Dear Fourth-Year Students:
I’m writing today to congratulate the Class of 2020 on the conferral of your respective degrees on Saturday, May 16. Information on how to view the proceedings may be found in a recent UVA Today article. As you know from President Ryan’s April 17 announcement, we are currently planning to walk the Lawn and conduct other aspects of the traditional UVA Final Exercises on October 9-11 (or, if conditions necessitate, May 28-30, 2021).
You have enjoyed many wonderful and, I hope, positive life changing experiences while an undergraduate student at the University. If you are like many UVA alumni, you will look back fondly on these years and hopefully return to your reunions in future years, to see old friends and reminisce on this special time in your life. At the same time, I also know you’ve experienced more than your share of adversity and challenge, most recently through the coronavirus pandemic that forced your classes online and caused a great many of you to return to your respective hometowns. I admire your resolve and resilience through all of this.
I know there are some of you who have remained in Charlottesville this spring for a variety of reasons. Others of you may be returning to Charlottesville in the coming days to move out of on- or off-Grounds residences. It is critical that you continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines and limit gatherings to 10 or fewer people, consistent with the Governor’s Executive Order 55. I know there will be a great temptation to gather with friends “one last time” before you head off to the next stage of your lives, which is understandable. However, like many aspects of our lives disrupted by the coronavirus, we cannot proceed as if circumstances were normal. I respectfully ask each of you to keep your health and the health of others with whom you may come into contact paramount in your thinking, and please continue to adhere to the social distancing and small gathering size limits that have contributed to lower than expected COVID-19 cases in our community. This is a small sacrifice to make given risks of doing otherwise.
I wish each of you the very best as you move forward from this special place and time in your lives. I hope to see you at Final Exercises and at future UVA Reunions.
With my best regards to you,
Allen W. Groves
University Dean of Students