April 2, 2021
Dear Class of 2021,
In light of Governor Northam’s revised guidance on graduation ceremonies, I am thrilled to announce that we are now planning to hold in-person Final Exercises this May.
All graduating students will have the opportunity to walk the Lawn and process to Scott Stadium for their ceremony. Each graduate will be permitted two guests in Scott Stadium. You can find more information, including the time and date for your School’s ceremony, on the major events website, where you will also be able to check for updates as more details become available. Please note that the Scott Stadium ceremonies will be the only in-person graduation ceremonies offered.
I hope that these plans for in-person graduation activities come as welcome news to you and your families. It has been a challenging year, and I am looking forward to the chance to formally recognize—and rightfully celebrate—all you have accomplished. In partnership with each School, we will do our best to make the events meaningful and memorable.
Thank you for your patience as this planning has evolved. I wish you a successful and healthy conclusion to your spring semester and your time at UVA.
P.S. For those of you wondering, we will also be offering the Class of 2020 the chance to walk the Lawn and attend a special ceremony in May.
March 3, 2021
Dear Class of 2021,
I am writing today with an update on Final Exercises.
I am sorry to say that, given the pandemic, we are not going to be able to hold Final Exercises as usual this May. The challenge remains around the size of gatherings permitted by the Commonwealth of Virginia and travel advisories, both of which preclude us from being able to host a ceremony that families and friends can attend.
We are, however, considering two alternatives: (1) holding modified graduation events this spring that involve only our graduating students but no guests; or (2) postponing graduation events to a future date when we could host families as well as students. In either case, we will confer degrees and produce a celebratory virtual event for students, friends, and families this May. The Finals 2021 Advisory Committee, composed of students, faculty, and administrators, will be surveying graduating students to inform this decision, and we will update you as plans progress. But for those making plans, please know that we will not be able to accommodate any guests this May, regardless of whatever option we ultimately pursue.
I regret having to deliver this news, which I know comes as a disappointment, though perhaps not a surprise. I know this is not the way you expected to end your time at UVA, nor is it the way we would like to celebrate your accomplishments. Still, I remain confident we will be able to celebrate and honor your class in a way that will be both meaningful and memorable.
I thank you for your patience, perseverance, and caring for one another and for the University.