Virginia Tech has decided to hold the Class of 2021’s spring commencement ceremony online on Friday, May 14 at 6:15 p.m. ET.
The commencement ceremonies of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine are included in this decision.
This decision was made as Virginia’s COVID-19 restrictions still prevent in-person commencement ceremonies. Gov. Ralph Northam recently relaxed restrictions, allowing outdoor entertainment and sports to host more people, but this was not extended to commencement ceremonies. However, Virginia Tech is aiming to create small graduation gatherings if restrictions loosen and local case numbers significantly decline.
“If campus and community members remain vigilant and follow masking, distancing and gathering guidelines while vaccine distribution efforts expand — and case numbers in the community decline sufficiently — university leaders anticipate that event limitations could continue to ease and make small graduation gatherings possible, ” Virginia Tech said in a release.
Virginia Tech would limit any in-person gatherings to graduating students.
The potential gatherings would be held before the main commencement ceremony on May 14, but colleges would not hold separate in-person ceremonies.
The Class of 2021 will continuously be updated on the status of their graduation and how to participate in it through emails, Virginia Tech social media channels and at vt.edu/commencement.
This will be Virginia Tech’s third virtual commencement ceremony; the first was held in May 2020 and the second in December 2020.
The university will confer graduate and undergraduate degrees, and special guests and students will speak at the commencement. Students and their families are encouraged to send photos, videos and live comments throughout the virtual ceremony.