By Joe Garvey

Old Dominion University will alter its academic processional and robing plans for the 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 6 and 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. ceremonies on Saturday, May 7 in anticipation of inclement weather.

Commencement exercises will be held at Chartway Arena in the Ted Constant Convocation Center. To limit exposure to inclement weather, graduation candidates will now check in, line up and robe in the Big Blue Room at the Constant Center instead of Webb University Center. Faculty members will robe in the Chartway Arena's east lobby, off Monarch Way.

Students and faculty may carry umbrellas into the arena for commencement. For your convenience, umbrella bags will be available upon entry. Please refrain from bringing large bags.

Faculty and participating students will park in the Constant Center 43rd Street garage and enter through the south entrance. Please look for directional signage. Carpooling is encouraged to assist with the heavy volume of cars.

Commencement guests and family members will go to the Chartway Arena as previously planned.

Additional parking will be available in the Elkhorn and Bluestone garages at 43rd Street, adjacent to the library. University shuttles will provide transportation between these garages and Chartway Arena. Link to Parking Map.

Please continue to check as well as email and ODU's main social media channels for updates:

Nearly 3,000 students will receive degrees at ODU's 136th Commencement Exercises. The schedule and the speakers:

May 6

2 p.m.: Award-winning actress Angela Bassett spoke at the ceremony for College of Arts and Letters undergraduates. View her speech here.

6:30 p.m.: Sachin Shetty, executive director of the Center for Secure and Intelligent Critical Systems at ODU's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center, will speak at the advanced degree ceremony.

May 7

9 a.m.: ODU President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., will offer congratulatory remarks at the Strome College of Business and Darden College of Education and Professional Studies undergraduate ceremony.

2 p.m.: Howard P. Kern, president and chief executive officer of Sentara Healthcare, will speak at the undergraduate ceremony for the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology, the College of Health Sciences, the College of Sciences and the School of Cybersecurity.

Bassett and Kern will receive Doctor of Humane Letters (honoris causa) degrees.

For more about the speakers, go to this link.

Student information:

Graduates should report to the check-in area no later than one hour prior to the start of the ceremony. Detailed day-of instructions should have been sent to you approximately one week prior to the date of your commencement ceremony. More information for graduates can be found at this link.

Families and guests:

Guests must have a ticket to enter Chartway Arena. Tickets are only distributed to qualified graduating students. Children over the age of 2 require a ticket. Children 2 and younger are not required to have a ticket if they can sit in a parent's lap (Full ticket policies for students). If you do not have a guest ticket, auxiliary viewing will be provided in the Big Blue Room of the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

Guests are asked to park in the 43rd Street Parking Garage. Signage on Hampton Boulevard in front of the campus will direct you to the appropriate entrances.

More information for families and guests can be found at this link.

Additionally, mask usage is optional inside Webb University Center and Chartway Arena.

Several events are planned during the week leading up to graduation:

Spring Commissioning Ceremony for NROTC and AROTC Training Corps, 9 a.m. May 5, Chartway Arena.

Advanced Degree Luncheon (sponsored by the ODU Office of Alumni Relations and the Graduate School), 11:30 a.m. May 5, Big Blue Room at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

Rainbow Graduation for LGBTQIA+ students (sponsored by the Women's and Gender Equity Center), 5 p.m. May 5, Priority Club at S.B. Ballard Stadium.

Student Honors and Awards Dinner, 5:30 p.m. May 5, Webb University Center (invitation only).

Senior Brunch (sponsored by The ODU Office of Alumni Relations and the Office of Student Engagement and Traditions), 10:30 a.m. May 6, Big Blue Room at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.

Additionally, graduates can follow ODU's social media platforms during commencement week for #ODU22 graduate highlights, commencement coverage and more.

Graduates can also participate in the Senior Class Challenge, a fundraising initiative created to give graduating seniors an opportunity to show their Monarch pride and leave a lasting legacy after graduation.

By participating in the Senior Class Challenge, graduating seniors are helping to provide a scholarship to assist students who would not be able to complete their ODU degree due to financial constraints. The gifts will go directly to the ODU Student Concordia Award, an endowed scholarship created by University Advancement. To give, students will pay $20.22 in honor of their graduation year. As a thank you, each student donor will receive an ODU philanthropy honor cord to wear at commencement.

A livestream of the graduation ceremonies will be available at this link.

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