UVA Today: History of Final Exercises

May 18, 2012

For this weeks segment of UVA today, University of Virginia Historian Sandy Gilliam visited the Newsplex to discuss the history of the University's Final Exercises.

This will be the 183rd Final Exercises. They normally last about two hours. There will be 57 ceremonies for 11 schools and disciplines.

Gilliam says commencement exercises use to be held on a Monday and a Sunday there would be a baccalaureate service/class day. A baccalaureate service/class day, is a religious service and when awards were given out.

During those days Gilliam said it was hard to get a speaker for baccalaureate service because they thought they may have to preach a sermon.

Today Class Day is held on Saturday.

Food will be provided for family and friends for Final Exercises. The University of Virginia Catering plans to serve 500 pounds of hot dogs and thousands of cookies and brownies. About 75 food service employees will be serving food.

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