University of Richmond to Hold In-Person Commencement Ceremonies with COVID Safety Protocols in Place

April 1, 2021

Editor’s Note: This article was updated April 13, 2021 to reflect details about the MBA ceremony. The photo above was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic at a previous Commencement ceremony. The University of Richmond is currently in the Orange Stage of its Physical Distancing Framework. External visitors, including media, are not permitted to campus and will not be permitted to attend Commencement ceremonies.  

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — The University of Richmond has announced plans to hold in-person Commencement ceremonies next month.

Graduates will be permitted to invite two guests to attend their school-specific ceremonies and must adhere to COVID-safety precautions, including wearing masks and following physically distancing requirements. All guests will be ticketed in advance, and only ticketed guests will be admitted.

The University will provide an option for students who choose to participate virtually that will also allow families and friends around the country and world to view the ceremonies and celebrate virtually with graduates.

These plans are in accordance with the guidelines and mandatory requirements provided to colleges and universities by Virginia Governor Northam on March 17.

“We are delighted to announce these plans,” said events manager Alicia Engels, who is leading the team planning Commencement. “We have worked diligently to develop a plan based on the state guidance that both safeguards our campus community and provides graduates an opportunity to celebrate an in-person Commencement.”

The schedule listed in date/time order will be as follows:

  • Robins School of Business MBA ceremony: Friday, May 7, at 5:30 p.m. in the Robins Center.
  • School of Professional & Continuing Studies: Saturday, May 8, in the Robins Center — Class of 2020 at 8 a.m. and Class of 2021 at 11:30 a.m.
  • Richmond School of Law: Saturday, May 8, at 4 p.m. in Robins Stadium
  • Undergraduate (School of Arts & Sciences, Robins School of Business, and Jepson School of Leadership Studies): Sunday, May 9 at 9 a.m. in Robins Stadium

COVID Safety, Ticketing, and Seating
Adherence to the Governor’s Commencement guidelines requires careful management of the ticketing process. Each graduate will be allotted two guest tickets.

Compliance with state guidelines requires that all attendees wear masks and be seated 10 feet apart. Any close contact among graduates and faculty and staff in attendance must be eliminated. To account for these requirements, graduate seating will be assigned in advance in three-person groups —  graduates and their two guests will be seated together. Each graduate’s name will be read aloud during their school-specific ceremony, and they will be invited to stand at their seat to be recognized.

Additional information can be found at

“This year’s Commencement weekend will be unlike any other in our University’s history,” wrote President Ronald A. Crutcher in a message shared with graduates earlier today. “We are thrilled the Governor’s guidelines will permit us to celebrate your graduation in person next month.”

Commencement speakers for each ceremony will be announced soon.