Each May for Final Exercises, the graduating class, made up of undergraduate and graduate students alike, lines up around the Rotunda for the unforgettable procession down the Lawn. Tens of thousands of parents, guests and faculty members watch as the students make their way down the Lawn. The graduates sit facing away from the Rotunda, toward Old Cabell Hall, to symbolize their entrance into the world beyond the University, taking with them all of their experiences and the knowledge gained during their time on Grounds. Final Exercises begins at 9 a.m. with the procession down the Lawn. The ceremony lasts for approximately two hours.
After Final Exercises, schools and departments hold graduation ceremonies at various locations around Grounds. These "School and Department Graduation Ceremonies" are where graduates are recognized on an individual basis.