Messages to the Community

Dear Members of the Class of 2020,

I write today with an update on plans to celebrate your Commencement.

I know how disappointing it was to hear that in-person celebrations would not be possible on their original dates. This pandemic has deprived you of the opportunity to bring your years as a W&L student to a fitting close with your friends and professors.

We are determined to make the best of this situation, as we all have had to do in so many other ways these past few months. In consultation with student leaders from both the undergraduate and law classes of 2020, a task force has assessed the options for virtual degree conferrals and rescheduled Commencement ceremonies on campus. This assessment included discussion with officials from the Lexington Chamber of Commerce and VMI to ensure adequate hotel availability on the selected dates.

Degrees will be conferred online at 10 a.m. EDT on May 8 for the Law Class of 2020, and at 1 p.m. EDT on May 28 for the Undergraduate Class of 2020. These virtual events will include greetings from faculty and staff, photos from students and, of course, the conferral of your individual degrees from Washington and Lee. We hope that you and your loved ones will join us online for these occasions.

Commencement ceremonies for the classes of 2020 will be held on the Front Lawn next spring. Law Commencement will take place on Saturday, April 3, 2021, and Undergraduate Commencement will take place on Sunday, May 23, 2021. We have selected weekend dates for these events in the hope that you and your families will be able to return to Lexington to participate. As more details become available, we will post them on the Class of 2020 Commencement website: commencement.wlu.edu.

Although these celebrations will be belated, we hope that they will be all the more memorable for being so unusual. We will do everything we can to make them a proper culmination to your years at W&L. It will be a joyful celebration indeed when you reunite for the first time on campus as alumni, and I look forward to being with you.

Will Dudley