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**The 2024 Graduation Ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 18 at the Alumni Hall Ballroom, 11:00am - 1:00pm.**

UVA Graduation


Event Details

The Astronomy Department holds its annual graduation ceremony jointly with the Physics Department. During the event, we celebrate the achievements of our undergraduate and graduate students who completed our program and who earned department awards.

2024 Ceremony

General Info

  • Fair-Weather Location: Alumni Hall, Ballroom (11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)
  • Inclement-Weather Location: Same
  • Severe-Weather Location: Same
  • Astronomy Department Contact: Gabby Fuller (434) 924-7494;
  • Physics contact: Beth Guyton (434) 924-6791;

Schedule of Events

Refreshments will be available on the patio outside the Alumni Hall ballroom before the ceremony, starting at about 11:00 a.m., courtesy of the Departments of Physics, Astronomy, and the College of Arts and Sciences.

11:00: Arrival and refreshments

12:00: Ceremony begins

Opening and Introduction of Speakers: Dr. Christopher Neu
Welcoming Remarks: Dr. Phil Arras & Dr. Despina Louca
Presentation of Awards

  • D. Nelson Limber Award for Undergraduate Work in Astronomy: Alex Rosenthal & Becky Williams
  • Outstanding Undergraduate Major Award in Physics: Max Dubnowski & Alex Emmert
  • Alexander Vyssotsky Prize for Undergraduate Research in Astronomy: Sam Crowe
  • The Steven Thornton Award in Physics Undergraduate Research: Tristen Lowrey & Menglin Shi
  • McCullough Scholarship Award for Undergraduate Work in Astronomy: Julia Lynn
  • The Physics Community Leadership Award: Tristen Lowrey
  • The Laurence W. Fredrick Teaching Award: Chase Funkhouser
  • 2022 Outstanding Graduate Research in Physics: Jirayu Mongkolkiattichai (1st place), Sharon Philip (2nd place), Shu Yan Lau (2nd Place)    
  • Emma Williams Prize in Astronomy: Jack Warfield

Distribution of Ceremonial Scrolls

  • B.A. Astronomy
  • B.S. Astronomy-Physics
  • B.A. Physics
  • B.S. Physics
  • M.S. Astronomy
  • Ph.D. Astronomy
  • M.A. Physics
  • M.S. Physics
  • Ph.D. Physics

1:00: End of event


Free parking is available at Alumni Hall for the duration of the event. You do not need to reserve parking, nor do you need a pass. While parking is available to all, we highly encourage carpooling and walking as much as possible.

UVA Alumni Hall Parking Map



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Do I need tickets to attend?

No tickets are required for the department graduation. Tickets are required for the larger graduation ceremony for Arts & Sciences (more details here).

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Will there be food?

Yes, food and drinks will be provided.

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Who can come?

Department members, family, and friends are all welcome to attend the festivities!

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If I'm graduating, do I need to wear a cap and gown?

We won't turn you away if you're not wearing regalia, we highly encourage graduating students to fully participate by wearing your cap and gown. For more information on acquiring your cap and gown, visit the UVA Graduation website.

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Will I get my diploma at the ceremony?

No. You will be handed a stand-in scroll during the ceremony. Your real diploma will be mailed to you at the address you have listed in SIS. You should ensure that your mailing address is correct well in advance of graduation. For more information about diplomas, visit the College of Arts and Sciences website. 

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I'm getting a department award. Should I attend graduation?

Yes! A portion of the ceremony is dedicated to department award-winners. You will receive your award certificate at the ceremony and be recognized for your work. You are encouraged to attend and bring any family and friends with you.

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What else should a graduating student know?

Each graduating student will receive a small gift from both the Astronomy and Physics Departments. In order to receive this, you should attend graduation.

Please also see the action items below.


Action Items for graduating students

  • Fill out the name pronunciation & pronoun form linked HERE. Due May 10.
  • Fill out the form for the graduation slideshow linked HERE. Due May 10.
  • Undergrads: If you weren't able to come to the end-of-year event on 4/24, please pick up your graduation gift from the Front Office. Last day: May 17.
  • Pickup your graduation cord from the front office. Last day: May 17.
  • Complete the exit survey. It will be emailed to you.