Correction: This story has been modified from its original version. —
The Virginia Tech Class of 2014 will have to wake up for commencement ceremonies a little early, as the university has shifted the schedule for the spring 2014 commencement.
The university swapped the times of the undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies, with the undergraduate ceremony beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 16, 2014, and the graduate commencement ceremony beginning at noon. The commencement ceremonies for undergraduates and graduates will be located at Lane Stadium and Cassell Coliseum, respectively.
The change in the schedule, according to Mark Owczarski, university spokesman, was due to safety concerns from the early summer heat.
“It puts the students down on the floor at risk,” Owczarski said. “There were a number of students who were passing out and were in desperate need of hydration because of the high temperatures and the high noontime sun.”
In addition, Owczarski said the schedule change might make the commencement schedule flow more smoothly.
“(Graduate ceremonies) tend to be longer because the individual granting of doctoral degrees to each student can potentially be long,” he said. “It helps (us) stay on schedule by reversing the two.”
Departmental and college commencement ceremonies will be held during the evening of Friday, May 16, and during the day on May 17, 2014.
Times are not yet set for departmental and college ceremonies, but should be confirmed in early 2014, according to Owczarski.