Fall Convocation

Fall Convocation | Awards and Traditions


The Convocation ceremony began in the earliest days of the University and was generally held in the fall to honor members of the community for outstanding achievement. Fall Convocation today serves two purposes: it recognizes those third-year students who have earned Intermediate Honors, and it pays tribute to the recipients of the Thomas Jefferson Awards, the University's highest honor. From roughly 1950 to 1976, Fall Convocation was not held. Concerned by declining attendance on Founder’s Day (held annually on April 13, Thomas Jefferson’s birthday), University President Colgate W. Darden, Jr., abolished Fall Convocation and merged the Intermediate Honors ceremony for third-year students (and the Thomas Jefferson Award when it was created in 1955) into Founder’s Day activities. By 1976, the number of students eligible for Intermediate Honors had grown sufficiently to move the ceremony from Cabell Hall onto the South Lawn. Since autumn weather proved more reliable than spring weather, convocation was restored to its traditional fall schedule.

Honors and Awards Given