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.