Villanova’s Wonderful Virtual Graduation

It was, no doubt, a strange way to end four years of college for this year’s graduates. With formal commencement exercises canceled, Villanova put on a virtual graduation ceremony. And it was wonderful.

Here are some screenshots of the ceremony which was broadcast live yesterday afternoon.

The top photo is of our President, Father Peter Donohue, addressing an empty auditorium in the brand new John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts, which just opened this semester.

Here is Father Peter addressing this year’s graduates:

Once he had completed his remarks, the ceremony continued with images and video clips highlighting the past four years:

The Special Olympics:

Images highlighting learning:



and of course our National Championship!

The next part of the ceremony was the conferring of the degrees, by college. A few members of the Accounting Department had a Zoom watch party for the Commencement, since we are usually there in person to share in the celebration:

Father Peter giving a tip of the hat to the new graduates after awarding their degrees:

A highlight of the graduation ceremony each year is hearing 2,000 voices singing the Alma Mater. While that couldn’t be done this year, we had the next best thing, members of the various Nova singing groups getting together to sing the alma mater:

When that was over, Father Peter:

and all the Deans of the various colleges raised their glasses, from home, to offer their congratulations to the class of 2020.

A beautiful closing shot of what is the heart and soul of Villanova:

While some of the pomp and circumstance of an in-person graduation were missing, this virtual ceremony was a wonderful way to celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s grads.

I wish all of you the best.

If you would like to watch the ceremony, here is the link.

29 thoughts on “Villanova’s Wonderful Virtual Graduation

    1. I am sure they won’t forget it for a number of reasons. And it is not the America’s as being there together one last time with your fellow grads. I also missed offering my congrats to the students I had taught.

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  1. Seems like they did the best they could possibly do, and I’m sure the graduates appreciate it! I have a high school senior, and we’re still waiting to hear their plan. As an introvert who does not enjoy crowds or small talk, I have to say that I don’t mind the cancellation of some of these final events all that much (Shhh, don’t tell). However, I know the students and many other parents don’t feel the same way, and our graduates are definitely deserving of accolades for their efforts and accomplishments. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would think the graduates were happy with what the school put together. A few of us were wondering if the graduates really stood up when asked to do so 😀

      But I’m like you, I’m not a fan of crowds or small talk either, so this was a nice change of pace. The one thing I did miss was getting to congratulate the students in person.

      I hope your senior has a memorable graduation; that seems to be the group most affected by the school closures and the uncertainty of what will happen next.

      By the way, any plans for you to post a blog? I am sure your schedule has been quite hectic the past few months.

      Hope all is well!


  2. it looks like they did a beautiful and thoughtful job of this, under extreme circumstances. a wonderful gift to the graduates have worked so hard and earned this. now they will have this to look back at forever. well done, villanova –

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very thoughtful, very classy, very Villanova! Kudos to the executive and academic staff for making this as beautiful and memorable as any graduation can be under the unusual circumstances. My favorite was all the other Deans toasting the graduating class. Such a cool moment, that would likely not have happened at an in-person graduation. Fabulous post, Jim!

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  4. This is not bad at all, Jim. Certainly better than nothing at all although, perhaps, not quite the same as an in person graduation. I never went to mine. I studied through a correspondence university while working full time. There was a graduation ceremony but it was to far for me to travel alone at night. How did the students write their examinations?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why am I not surprised that you worked full time while going to university? As for exams, most of them were administered online, with some faculty requiring students be logged into Zoom while taking the exam.

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      1. I just wondered because the school has cancelled exams this term. I think they are worried about the boys cheating. In university now I think many examinations are open book. I never relied on that as who has time during an exam to look things up. My board exams were three 5 hour exams taken over three consecutive days. Exhausting!

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  5. Villanova did its graduates proud! Despite the virtual nature, the commencement reached out to each graduate with a message of hope and looking forward. It takes me back to my college graduation . . . way back in 1978.

    Liked by 2 people

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