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Spring Commencement 2020

Ed Acevedo
Edmund Acevedo, Ph.D.
Interim Dean for Finance and Administration

Dear students of the College of Humanities and Sciences,

We want to follow-up with some additional information on the College of Humanities and Sciences' spring commencement ceremony. My hope is that this message provides more clarity regarding our plans. Again, the opportunity to celebrate our students’ academic accomplishments in a College-level ceremony reinforces our diverse contributions to the VCU community.

We understand that department/school-level engagement is meaningful for our graduates. As such, we are still providing funds for departments/schools to celebrate their students. Rather than hosting a formal graduation ceremony, units can choose to host graduates, families and friends in another way. We have come up with a list of suggestions that we have submitted to department chairs to aid them in this effort, including:

  • A student award ceremony
  • A special event (dinner, BBQ, potluck, picnic, etc.) on the Friday before graduation
  • A special ceremony/event for graduate students
  • A speaker event with refreshments
  • Engagement through social media to share stories, pictures, videos of grads' VCU experiences

Below are some specific details about the College-level ceremony we hope help clarify any issues of concern.

  • We anticipate 1,200 graduates at the ceremony.
  • The ceremony will last approximately two hours.
  • We will be ticketing, but tickets will be unlimited. Graduates may bring as many guests as they like.
  • Graduates will process in with a banner identifying their department or school. They will sit with their department and the banner will also lead the unit onto the stage for students to receive their ceremonial diplomas.
  • Students graduating with honors will be recognized at the ceremony.
  • Students will have their names read as they walk across the stage. They will shake hands with the dean and their department chair.
  • Students will have their photographs taken when they receive their ceremonial diploma.
  • There will be large screens in the convention center so everyone can see their graduate receive his/her/their diploma.
  • The ceremony will be live streamed.
  • Fellow CHS alumni will greet graduates, friends and family, and will provide VCU Alumni gifts to graduates.

We want to clarify why we decided to make this change. Two years ago, we recognized that we were the only unit at VCU not holding its own College-level commencement ceremony and this led to discussions on enhancing the experience for all our graduates. There was also a lot of variation in the department-level ceremonies. A College-level commencement ceremony allows us to offer consistency for our graduates, and ensures that we celebrate all our students in a way that is inspirational, uplifting and meaningful to all in attendance. Furthermore, as mentioned above, we are supporting all departments in offering their own additional celebrations for their graduates.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.


Ed Acevedo, Ph.D., FACSM
Interim Associate Dean for Finance and Administration
College of Humanities and Sciences