Letter to Graduates


TO: All Candidates for Graduation
All Full-time Faculty

FROM: Trina C. Jones
Dean of Student Services

DATE: April 4, 2014

RE: Commencement Plans

Congratulations on this memorable time in your educational journey! The annual graduation ceremony will be held on Friday, May 9, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Regional Workforce Development Center. We strongly encourage you to participate in this celebration of your success.

The following information will assist you in preparing for graduation:

Caps and Gowns: Caps and Gowns, Graduation Announcements, and Tickets will be available for pick up at Barnes and Noble Bookstore during the following dates, times and location:

Location Dates Time
Franklin Campus April 14, 2014 – May 8, 2014 Mon. – Thurs. 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Fri. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Suffolk Campus April 15, 2014 – May 8, 2014 Tues. and Thurs. 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Wed. 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Tickets and Seating: Due to the limited space in the Conference Hall at the Workforce Development Center, graduates will be given five tickets. Having a ticket does not guarantee a seat in the Conference Hall. Guest seating will begin at
6:00 p.m. and seat reservation are not permitted. There will be an overflow area in the Technology Theater, where guests can view the ceremony on large screens. If you are unable to use all of your tickets, please consider returning the unused ones to the Office of Admissions for other guests to use.

Photographs: The College is contracting with a photographer to take pictures at the graduation ceremony. Information on acquiring pictures will be given at graduation rehearsal.

Pre-Graduation Celebration: On Thursday, May 8, all candidates are invited to a pre-graduation celebration from 5:00 – 5:45 p.m. in the Conference Hall of the Workforce Development Center on the Franklin Campus. Full-time and adjunct faculty and all staff are also invited to be there to celebrate your accomplishments with food, fun, and fellowship.

Graduation Practice: Rehearsal for all candidates will be held on Thursday, May 8 from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the Conference Hall of the Workforce Development Center on the Franklin Campus.


General Information

  • The Franklin Campus switchboard at 757-569-6700 will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 9, should you have any questions.
  • All graduates are requested to arrive at 6:00 p.m. and report to the Workforce Development Center, Room 204/206. At 6:30 p.m., all Candidates, Faculty, College Board Members, and other participants will assemble in full academic regalia.
  • At 7:00 p.m. the Procession will start promptly. Latecomers will be seated in the audience rather than with the graduates.
  • Please remember that this commencement is a public event, reflecting upon you, your program of study, and the College. For this reason, we request that your behavior reflect the dignity and importance of this occasion. Please be sure to turn off all cell phones. Commencement is the capstone of the academic experience for you, other students, families, and friends. Recognition of the rights of others to enjoy the ceremony free from disruptive or inappropriate behavior is appreciated.
  • The Commencement Ceremony will last approximately 1 ½ hour. A reception with light refreshments will be held following the ceremony.
  • Should you decide not to attend graduation, please contact Barbara Butler at bbutler@pdc.edu.

Inside Procession

Candidates for graduation are to enter the main entrance to the Workforce Development Center, turn left, and proceed in the hallway outside Room 204/206. Candidates will line up in one column, according to their degree or certificate in alphabetical order by program of study. Transfer Program degrees will lead in followed by Occupational/Technical degrees, and then by Certificates. If you are receiving a degree and certificate, line up with your degree group.

College Board and platform guests/speakers should enter the main entrance to the Workforce Development Center and turn right. The College Board and platform speakers that will be on stage will line-up outside of the Executive Conference Room (Room 212).

Faculty are asked to arrive at the Workforce Development Center at 6:30 p.m. and assemble in the Computer Lab, Room 207. Faculty will proceed in line as directed by the Faculty Marshall at 6:55 p.m.

The procession will begin as the Chief Marshal, platform guests/speakers, College Board, Faculty, candidates’ faculty marshals, and candidates for graduation enter the designated area. The platform guests/speakers will take their designated seats in the first row on stage. The platform guests/speakers will be followed by the College Board who will sit on the back row of the stage. The College Board will be followed by the faculty who will sit in the chairs to the left of the stage. The faculty will be followed by the candidates who will move to the front of the Conference Hall in one line (degree students followed by certificates) and fill in the front row(s) on the left. All will remain standing until all candidates for graduation are seated.

Conferring of Degrees and Awarding of Certificates

Following the recognition of outstanding graduates, the Vice President of Academic and Student Development will ask all degree candidates to rise. The College President will then confer degrees to the whole group. The Vice President will ask the candidates to be seated.

This procedure will be repeated for the certificate candidates.

Following this, the first row of degree candidates will stand and move toward the Vice President of Academic and Student Development who will be on the far right as you face the podium. The second row of degree candidates will stand together and move in behind the last person in row one. Each row will continue in this manner. Each candidate will hand the Vice President of Academic and Student Development his/her name card as he/she approaches the stage. The candidates will then move across the stage in front of the podium, shaking hands with the President, and receive a token diploma. The actual diploma and/or certificate may be picked up from the Office of Admissions in Franklin, Suffolk, or Smithfield beginning on June 30, 2014. Your home campus is determined as indicated on your graduation application.

After each candidate has received his/her diploma, the Dean of Student Services located at the other end of the stage from the Vice President of Academic and Student Development will switch his/her tassel from right to left. The graduate will continue across the stage, go down the steps on the other side, and return to his/her seat.

The recession will commence on the first-in, first-out order with the Chief Marshal, platform guests/speakers leading, followed by the College Board, faculty, and graduates. The Faculty Marshal will assist in seeing that this procedure is followed.



Vice President Institutional Advancement
College Board Chair

Vice President of Academic and Student Development
Student Speaker
PTK President
Dean of Student Services

College Board Members



Dean of Transfer Programs

Degree Candidates

Business Administration


General Studies:

(Computer Science)



Dean of Nursing and Allied Health

Degree Candidates


Dean of Occupational and Technical Studies

Degree Candidates

Administration of Justice:

(Corrections Science)

(Police Science)

Administration Support Technology

(Executive Secretary)

(Word Information Processing)

Early Childhood Development

Industrial Technology:

(Electronic Controls)



(Computer Support Specialist)

(General Business)

(Hardware and Software Support)


Certificate Candidates

Clerical Studies

Early Childhood Development


General Education

Career Studies Certificate


Child Care I

Child Care II

Computer Support Specialist

Entrepreneurship in Small Business Management

Hardware and Software Support

Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning

Industrial Maintenance

Industrial Residential Wiring


Medical Office Billing Clerk

Medical Office Specialist

Nurse Aide



Professional Welder

Word Processing Technician