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Office of Major Events

Finals 2020: General Info

Frequently Asked Questions

ATTN: Final Exercises will be held on May 28-30, 2021, assuming that public health regulations by that point permit large gatherings.The University will provide updated information by March 15, 2021, so please revisit this page as the date approaches. 

Where can I access the Virtual Celebration and Degree Conferral for the Class of 2020 that aired on May 16, 2020?

The Virtual Celebration and Degree Conferral as well as the link to each schools' celebration-specific pages, the Year In Review video, and more can be found on the Class of 2020 Celebration website.

When and where is Final Exercises?

The College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences will participate in Final Exercises on the Lawn at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 29, 2021. All other schools will participate in Final Exercises on the Lawn at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 30, 2021. Final Exercises will end between 11:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. The complete schedule for the Class of 2020 will be announced at a later date and will be available here.

What do you suggest I do regarding lodging?

The University plans to offer on-Grounds housing in the new Alderman Road Residence Area, with no minimum stay requirement, for guests attending Finals Weekend. These air-conditioned hall-style accommodations include a shared common area and shared gender-specific bathrooms. Reservations will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please contact Conference Services at or visit their website. For information on hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts, contact the Charlottesville Albemarle Visitors Bureau toll free at (877) 386-1103 or visit their website. To reach the Visitors Bureau Reservations Hotline directly, call (800) 253-1271.

Will schools and departments still hold their own in-person ceremonies?

Details regarding school and department ceremonies are still being worked out and will be shared at a later date.

How many guest seating tickets for Final Exercises will my student receive?

Given the continued uncertainty about COVID-19, the number of guest seating tickets each graduate will receive will be determined at a later date. Graduates will be notified via email when a decision has been made.

Graduates will not receive guest seating tickets for both Final Exercises ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday. They will receive tickets for the day in which his/her school is invited to participate.

My graduate is a double major. Will I receive tickets for Final Exercises for each major?

No. Guest seating tickets are distributed to graduates evenly based on the number of degrees (diplomas) awarded in the class. Graduates with double majors receive one degree (diploma) with two concentrations and are allocated guest seating tickets. Graduates in a dual degree program (receiving two diplomas) are allocated guest seating tickets for each degree (diploma) awarded.

Do children require tickets to attend Final Exercises on the Lawn?

Children two years old and younger do not require a ticket if sitting on someone's lap. All children older than 2 years old are required to have a guest seating ticket.

When may I pick up my cap and gown?

More information regarding cap and gown distribution will be communicated at a later date.

What time should I arrive to Final Exercises?

Given the continued uncertainty about COVID-19, it is too early to provide a recommended time of arrival.  Please check back in the early months of 2021. As a point of reference, in prior years ushers began seating guests on the Lawn at 7:30 a.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. All guests were encouraged to be seated on the Lawn by 8:45 a.m. to prepare for the procession.

What happens if it rains during Final Exercises?

Final Exercises takes place on the Lawn rain or shine.  The ceremony will be moved indoors to John Paul Jones Arena in the event of severe weather (e.g. thunder, lightning, or high winds).   More information regarding the weather plans is available here.

What should I wear to Final Exercises?

Final Exercises is held outdoors.  Attire is a personal preference, but guests are encouraged to dress respectfully for the occasion and appropriately for the weather, and to wear comfortable shoes given the considerable amount of walking involved. Graduates and faculty will wear their caps and gowns which will provide them access to the Lawn and to John Paul Jones Arena (if the ceremony is moved inside). The grass, as well as ramps and steps located on the Lawn may be damp or slick during Final Exercises. Graduates and faculty are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes with low heels to avoid falling or tripping during the Procession.

Can my child/children participate with me in the Academic Procession on the Lawn during Final Exercises?

For safety reasons, children are not allowed to participate in the Academic Procession.  Only faculty members and graduates are allowed to participate in the Academic Procession during Final Exercises on the Lawn.

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Last Updated: June 24, 2020