Finals Weekend Speakers


Friday, May 17, 2024

(Valedictory Exercises)

Ryan Zimmerman
Baseball star Ryan Zimmerman

Ryan Zimmerman

Zimmerman, a former UVA baseball star who retired in 2022 after 17 seasons with the Washington Nationals, will speak to graduating seniors at Valedictory Exercises on May 17 at 3:30 p.m. in John Paul Jones Arena. Zimmerman, the first player drafted by the then-new Washington team, earned the nickname “Mr. National” before retiring as the franchise leader in several statistics, including hits and homers.

The two-time all-star and member of the 2019 World Series Champion team also has been a dedicated philanthropist off the diamond. His ziMS Foundation has provided more than $4 million to fight multiple sclerosis. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he was among the first professional athletes to raise funds for frontline health care workers.

The Cavalier baseball program honored him with “Ryan Zimmerman Day,” on April 30, 2022, drawing a record crowd of 5,919 to Disharoon Park.

Zimmerman has been recognized by several organizations for his dedication to community service. He lives in McLean with his wife, Heather, and their four children. He continues to work with the Nationals after his retirement as a player.


Saturday, May 18, 2024

Image of Daniel Willingham
Psychology professor Daniel Willingham

Daniel Willingham

Willingham began teaching at UVA in 1992. He studies human learning, focusing on students from kindergarten through college. He is the author of several books, including the recently published, “Outsmart Your Brain: Why Your Brain Makes Learning Hard and How You Can Make It Easy.”

“I’m honored to have been asked to address the Class of 2024, and I look forward to using my remarks to celebrate their achievements,” Willingham said. “And if it is a hot day, I promise to celebrate for five fewer minutes.”

Sunday, May 19, 2024

Risa Goluboff
Outgoing Law School Dean Risa Goluboff

Risa Goluboff

Goluboff is finishing her final semester as dean of the Law School, a post she has held eight years.

Under Goluboff’s leadership, the ranks of law faculty swelled, as did the school’s fundraising. A legal historian, Goluboff joined the Law School faculty in 2002. She is the author of two books and is a 2011 winner of the All-University Teaching Award.

Although she will relinquish her leadership role in June, Goluboff will remain at UVA to teach.

“I am thrilled and honored to speak to the Class of 2024 as they get ready for their next adventures,” Golubuff said. “UVA has been my home throughout my career as a faculty member and then dean of the School of Law. Given my own transition this summer, I feel like I am ‘graduating’ in a way as well, so I look forward to sending us all off together.”