Virtual commencement will bring together VCU community to honor graduates this week

“Even though we can’t gather and celebrate together now, it’s important that we recognize VCU’s Class of 2020.”

A collage of images from profiles created by spring graduates of V C U.
A collage of images from the custom profiles created by some of this spring's graduates.

Virginia Commonwealth University will honor its approximately 5,000 newest graduates this week with a VCU first – a virtual commencement celebration.

VCU will launch its virtual commencement celebration website, which can be found at commencement.vcu.edu/virtual-celebration-2020/, on May 8 at 10 a.m. The interactive platform will recognize all of this spring’s degree recipients and include custom profiles for graduates who opted to create a slide for the celebration. The site will also include video messages from VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D.; Gail Hackett, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs; the deans of each of VCU’s colleges and schools; and the VCU Alumni Association. The site will be accessible to the public at any time after its launch – no login information or special codes needed – and will remain live and active after the weekend.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused VCU and other universities to cancel their scheduled May commencement celebrations, but the university hopes the virtual celebration will offer a way to recognize the new graduates and their accomplishments until a celebration can happen in person. All 2020 graduates (spring, summer and fall) are invited to participate in VCU’s next formal commencement ceremony on Dec. 12.

VCU Virtual Commencement 2020 Teaser

“Even though we can’t gather and celebrate together now, it’s important that we recognize VCU’s Class of 2020,” Rao said. “Our graduates are managing many duties and emotions at once and are entering a phase of life that is honestly vastly different from what we all expected. No matter what, I am proud of them and wish them health, success and peace. They will always be members of the VCU Rams family, and I look forward to celebrating in person with them later this year.”

As part of the virtual commencement celebration site, a video highlight reel will help the Class of 2020 relive some of the moments that marked their time at VCU. In addition to the universitywide celebration, spring 2020 graduates will be recognized by their schools, colleges and select offices with unique celebrations accessible through the website. 

The university community, including friends and family, can populate the site’s Twitter and Instagram feeds with personalized messages using the hashtag #VCU2020. Free virtual commencement swag is available at commencement.vcu.edu/virtual-commencement-swag/. In addition, VCU is coordinating keepsake commencement program books to be mailed free of charge to graduates.

Subscribe to VCU News

Subscribe to the VCU News newsletter at newsletter.vcu.edu and receive a selection of stories, videos, photos, news clips and event listings in your inbox every Monday and Thursday.