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Finals Weekend

Important Notice

To provide a safe environment for degree candidates, faculty, family and guests, the University has implemented a clear bag policy and is utilizing metal detectors for Valedictory Exercises on Friday, May 18 and Final Exercises on Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20. These security enhancements mirror those used for athletic events at Scott Stadium and John Paul Jones Arena. More Info.

What Happens During Final Exercises?

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 10 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.