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  • Students and Faculty at Commencement

Congratulations on achieving this milestone! NOVA's Commencement will take place on Saturday, May 14, 2016, at Jiffy Lube Live, 7800 Cellar Door Drive, Bristow, Virginia 20136.

Dr. Jill Biden, NOVA Professor and Second Lady of the United States, will be the featured speaker for NOVA’s Fiftieth Annual Commencement Ceremony on Saturday evening, May 14. Dr. Biden has been a dedicated member of our Alexandria Campus faculty since 2009 and has been a stalwart “ambassador” for the nation’s community colleges and for NOVA in particular.

General Commencement

General Commencement is a ticketed event for all NOVA graduates that begins at 7:30 p.m. Graduates should arrive at Jiffy Lube Live no later than 6:30 p.m.

Jiffy Lube Live
Tickets for General Commencement

Tickets for the graduation are available at all six campuses. Please remember you will receive one for yourself and six for your guests. Also, do not forget to order your cap and gown at any of the campus bookstores.

Alexandria Campus
AA Building, Room 195 (Student Services Conference Room)
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Friday: 11:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Contact: Brenda Robinson-Baptist or Hugh Vu

Annandale Campus
CG Building, Room 202
Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Contact: Claudia Chirinos

Loudoun Campus
Office of the Provost
LR Building, Room 252
Monday – Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Contacts: Debbie Melko and Liz Hamrick

Manassas Campus
Office of the Dean
MH Building, Room 313
Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Contacts: Dr. Mark Kidd or Marrium Saleem

Medical Education Campus
HE Building, Room 203
Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Contact: Fariba Alizai

HE Building, Room 205
Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Contacts: Leticia Sura and Patty King

Woodbridge Campus
WC Building, Student Services Center-Information Desk
Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Contacts: Karen Todd, Erica Burrell and Lando Lowe

  • Tickets are required for everyone attending: the Graduate will receive ONE for him/herself and SIX for family and friends.
  • If you do not need all of your tickets, please share your extra tickets with fellow graduates who need them.
Cap and Gown

Commencement is a traditional ceremony where black caps and gowns with hoods displaying NOVA school colors are the required academic regalia for participating graduates. Caps, gowns and hoods are now available for purchase from campus bookstores. Check your campus bookstore for hours. A cap, gown, tassel and hood set costs $73.98, plus tax. Honors cords are $14.98.

Limited supplies of regalia will be available for purchase beginning at 4:00 p.m. on the day of Commencement at Jiffy Lube Live after entering the main gates.

All graduates must wear a cap and gown to participate in the ceremony.

Leave your purse and other valuables with your family or friends because there is no place to secure these items during the ceremony.

Special Needs

Graduates who need special physical arrangements should call 703.323.3753.

If you are missing requirements necessary to graduate, you will need to reapply for graduation during the semester you plan to meet your requirements.

Graduating With Honors

Students with the following cumulative grade point averages will graduate with honors:

  • 3.20 - 3.49: Cum Laude (with Honor)
  • 3.50 - 3.79: Magna Cum Laude (with High Honor)
  • 3.80 - 4.00: Summa Cum Laude (with Highest Honor)

Please note per page 60 of the NOVA College Catalog, Graduation Honors, students attending NOVA for a minimum of 30 credit hours in degree programs are eligible for graduation honors. Those attending NOVA for a minimum of 50% of the credit hours in their certificate program are eligible for graduation honors.

Details for Commencement Day

Do not arrive later than one hour before the start of Commencement. Traffic near Jiffy Lube Live will be congested; please allow extra travel time so you don’t miss this important event. Attendants will guide you to free parking.

Graduate Reporting Areas

All participants are to report to the North Plaza of Jiffy Lube Live wearing the appropriate regalia. Leave your purse and other valuables with family or friends because there is no place for you to secure these items.


Please park in lots around Jiffy Lube Live. You will be directed by police and staff. Handicapped and special assistance parking is available.

Guest Information

Check the website to determine when Jiffy Lube Live will open for guest seating. Tickets are required and are free. The ceremony will last approximately 2½ hours.


Grad Images will take individual pictures as you cross the stage to receive congratulations from President Ralls. You will receive a passport-sized, full-color proof in the mail from the vendor approximately one week after the ceremony. There is no obligation to purchase the photo, and you will have the option of ordering several enlargement packages at reasonable prices. If you have questions concerning the proof from the vendor, call Grad Images at 800.261.2576. Guests will NOT be permitted on the floor near the stage to take pictures during the ceremony.


In case of rain, the Commencement ceremony will still be held as scheduled. Graduates will report to the North Plaza of Jiffy Lube Live. Faculty marshals and volunteers will assist you in locating your seat.

View the Commencement Brochure