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UVA Class of 2020 Finals Weekend Information (Students)

March 2, 2020
2020 Graduates
UVA Class of 2020 Trustees

Dear Class of 2020,

It's hard to believe that we are in our final semester at the University of Virginia. In a few short months, we will all take our final walk down the Lawn as undergraduate students. Congratulations on all your achievements thus far. The information included below is intended to help you in planning the details of Finals Weekend (May 15-17). Please be sure to forward this information to your family.



The Finals Weekend schedule of events can be found online.


Friday, May 15 ▪ 3:00 to 4:30 PM ▪ John Paul Jones Arena (295 Massie Road)

Before the Class of 2020 walks down the Lawn at Final Exercises, they will pay tribute to their fellow classmates and time spent at the University at Valedictory Exercises. Members of the Class Trustees will present the Class Gift and University and Class Awards.

All members of the Class of 2020 and their guests are invited and encouraged to attend Valedictory Exercises. Tickets are not required to attend the ceremony.

Please note: Complimentary parking will be available in the JPJ surface lot and parking garage as well as the Emmet/Ivy parking garage. Doors to the arena will open at 1:30 p.m. All guests will go through a security checkpoint before entering the arena. For additional information, please refer to the safety and security section below.

Most guests will be arriving in Charlottesville on Friday afternoon, so heavy traffic near the University prior to the ceremony is to be expected. Please plan accordingly and allot extra time when making your plans.


Friday, May 15 ▪ 9:00 p.m. to Midnight
Alumni Hall (211 Emmet Street South)

The Fourth-Year Class Party is a special celebration for the members of the graduating class and their guests. The party will include music, dancing, a class slideshow, light hors d'oeuvres, and a photo booth. For those who prefer a more laid-back vibe, the Virginia Room and the outdoor patio will provide guests with the perfect opportunity to kick back and relax while enjoying the company of old friends and new.


Tickets are required to attend this event. Each member of the Class of 2020 will receive three complimentary tickets (one ticket for the graduate and two tickets for guests). Class Party tickets will be distributed at the University Bookstore from Wednesday, May 13, to Friday, May 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tickets must be picked up in person by the graduate with a valid photo ID.


  • Alumni Hall: limited complimentary parking available
  • Central Grounds Parking Garage: hourly rate ▪ Approx. a two-minute walk from Alumni Hall
  • Emmet/Ivy Parking Garage:  complimentary ▪ Approx. a seven-minute walk from Alumni Hall  


The University will hold two Final Exercises ceremonies: one on Saturday, May 16, for the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences and the other on Sunday, May 17, for all other schools.


Each graduating student will receive six guest-seating tickets for Final Exercises on the Lawn. Tickets will be distributed at the University Bookstore during the following times:

  • Wednesday, May 13, to Friday, May 15: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, May 16: 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 17: 7:00 to  9:30 a.m.

Tickets must be picked up in person by the graduating student with a valid photo ID. Guests without tickets will not be permitted on the Lawn. Graduating students do not need a ticket.

On the morning of each Final Exercises ceremony, ushers will begin collecting tickets and seating guests starting at 7:30 a.m. All seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please note: If Final Exercises is moved indoors to the John Paul Jones Arena due to severe weather, each graduating student will be limited to three guests (more information is available on the website).

Parking and Shuttle Service:

More information on each of the available parking areas, including walking distance to the Lawn and fees, is available on the website.

Remote Viewing Locations:

A live broadcast of Saturday's and Sunday's Final Exercises ceremonies will be shown at five locations across Grounds. The remote (indoor) viewing locations are a great option for those without tickets, elderly guests, anyone who is sensitive to the elements (sun, heat, etc.), as well as guests with infants and/or small children, as these sites are climate-controlled and wheelchair accessible.

Valedictory and Final Exercises can be watched from anywhere via a live streaming webcast.


School and department graduation ceremonies are held in the afternoon following Final Exercises to recognize graduates individually for their academic accomplishments. Ceremonies vary by school and major and are held on the same day as each school's Final Exercises ceremony (e.g., CLAS department ceremonies will be held on Saturday, and SEAS, COMM, etc. will be held on Sunday).

View the times/locations of the school and department graduation ceremonies.

Safety & Security

To provide a safe environment for attendees, the University has implemented a clear bag policy and will be utilizing metal detectors for Valedictory Exercises and both Final Exercises ceremonies. These security enhancements mirror those used for athletic events at Scott Stadium and John Paul Jones Arena.

On Saturday and Sunday, all graduates, faculty, staff, and guests will be subject to a security screening before entering the assembly areas and guest seating. Everyone wearing an outer garment such as an academic robe or coat will be asked to open it for a visual inspection. To expedite entry into the assembly areas, graduates are encouraged to robe after passing through the security checkpoint. All bags must comply with the University's clear bag policy and will be subject to search, which may delay entry into the venue (Lawn or the Arena).

For more information on the safety and security checkpoints, the clear bag policy, and a list of prohibited items, please visit the Finals Weekend Policies, Public Safety & Security webpage.


For those looking for an affordable alternative to a hotel with no minimum-stay requirement and a complimentary continental breakfast, the University offers convenient on-Grounds housing for guests attending Finals Weekend. Guests will stay in the new dorms located in the Alderman Road Residence Area. These air-conditioned, hallway-style accommodations include shared common areas and bathrooms.

Housing is $66.00 per person, per night. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Conference Services at 434-924-4479 or visit the Conference Services website. Registration is now open.
For information on area hotels and room availability, please visit the Charlottesville/Albemarle County Convention and Visitors Bureau website.



The Class Giving campaign encourages every fourth-year student to give back to the area(s) of the University that have meant the most to them during their time at UVA. Students can give to anything, including their school, academic department, Student Affairs, a CIO, AccessUVA, Athletics, etc. We encourage all students to consider the legacy they will leave at the University upon graduation, and we hope that part of this legacy will include a gift to UVA. 100% of all gifts go directly to the intended recipient – there is no middleman. This year, we are excited that every student who gives $10 or more will be given a navy and silver cord to wear at graduation. For more information, please visit the Class Giving website.


The University Bookstore, in partnership with the fourth-year class, sells diploma frames that fit UVA diplomas, as well as class rings, Jefferson cups, and UVA captain's chairs. These items can be ordered in the Bookstore, through their toll-free number: 1-800-759-HOOS (4667), or on the UVA Bookstores website.



Each year, the Class Trustees present three awards at the Valedictory Exercises ceremony. These Class Awards recognize students who have made a profound impact on the University and/or Charlottesville community during their time at UVA. This year's awards are the:

  • Award for Community Service
  • Award for Cultural Fluency
  • 2020 Vision Award

Visit the Class Awards nomination form for award descriptions and to submit a nomination. Members of the Class of 2020 may nominate any member of the Class of 2020 for these esteemed awards.

The deadline to submit nominations for Class Awards is Wednesday, March 18, at 11:59 p.m.

The Class of 2020 Graduation Committee looks forward to celebrating Finals Weekend with you in May. For questions on any of the aforementioned items, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Omar Elhaj, Class of 2020 President
Ginny Brooks, Class of 2020 Vice President