VCU to hold virtual winter commencement

VCU students stand during the university's commencement ceremony in May 2019. CT file photo.

Sagal Ahmed, Contributing Writer

Another cohort of VCU seniors will celebrate their achievements at home, following VCU’s announcement of a virtual commencement ceremony for fall 2020 graduates. 

The graduation ceremony will honor August and December graduates, an Oct. 5 university release read, with a broadcasted and interactive celebration. Students and their families will receive a copy of the program, which is slated for Dec. 12.

Mass communications senior Anna Nease is one of the students up for recognition at this year’s commencement. She said she is also the first in her family to graduate from college.

“I wanted to have that in-person ceremony but I definitely think that doing it online was the smartest thing to do,” Nease said. “I just feel that having it in person would be unfeasible and irresponsible of the university.” 

Nease said the announcement regarding the virtual ceremony was poorly timed due to non-refundable caps and gowns being available for purchase.

“By saying that you can purchase your cap and gown before their announcement, I think it was misleading and also providing false hope because it makes it seem like ‘Oh maybe there will be an in-person commencement,’” Nease said. “I feel at the moment they already knew that it was going to have to be online.” 

The December ceremony will be the second virtual graduation VCU has held due to COVID-19. May 2020 graduates also had a virtual commencement. 

“It was definitely not how I expected my graduation would be, but because of the times and everything, I think everyone had to celebrate it their own way with their families.” — Maddie Parker, VCU alumna

Health, physical education and exercise science alumna Maddie Parker graduated in May. She said she celebrated by watching the virtual commencement –– which included a slide with her name on it –– at home on her television. 

“It was definitely not how I expected my graduation would be, but because of the times and everything, I think everyone had to celebrate it their own way with their families,” Parker said.

The university invited spring 2020 graduates to “join their classmates at a future university commencement ceremony,” according to the release, but Parker said it is unlikely she will attend. Originally, spring graduates were invited to attend an in-person December ceremony alongside fall graduates.

“At this point now, the more it gets pushed back, the more I’m less likely to go because I’m moving on from that chapter of my life,” Parker said. 

For more information regarding graduation, visit VCU’s commencement website.

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