Congratulations, Class of 2020! UVA, Darden to Host Virtual Graduation on 16 May

14 May 2020

By Jay Hodgkins

The University of Virginia and Darden School of Business will launch virtual graduation celebrations online at 1 p.m. EDT on Saturday, 16 May.

UVA Virtual Graduation Celebration

The UVA graduation celebration will open with a surprise performer, followed by the premiere of UVA’s traditional year-in-review video. President Jim Ryan and the deans of each of UVA’s 12 schools will then confer degrees to students. A rousing, student-led performance will follow the conferral of degrees.

Ryan will then deliver congratulatory and reflective remarks for the event, which serves as the official end of the academic year.

The ceremony’s second surprise entertainer will then perform. The approximately 30-minute ceremony will close with a performance of “The Good Old Song” by the 90-member University Singers.

The event will be streamed on a variety of University-affiliated platforms, including:

The celebration will also be available on-demand on UVA’s virtual graduation website starting at 1 p.m. EDT on 16 May.

Darden Virtual Graduation Celebration

The Darden graduation event will include an address from Dean Scott Beardsley, the announcement of graduation awards, video messages to the Class of 2020 from faculty and elected graduation student speakers for the Executive MBA and full-time MBA programs, special surprise content for graduates and a musical send off from Darden’s Cold Call Chorus. Watch the celebration on Darden’s graduation website starting at 1 p.m. on 16 May.

“I wish deeply that we could bring family, friends and the Darden community together to celebrate the incredible Class of 2020 on the Lawn and on the beautiful Darden Grounds, and we will get to that moment,” said Beardsley. “However, this virtual graduation celebration provides us the opportunity to come together across the globe to celebrate the hard work, amazing accomplishments and indelible contributions of our newest Darden graduates.”

The UVA graduation event will confer MBA degrees to 336 graduates who completed the School’s full-time MBA program and 130 graduates who completed the Executive MBA program, as well as one Ph.D. degree. At Darden’s spring awards ceremony in April, graduates of the full-time MBA program elected Professors Jacquie Doyle and Elena Loutskina as their faculty marshals and Second Years Max Linden and Morolake Thompson as graduation student speakers. Executive MBA graduates elected Professor Shane Dikolli as faculty marshal and Chris Adams as student speaker.

Due to the progression of the novel coronavirus, in-person UVA Final Exercises and Darden Graduation weekend activities, previously scheduled for 16–17 May, were rescheduled.

A Future In-Person Graduation

In addition to the virtual ceremonies, UVA will hold Final Exercises on the Lawn and Darden will hold a graduation ceremony on Flagler Court either this fall or next spring, depending on the state of the spread of COVID-19. The University is holding the weekend of 9–11 October. However, because the University does not yet know whether it will be safe to have a large gathering in October, it is also holding 28–30 May 2021 as a backup date.

Given the continued uncertainty about COVID-19, the University recommends against making travel plans for October until more is known about the risk of large gatherings. UVA plans to follow up with more definite information in June.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Press Contact

David Hendrick
Associate Director, Editorial & Media Relations
Darden School of Business
University of Virginia