Under near record-setting heat, and for the first time since 2019, students walked the Lawn and enjoyed the full ceremony there for Final Exercises for the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. The custom had been interrupted by the pandemic, but on Saturday, thousands of students, family members and spectators finally gathered for one of the University’s most endearing traditions. 

Here are the images from the procession and the ceremony, as well as the keynote address from Claudrena Harold, the Edward R. Stettinius Jr. Professor of History and department chair.

Final Exercises continue on Sunday for the rest of the schools, with Dr. Taison Bell serving as the keynote speaker. Photos by Erin Edgerton, Sanjay Suchak and Dan Addison.

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Colorful balloons frame the UVA Rotunda under clear, blue skies.
A graduating student gives two thumbs up, with two other students looking on.
Two graduating students carrying balloons walk toward Final Exercises.
Two graduating students carrying balloons walk down steps on the way to Final Exercises.
A student wearing a colorful sash and a graduation cap smiles a raises his hands.
The statue of Thomas Jefferson on the north side of the Rotunda is surrounded by brightly colored balloons as students head to Final Exercises.
A student excitedly waves to someone in the crowd.
A faculty member carries the University mace as the Class of 2022 begins the traditional walk across the Lawn.
Mylar balloons in the shape of animals and cartoon characters float behind students heading to Final Exercises.
Students wave to the crowd as they walk toward Old Cabell Hall.
A student’s mortar board is decorated to show he is a first-generation graduate.
Two students carrying bottled water and balloons walk past a cheering crowd.
A student’s family members hold large cardboard cutouts of their graduate’s face.
Thousands of graduates and spectators fill the Lawn in front of the Rotunda.
A student taking a selfie on her phone is surrounded by colorful balloons.
Two students embrace and cry at Final Exercises.
A woman wearing a sign accepts balloons from a student in the crowd.
Students seated in front of Old Cabell Hall listen to the graduation speakers.
The keynote speaker Claudrena Harold delivers remarks to the Class of 2022.
President Jim Ryan looks out over the thousands of students, families and friends at Final Exercises.
Two students jump up to cheer during the graduation speeches.

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Managing Editor University Communications