The 2020 Commencement Ceremony will be held Friday, May 8 at 4:00 p.m. in the Multipurpose Center at Virginia State University, 20809 2nd Avenue, Petersburg, VA 23803.
Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! Please read through the following important information to help you prepare for John Tyler's Commencement Ceremony.
Participation in the Ceremony
Only those students who indicated on their summer 2019, fall 2019, or spring 2020 graduation application that they intend to participate in the Commencement Ceremony are permitted to participate, and to purchase regalia and invitations. You must respond to www.jtcc.edu/graduationRSVP (March 23 - April 24, 2020) to confirm that you still plan to participate in the ceremony. This mandatory response will reserve a seat for you at the ceremony. Please remember that participation in the Commencement Ceremony does not denote official certification of a degree or certificate. Official certification of graduation is only made when all curriculum requirements have been posted and reviewed by the Admissions and Records Office.
Regalia and Invitations
If you are participating in the College's 2020 Commencement Ceremony, you must purchase your cap and gown (regalia) at the bookstore on either the Chester or the Midlothian campus.
- Regalia sales will begin April 6 - May 4, 2020. No regalia will be sold on the day of commencement. Please plan appropriately.
- Collars are not required for women and will not be sold with the package.
- The cost is TBD which includes tax.
- Try on your cap & gown so that you can exchange them for a different size if needed. A receipt is required for exchanges. Exchanges need to be made well in advance.
- When you purchase your regalia, you will be given a packet of twelve commencement invitations. Participants may purchase additional invitations at $5.00 per packet (cash only). There is a limited supply of invitations, which will be sold on a first come, first served basis. The Commencement Ceremony is open to the public; invitations are not required for entry and there is no limit on the number of guests that you may invite.
- Graduates who are members of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society wear gold tassels and stoles, which will also be obtained through the College Bookstore. A list of PTK members will be provided to the bookstore. Students need to tell the bookstore staff that they are members of PTK when picking up their caps and gowns. The cost of PTK regalia is TBD. Students who have questions may contact the College Bookstore at Chester 804-777-9166, or Midlothian 804-378-3394. PTK members must be in good academic standing with their chapters to wear PTK regalia at the ceremony.
The Day of the Ceremony
Graduates must check-in between 2:30 and 3:15 p.m. on May 8 in the Multipurpose Center at Virginia State University. Graduates who arrive after this time will not be permitted to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. Participants will line up by degree or certificate in alphabetical order as directed by the Commencement marshals.
Directions to Virginia State University Multipurpose Center are provided below. Be sure to allow enough time to travel to VSU, park, and walk to the ceremony location in time to check-in.
Graduation candidates typically wear black or dark clothes beneath their gowns. Dark, comfortable shoes are also recommended. Restrooms will be available for robing, but personal belongings should not be left in any room in the Multipurpose Center. These rooms will not be secured during the ceremony. JTCC and VSU are not responsible for lost items.
The VSU Multipurpose Building
As is the case with many venues, certain items are prohibited in the Multipurpose Center at Virginia State University. Please read over the list and share it with your guests. Any of these items will need to be discarded, or returned to your car, before entering the building.
These items include, but are not limited to the following:
- Balloons and flowers (small bouquets of flowers will be sold at the ceremony)
- Outside food or beverages, glass bottles, metal cans, etc.
- Signs/flags/banners larger than 11”x17”
- Bags exceeding the maximum size limit of 16x15x6 (i.e. backpacks, suitcases, beach bags, etc.). Please note that all other bags will be searched.
- Wrapped gifts
- Fireworks, slingshots, laser pointers, etc.
- Professional camera equipment, tripods, monopods, selfie sticks, GoPros, etc.
- Video or recording devices
- Weapons, firearms, explosives, pepper spray, tear gas, etc.
- Animals (excluding service animals)
- Water guns, toy/replica weapons, squirt bottles, soap bubbles, stickers
- Beach balls, Frisbees, or other projectiles
- Skateboards, rollerblades, skates, hoverboards, etc.
- Laptops or tablets
**Students & guests are subject to the rules & regulations of the Multipurpose Center.
Other Important Information
- Keep your mailing address and phone number current in the Student Information System on your myTyler account. You may receive important mailings from the College at this address.
- You will not receive your diploma on the day of graduation. Diplomas typically arrive within 60 days of the ceremony, and you will be notified by mail when you can pick up your diploma on campus. Diplomas that are not picked up will be mailed to the address listed on your myTyler account after a specific period of time.
- If you need proof of your graduation status, please follow college policy and request an official transcript from the college. Graduation will be denoted on your transcript within 3 weeks of graduation.
- If you have additional questions regarding commencement, e-mail the graduation coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- No tickets are needed; the ceremony is open to the public.
- The ceremony begins at 4:00 p.m. Guests should arrive in advance to secure a seat, as with any venue.
- There is plenty of parking available, however the later guests arrive, the farther away they will have to park from the Multipurpose Center. View the parking map.
- The ceremony typically lasts about two hours.
Directions to the VSU Multipurpose Center
If you use a GPS or the Internet for directions, please use the address above. Due to the size of the campus, please do not use "VSU" as the parameters for your search. The address above will take you directly to the Multipurpose Center.
From I 95 South Washington. D.C./Richmond
Follow 1-95 South to Petersburg. Take exit (Temple Avenue). Turn left at Temple Avenue and continue to second traffic light (Boulevard). Turn left at Boulevard and continue to fourth traffic light (Dupuy Ave). Turn right at Dupuy Ave. which changes to River Road. The building will be on your left. Enter at 2nd Avenue.
From I-64 from Norfolk (East) or Charlottesville (West)
Take exit for I-95, follow I-95 South to Petersburg. Take exit (Temple Avenue). Turn left at Temple Avenue and continue to second traffic light (Boulevard). Turn left at Boulevard and continue to fourth traffic light (Dupuy Ave). Turn right at Dupuy Ave which changes to River Road. The building will be on your left. Enter at 2nd Avenue.
From U. S. 460 from Suffolk (East) or Roanoke (West)
Take 1-95 North to Petersburg exit (Washington Street). Turn left on Washington Street and continue to Sycamore Street. Turn right at Sycamore Street and continue to end of street (Old Street). Turn left at Old Street (changes to Grove Avenue) and continue on Grove Avenue to Fleet Street. Turn right at Fleet Street and cross Appomattox River Bridge. Continue on Chesterfield Ave to Connector Road. The building is on the right.
From I-85 North or I-95 North from North Carolina
Follow I-85 North to I-95 North. Take Petersburg exit (Washington Street). Turn left on Washington Street and continue to Sycamore Street. Turn right at Sycamore Street and continue to end of street (Old Street). Turn left at Old Street (changes to Grove Avenue) and continue on Grove Avenue to Fleet Street. Turn right at Fleet Street and cross Appomattox River Bridge. Continue on Chesterfield Ave to Connector Road. You will see the building on the right.