Gervais, deputy commanding officer for U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.
  • Advanced Degree Luncheon, hosted by the Old Dominion University Alumni Association and the Graduate School, 11:30 a.m., Priority Club at S.B. Ballard Stadium.
  • Student Honors and Awards Dinner, 5:30 p.m., Webb University Center (invitation only).


  • Senior Brunch and Toast, hosted by the Alumni Association and the Office of Student Engagement and Traditions, 10:30 a.m., Big Blue Room.

Additionally, graduating students can participate in the Senior Class Challenge, a fundraising initiative designed to provide a scholarship to assist students who would not be able to complete their ODU degree because of financial constraints. The gifts will go directly to the ODU Student Concordia Award, an endowed scholarship created by University Advancement. You can find more information at this link.