The re-scheduled date for the May ceremony is now October 24, 2020. If it is still not safe to assemble in person in the fall, what is the plan?
We plan to hold Commencement for the Class of 2020 on October 24, 2020. Regrettably we are still dealing with a perplexing virus, which leaves us with a lot of unknowns. Our hope is that the date we have picked will be a beautiful fall day and a safe time for a large group to gather again.
In this age of uncertainty, contingencies are imperative. A backup to the fall date will be Thursday, May 6, 2021. We know that seems too long to wait; however, we cannot predict the course of the coronavirus and when flare-ups may occur again. That is why we are exercising an abundance of caution and picking two dates.
Will professional photos be taken and available for purchase?
Yes, a photographer from GradImages® will be at the commencement ceremony to photograph each graduate. Graduates will receive a free passport-sized digital proof via email within 10-14 days of the ceremony and via postal mail within 10 to 20 days following the ceremony. After Commencement, orders may be placed online or by calling 1-800-261-2576. If you are sent photographs of another student, please contact a customer service representative. They should be able to correct the issue and get the correct photos to you.
Since photographers will be available, family members and guests are encouraged to remain in their seats, relax, and enjoy the ceremony.
When and Where is the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony?
The Undergraduate Ceremony will take place Saturday, October 24, 2020 on Ball Circle. The start time has not yet been finalized. Future Commencement dates are available here.
What if it rains?
The Ceremony will be held at Ball Circle, rain or shine.
What time should I arrive?
Ball Circle will open for seating two hours before the ceremony on the day of Commencement. We ask that guests are seated prior to the processional down campus walk.
How long is the commencement ceremony?
The ceremony will last approximately two hours.
Are tickets required?
No, tickets are not required to attend the ceremony. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis.
Who do I contact if someone in my family needs a special accommodation?
The ceremony on Ball Circle is one level and fully accessible with flexible seating.
The George Washington lot is reserved for handicapped parking. You must display your handicapped decal or have a designated license plate to park in this lot. On Saturday, May 9, golf cart shuttles will transport guests needing special assistance between the George Washington lot and Ball Circle.
The University will be providing American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters. Please contact the Events Office at (540) 654-1087 as soon as possible to arrange for reserved seating.
Am I allowed to decorate my regalia cap?
All degree candidates are welcome to personalize their caps being mindful of our community values.
Is there an event following the commencement ceremony?
A luncheon is offered immediately following the ceremony. Tickets are required for this event.
Who participates in the commencement ceremony?
ALL candidates for undergraduate degrees are expected to attend the commencement ceremony including those who finished in Summer or Fall of 2019, but it is possible to graduate in absentia. Candidates who cannot attend must submit a written request for permission to be excused to Sharon Williamson, Office of the Registrar at email@example.com.
If my student completed his/her degree requirements in the Fall, is there a separate Commencement Ceremony?
There is only one Commencement Ceremony each year in May. If a student completes all degree requirements in the Fall they are invited to participate the following May but are not required to, it is their personal choice.
If a graduating student or guest requires special accommodations, what should I do?
All venues are wheelchair accessible. Please contact the Office of Events and Conferencing if you have questions or concerns by October 1, 2020 by submitting the Contact Us form.
Will flowers be available for sale?
Yes, a flower vendor will be on campus walk for guests to purchase flowers for their graduate. Please pre-order flowers from our vendor;