Class of 2024 Parents: Here Is Part II of Your Finals FAQ

May 7, 2024 By Jane Kelly, Jane Kelly,

The University of Virginia will be hosting nearly 20,000 people back-to-back May 18 and May 19, when the Class of 2024 graduates to great fanfare.

“The University community is so excited to welcome everyone to Grounds for this much-cherished occasion,” Cecil Banks, the executive director for Major Events and External Relations, said.

Tuesday, UVA Today brought you part one of our Finals Weekend FAQ. Here is part two. 

Q. Where can I park for Final Exercises?

A. Complimentary parking, including parking that is in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, and a shuttle service, is available at John Paul Jones Arena. Free parking is also available at Scott Stadium and the Emmet/Ivy Parking Garage, but shuttle service is not available from these locations, which are about a half-mile walk from the Lawn. 

The Central Grounds Parking Garage is also available, but requires payment using Parkmobile. (Here is more information regarding parking and shuttle service.)

Q. What time should I arrive for Final Exercises?

A. Entrances to the Lawn open at 7 a.m. The University recommends guests arrive by 8:15 a.m. in advance of the procession, which will begin promptly at 9 a.m.

Q. Where is my graduate’s school gathering for the procession down the Lawn during Final Exercises?

A. Degree candidates will assemble with their school at various areas around the Lawn and Rotunda; a complete listing of these assembly areas is available here. Graduates should arrive at the assembly area no later than 7:45 a.m.

Q. Are guests allowed to bring beverages on the Lawn?

A. Guests are allowed to bring unopened, factory-sealed bottles of water. Guests may also bring empty beverage containers and use complimentary water filling stations located on the Lawn. Beverages and food will be available for purchase at concession stands located throughout Central Grounds, outside of the Lawn. Guests who need to leave the Lawn will get a hand stamp to reenter.

Q. Are balloons allowed at Final Exercises?

A. While balloons add a festive touch to celebrations, their presence can disrupt the procession down the Lawn, and obstruct the view for others, and lost balloons can create an environmental hazard. We strongly advise against graduates bringing balloons. 

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If graduates choose to bring them, they are asked to not release them into the air. Volunteers will be on the lower Lawn to collect balloons to donate to UVA Health Children’s. 

Balloons are prohibited in John Paul Jones Arena, all Intramural-Rec facilities, Newcomb Hall and Old Cabell Hall.

Q. What happens if it rains?

A. Final Exercises will take place outdoors on the Lawn if it is raining. The ceremony will only be moved to John Paul Jones Arena if it is deemed unsafe to be outdoors due to lightning, high winds or other dangerous conditions. 

Weather announcements will be made by 5:30 a.m. and communicated widely by email, on the UVA website and all UVA social media accounts. In the event of rain, graduates and guests are encouraged to wear rain gear. Umbrellas are allowed, but are discouraged because they obstruct the view of other guests. 

Q. Can I bring a bag to Final Exercises?

A. Bags are allowed at Final Exercises, but must be clear. Guests are allowed one clear plastic bag no larger than 12” by 6” by 12”. Small clutch purses no larger than 4.5” by 6.5” are allowed. Complimentary bag checks are available in Monroe Hall and at a tent on the East Range near Randall Hall, but space is limited at the bag check locations.

Q. When will the Final Exercises end?

A. We anticipate Final Exercises will end between 10:30 and 11 a.m. Department ceremonies will not begin until all guests have arrived from Final Exercises on the Lawn.

Media Contact

Jane Kelly

University News Senior Associate Office of University Communications