After Two Unusual Years, UVA Set to Celebrate Return to Traditional Finals Weekend

May 13, 2022 By Jane Kelly, Jane Kelly,

The University of Virginia will hail the Class of 2022 the weekend of May 20-22, returning to its traditional Finals Weekend celebrations on the Lawn following a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.

The ceremonies were virtual in 2020, and in 2021 graduates proceeded from the Lawn to ceremonies held in Scott Stadium.

This year, ceremonies with be held fully on the Lawn on May 21 and May 22, in UVA’s 193rd Final Exercises. Individual schools will host additional ceremonies. Valedictory Exercises will be held May 20 in John Paul Jones Arena.

Related Story


Total Degrees Conferred

May 20: Commissioning Exercises and Valedictory Exercises

The festivities begin Friday, May 20. At noon in Old Cabell Hall auditorium, U.S. Navy Adm. Michael Gilday, the United States’ chief of naval operations, will speak at Joint Commissioning Exercises for Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force ROTC candidates. Then, at 3 p.m., former UVA basketball great Ralph Sampson will speak during Valedictory Exercises at John Paul Jones Arena. The ceremony will also feature the presentation of the class gift, and University and class awards. Tickets are not required, and this ceremony is open to the public.

May 21: Final Exercises for Arts & Sciences

On Saturday, May 21, students in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences will begin their procession at 10 a.m. at the Rotunda. This diagram shows where students should assemble. Claudrena Harold, the Edward Stettinius Professor of History and chair of the Corcoran Department of History, will be the commencement speaker for this group.

Also, at 10 a.m., the School of Education and Human Development Doctoral Hooding Ceremony will take place at the Abbott Center Auditorium at the Darden School of Business.

The Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy Academic Regalia Ceremony takes place at 5:30 p.m. at James Monroe’s Highland. (The alternate site, in case of severe weather, would be in Old Cabell Hall Auditorium, at 7 p.m.)

May 22: Finals for Remaining Schools

  • Darden School of Graduate Business Administration.
  • Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy.
  • McIntire School of Commerce.
  • School of Architecture.
  • School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
  • School of Data Science.
  • School of Education and Human Development.
  • School of Engineering and Applied Science.
  • School of Law.
  • School of Medicine.
  • School of Nursing.

The procession for these schools begins at 10 a.m. at the Rotunda on Sunday. This diagram shows where students from the respective schools should assemble.

The featured speaker for these students will be Dr. Taison Bell, a critical care and infectious diseases specialist who directs the Medical Intensive Care Unit at UVA and played a major role in UVA’s response to COVID-19.

Graduates walking across the lawn from the Rotunda
Students from the Class of 2021 celebrate. (Photo by Sanjay Suchak, University Communications)

Individual School and Department Ceremonies, May 21 and 22

School and department graduation ceremonies will be held in the afternoon following Final Exercises Saturday and Sunday to recognize graduates individually for their academic accomplishments. Graduates will be presented with ceremonial scrolls, and the school or department will present various awards. Get more information on ceremony locations and times.

On both Saturday and Sunday, Final Exercises will end between 11:30 a.m. and noon. All graduating students should arrive at their designated assembly points no later than 8:45 a.m. on the morning of their ceremony to allow adequate time to go through security screening.


Tickets are required to access the Lawn ceremonies.

Each graduate will receive six tickets for the Lawn ceremony. The graduate does not need a ticket, but must be wearing a cap and gown in order to gain access to the Lawn (or John Paul Jones Arena in the event of severe weather).

Tickets will be distributed at the University Bookstore from May 18 to May 20 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Tickets can also be picked up at the bookstore on Saturday, May 21, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday, May 22, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Tickets must be picked up in person by the graduating student with a valid photo identification.

By the Numbers

The University expects to confer 7,827 degrees on Finals Weekend.

That number consists of 4,529 baccalaureate degrees, 2,424 master’s degrees and 375 doctorates. UVA also expects to issue 328 Juris Doctor degrees and 165 Doctor of Medicine degrees, as well as confer degrees to six education specialists.


Baccalaureate Degrees


Master Degrees


Doctorate Degrees


Education Specialists


Juris Doctor Degrees


Doctor Of Medicine Degrees

Six of the baccalaureate degrees will be awarded to 19-year-olds. The oldest member of the Class of 2022 is 85. Eight students expected to graduate will have completed their coursework in two years or less.


Degrees Awarded To 19-Year-Olds


Age Of The Oldest Member Of The Class Of 2022


Number Of Students Expected To Graduate In Two Years Or Less

Coronavirus Precautions

Ian Baucom, UVA’s executive vice president and provost, and J.J. Davis, the executive vice president and chief operating officer, sent a communitywide email Friday with COVID-19 guidance.

“As you may be aware, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the UVA community have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks,” it read. “While we do not intend to change our public health policies in advance of Finals Weekend, we have worked with University public health experts to develop a set of reminders and recommendations intended to help make Finals Weekend as safe and successful as possible for all involved.”

They asked those “experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19” to not attend Final Exercises, “even if you have tested negative for COVID-19 in advance of your arrival.”

They also “strongly recommended” that attendees be “fully up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots.”

They further advised that people attending indoor events or riding on shuttle buses wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and that all attendees consider taking a COVID-19 test before attending Final Exercises.

View the entire message.

Safety and Security

UVA has a clear-bag policy and will be using metal detectors to screen graduates and guests attending Final Exercises ceremonies.

Attendees are only allowed to carry the following style and size bag to the ceremonies:

  • A bag that is clear plastic, vinyl or PVC, and does not exceed 12 x 6 x 12 inches.
  • A one-gallon clear plastic freezer bag (Ziploc bag or similar).
  • One small clutch bag, approximately the size of a hand, with or without a handle or strap, can be taken to the event along with one clear plastic bag.

All other bags are not permitted.

Graduates and guests attending Final Exercises are encouraged not to bring items that will delay lines to access the Lawn.

Get further information on security checkpoints and a list of prohibited items, including flasks and other beverage containers. There will be numerous water stations and compostable cups for people on the Lawn. Bottled water will also be available for sale at concession stands on the Lawn. UVA will have free bottled water for graduating students in the assembly areas.

Attendees are encouraged to visit the Major Events website for more information, including weather plans, how to watch the livestream of Final Exercises, indoor viewing locations, services for persons with disabilities or limited mobility, parking and shuttle services, and more.

Media Contact

Jane Kelly

University News Associate Office of University Communications