Richmond Home

Main Ceremony

Events are open to relatives and guests of the graduate. The number after each event location refers to the location key numbers shown on the campus map. The shaded areas on the map show parking adjacent to event locations.

Commencement exercises are expected to run from 2:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. for the undergraduate ceremony.

Friday, May 5

International Education Graduation Reception; Carol Weinstein International Center
3:00pm - 5:00pm

Senior Celebration; University Forum 
9:00pm - 1:00am
A casual, fun event for the entire family to celebrate with friends. With DJ music as a backdrop, under a tent on the University Forum introductions to friends are made, singing, dancing, and simply seeing each other creates anatmosphere of excitement to begin the Class of 2016 graduation weekend events. The dress is casual and comfortable.

Saturday, May 6

Richmond Scholars Graduation Breakfast; Westhampton Center Living Room
9:00am - 10:30am

Science Graduation Reception; Gottwald Atrium
1:30pm - 3:00pm

Jepson School Finale; Booker Hall
2:00pm - 4:00pm

Political Science Senior Reception; Garden of the Five Lions, Brown-Alley Room
2:00pm - 3:00pm

Arts and Sciences Graduation Reception; Alice Haynes Room
3:00pm - 5:00pm

Robins School of Business Senior Wine and Cheese; Queally Hall
4:00pm - 6:00pm

Latino America, Latino, and Iberian Studies/Languages, Literatures, and Cultures/International Studies/Geography Senior Reception; International Commons
5:00pm - 6:00pm

Office of Multicultural Affairs Senior Reception; Gottwald Atrium
6:00pm - 8:30pm

Candlelight Ceremony; University Forum
10:00pm - 10:30pm
The Candlelight Ceremony around Westhampton Lake is a tradition initiated by students to have an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate their four years in a simple, meaningful ceremony. Parents, families and friends observe from Boatwright Lawn, in front of and around the Tyler Haynes Commons while the graduates hold lighted candles surrounding Westhampton Lake. Over the years, this has been identified as one of the most commented upon ceremonies graduates often comment upon.

Sunday, May 7

Baccalaureate; The Robins Center
Graduates and their families are invited to this inter-religious celebration of the senior class, including student speakers and musicians.

Graduation Buffet; Heilman Dining Center
11:00am - 1:00pm

Main Commencement Ceremony; The Robins Center

Check-in Instructions
Sunday, May 7

Graduates Walk
Undergraduates assemble with classmates on the Westhampton Green to celebrate their graduation by walking together to the Commencement Ceremony in the Robins Center.

Graduates Check-in
All graduates for Commencement on Sunday are required to check in at the Weinstein Recreation and Wellness Center.

Assemble for Commencement
Degree candidates only, promptly in cap and gown. Please see Regalia for more information.

Commencement Speaker
2016 Speaker

Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Hunter-Gault has more than 40 years of experience in the media industry. She began her journalism career as a reporter for The New Yorker, worked as a news anchor for WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. and became the Harlem bureau chief for The New York Times.

Hunter-Gault joined NPR in 1997 after 20 years with PBS, where she worked as a national correspondent for “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.” She then joined CNN in 1999 where she worked as the network's chief correspondent in Africa and was awarded a Peabody for her coverage of the continent. Hunter-Gault returned to NPR in 2005 as a special correspondent.

Her numerous honors include two Emmy awards and two additional Peabody awards, including one for her work on "Apartheid's People," a “NewsHour” series about South African life during apartheid. 

Hunter-Gault is a sought-after public speaker, holds more than three dozen honorary degrees and is on the boards of The Committee to Protect Journalists, the Carter Center, the Peabody Board and Digital Promise Global.

She is the author of four books, most recently “Corrective Rape,” a book about violence against gay women in South Africa.


Convenient access to the commencement exercises is provided for those who are able to walk only short distances, have difficulty climbing steps, use a wheelchair, or are in need of special assistance.

Parking for disabled guests is located in the Millhiser Parking lot on the ambulatory level (track side) of the Robins Center. Police will be on hand to assist guests and make the appropriate arrangements.


Seating on the upper (ambulatory) level of the Robins Center is available for people with disabilities. One family member may sit with them in this reserved area. Other family members may sit directly behind them in non-handicapped seating. Handicapped seating will be marked by signage located on the seat. Guests in wheelchairs will have spaces available at the corner entrances on the upper (ambulatory) level with excellent visibility.

Please note that we do not provide wheelchairs for guests. Families and friends may rent wheelchairs from local establishments to be used while on campus. The following are provided as a courtesy:

RVA Medical Supply - (804) 543-7788


Closed captioning will be provided onscreen during Main, School of Law, and SPCS ceremonies.


Parking is free of charge. Please consider parking near the Robins Center before lunch and walking to the Heilman Dining Center. You will not have to worry about moving your vehicle or being caught in a traffic delay. Click here to view the Commencement parking map.