Virginia Tech is honored to host eight cultural achievement receptions and ceremonies for our community members. Descriptions and details are below. These eight receptions/ceremonies are for students who graduate in the spring. Donning of the Kente is held for winter graduates as well and specific information for December 2017 is below. Graduating students who wish to participate must register and may register for as many events as you would like.

Registration for spring 2018 is not yet open.

Aliyah is a celebration of achievement for Jewish undergraduate and graduate students. The Jewish Student Union (JSU) designed this ceremony to provide graduates with a positive and rewarding experience that recognizes them for their hard work and dedication to the community. Faculty members, mentors, colleagues and friends are a very important part of this recognition ceremony and are given an opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of a graduate. Each student that participates in the ceremony will receive a blue and white cord that they are able to wear during the University's commencement ceremonies. The Aliyah Ceremony will include a formal address by a chosen speaker to acknowledge individual graduates' achievements as well as a dessert reception following the closing remarks. The Jewish Student Union hopes that you will add the Aliyah Reception to your graduation celebrations!

The inaugural American Indian & Indigenous Cultural Achievement Reception will be held on May 11, 2017.  All graduating undergraduate and graduate indigenous students are invited to participate in this special cermony. Each graduating student will receive a cultural piece as both appreciation and recognition of this momentous occassion.

For the first time in Spring 2017, a special graduate reception for Asian American students has been added to our annual celebrations. The event celebrates the accomplishments of Asian American undergraduate and graduate students. Participating students receive a commemorative stole, which can be worn with their academic regalia.

The semi-annual Donning of the Kente Ceremony (DOK) takes place each semester, prior to the university’s Commencement ceremonies. Virginia Tech was one of the first institutions in the Commonwealth of Virginia to celebrate the Donning of the Kente beginning in 1995. This ceremony is carried out by the Black Organizations Council (BOC).

The Donning of the Kente Ceremony serves as a celebration of achievement for Black and African American undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. candidates. This ceremony provides graduating students with a positive and rewarding experience that recognizes them for their hard work and dedication. Family and friends are a very important part of this recognition ceremony and are given an opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of their loved ones.

Each student that participates in the ceremony will be presented with a Kente stole, which they are able to wear during the university's commencement ceremonies. The ceremony will also include a formal address by a chosen speaker to acknowledge the achievements of individual students.

The 45th semi-annual Donning of the Kente Ceremony for students graduating in the fall of 2017 will be held on Wednesday, December 20th,  at 4 p.m. in the Commonwealth Ballroom. A reception for graduates and guests will be held immediately following the ceremony.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Donning of the Kente 

4:00pm, Commonwealth Ballroom 

The Black Organizations Council is proud to present the 45th celebration of our community graduates at the Donning of the Kente Ceremony. For all December graduates it will be taking place on:

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 starting at 4:00 pm.  

Sponsor: Black Cultural Center and Black Organizations Council 

Contact: Kimberly Williams, knwilliams@vt.edu

The Virginia Tech Gesta Latina, a Hispanic-Latino achievement ceremony, has been an annual tradition since 2005. More than 250 Hispanic & Latino students have been recognized during this special occasion. The event celebrates the accomplishments of Hispanic & Latino undergraduate and graduate students. Participating students receive a commemorative stole, which can be worn with their academic regalia. Gesta  (which has the same meaning in Latin and Spanish) means deeds or accomplishments.

The Virginia Tech Gesta Latina is open to everyone and is organized by the Virginia Tech Hispanic/Latino Faculty Caucus with support from the Latino Association of Student Organizations. A light reception will immediately follow the ceremony.

Initiated in Spring 2016, the International Student Achievement Ceremony serves as a celebration of achievement for undergraduate and graduate international students. This ceremony highlights the important contributions that international students make throughout the Virginia Tech community and provides graduating students with a positive and rewarding experience that recognizes them for their hard work and dedication in completing their degree program while also navigating many unique challenges faced by international students.

Each spring, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and ally community at Virginia Tech gathers to recognize the achievements of graduating students during the annual Lavender Commencement Ceremony. This ceremony began in 2009 by recognizing five graduating students. The community saw that number grow to six in 2010, 11 in 2011, and 16 in 2012. Clearly the number of LGBTQ and ally students wanting to be recognized for their achievements is growing. With great joy, the sponsoring organizations—the LGBT Faculty/Staff Caucus, the LGBTA, and Queer Grads & Allies—welcome family, friends, faculty, staff, students, and the community to celebrate this special occasion. All of the graduating students recognized during the Lavender Ceremony have completed the university’s academic requirements and we are proud of them and who they are!

All members of the class of 2017, regardless of department or anticipated degree, are encouraged to attend and be recognized. All graduating attendees will be presented with a rainbow cord to wear during the university and college ceremonies. Also, guests are welcome!

This event is held in order to celebrate the academic accomplishments of our student veterans. Those completing their undergraduate, graduate and PhD degrees will receive a red, white and blue cord, acknowledging the completion of their coursework and to signify our appreciation for their service to our country.