VLS Commencement Ceremony

Villanova University

Charles Widger School of Law 

Class of 2020

Friday May 15, 2020

9 a.m.

Mass, St. Thomas of Villanova Church

10:30 a.m.
Commencement Ceremony

The Finneran Pavilion

12 p.m.
Reception, School of Law

Graduation announcements, thank you notes, and other commemorative items are available via Villanova University Graphic Services. You can choose customizable printed announcements which include personalized pictures and text. Announcements can be shipped to your home, office, or picked up at the print center.

To order announcements, please see this flyer or contact Bonnie Lyons at 610-519-5915 or You can also visit for more information.

Dean Mark Alexander and members of the Law School community will honor graduating students who have attained Latin Honors (Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, or Cum Laude), will be inducted into the Order of the Coif or will receive selected commencement awards. This event takes place on Thursday May 16, 2019 at noon in the Arthur M. Goldberg Commons. By invitation only.

Graduates should pick-up their commencement regalia with the Career Strategy office during the designated appointment times. Graduates are encouraged to wear their regalia to the Commencement Mass and for the Commencement Ceremony.  Tassels are worn on the right side of the cap, then switched to the left side after the degree is conferred.

Graduates must return caps and gowns following the ceremony to the robe return area (Room 201 at the Law School) before 1:30 p.m.


Graduates must be at the Graduate Assembly area in the Finneran Pavilion by 10:10 a.m. wearing your caps and gown. Law School staff will be on hand to assist you. Guests are not permitted in the Graduate Assembly area.

Graduates MUST bring their namecards that they were given when they picked up their cap and gown. Keep your namecard with you until you reach the stage area later in the ceremony.

There is no place in the Assembly Area to leave purses or personal items. Please leave these items with your guests or in your car.

Graduate Procession and Seating

Graduates will form two rows in the Assembly area for the procession. Please follow the instructions of the staff who are there to assist with line-up. Graduates may line-up in any order you wish, keeping in mind that graduates on the right side of the line will be seated on the right side of the Finneran Pavilion and graduates on the left will sit on the left side. Therefore, the classmate you wish to sit next to should be either in front or in back of you. Staff ushers will assist the graduates to your seats. Please follow their instructions and do not skip seats.

All graduates at the ceremony will have their names called and will walk acrross the stage. Please follow the instructions of the Marshals to know when your row is being called forward. Remember to bring your namecard. When your row is called forward, you will approach the stage and give you namecard to the faculty reader. As your name is called, you will walk across the stage, take your diploma with your left hand and shake hands with the Dean with your right hand. A professional photographer will take your photo when you exit the stage.

Return to your seat as the rest of the graduates are called forward.


Immediately following the ceremony, all graduates, guests, faculty and staff are invited to a reception at the Law School (approximately 12 p.m.–2 p.m.).

Please note that traffic conditions around campus may be congested on Commencement Day. Graduates and guests are encouraged to arrive early.

Parking Passes are NOT necessary for the Law School's Commencement ceremony. After 2 pm, parking passes are required for all vehicles on campus.

Law School graduates and guests should park in the S-4 parking garage next to the Law School. Shuttle buses will run continuous loops to the campus locations for the Mass and Ceremony or guests may walk to various event locations. See Map below.

Ceremony: Guests with Special Needs should use the entrance from Lancaster Avenue/Route 30 between the Villanova Stadium and Galberry Hall for ADA parking and drop-off closest to the Finneran Pavilion. Villanova public safety officers will direct your vehicle to the closest available parking. 


There are NO tickets needed for the Law School's ceremony and no limit to the number of guests each law graduate may invite.

Seating is open and there is more than enough seating in the Finneran Pavilion to accommodate all guests for the ceremony. 

All seating in the Finneran Pavilion is accessible. First Row Seating on the Upper Section is for guests with special needs. Guests with wheelchairs should seek out the ADA designated areas.

Public Saftey Officers and ushers are available for guest assistance.

Diplomas may be picked up following the ceremony at the cap and gown return at the Law School (Room 201). Graduates who do not attend the ceremony will have their diplomas mailed to the local address on file.

Diploma size is 12 x 16.

Graduates: Nancy Whalen, Director of Student Affairs, 610 519-5228

Guests: Events Office, 610 519-7066




More Information

If you have specific questions, please contact one of the following people:


Nicole Garafano
Director of Events
(610) 519-7066

Nancy A. Whalen

Director of Student Affairs
(610) 519-5228