Official Statement

Southern Virginia University Shares Plans for Safe, In-Person Commencement Exercises

Today the Office of Academic Operations and the Office of the President issued the following letter:

Dear Class of 2021,

For the past several weeks, University Leaders have been working on behalf of our graduates to find a way to host commencement in-person, with guests in attendance, while complying with requirements from local, state, and national regulators. This has been a very difficult task, but we are excited to finally announce our plan—which we think goes as far as is possible, given the current environment, to provide the kind of commencement activities that our graduates want and deserve. 

Special Forum for Graduates on Friday, May 7, 11 a.m. We will hold a special forum in the Knight Arena just for graduating seniors, faculty, and University leadership. The event will honor and be exclusive to the Class of 2021, and will feature a commencement keynote address from Ann Christensen, President of the highly influential and internationally recognized Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation. This event will be live-streamed for family and friends who wish to participate virtually.

Commencement Ceremonies on Saturday, May 8, 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. We will hold two separate, abbreviated, in-person, outdoor Commencement Ceremonies in front of Main Hall where each graduate will have their name read as they walk across the iconic building’s front steps with their guests in attendance. In order to accommodate guests and comply with safety regulations, this ceremony will occur in two shifts—10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. We are currently organizing these respective shifts and will inform you as to which time slot you should attend. This event will also be live-streamed for family and friends who wish to participate virtually.

Invite and Register up to Four Guests. In order to comply with the restrictions on guests who may attend in-person, each graduate will be allowed to invite up to four guests to the outdoor Commencement Ceremonies in front of Main Hall. While on campus, all guests must comply with our Four Pillars of Protection—masking, distancing, sanitizing, and reporting. Please note, graduates are required to pre-register any guest who plans to attend using the following link:

Order your Cap & Gown. Please take a moment to order your cap and gown at your earliest possible convenience using the following link:

In the coming weeks, we will send regular updates with additional details and instructions. We also ask for your prayers of safety and health as we continue planning commencement. This year’s events will be historic—unlike any before—which is fitting for a historic graduating class unlike any other. As we find the opportunity in adversity, we believe these events will be a blessing to our University, and especially to you, the graduating Class of 2021.


The Office of Academic Operations

The Office of the President

Read “Celebration Update for Class of 2020”