Commencement for Class of 2020 set for May 2021 - Christopher Newport University


Class of 2020 sign on the Great Lawn

Commencement for Class of 2020 set for May 2021

On-campus celebration planned.

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Due to the ever-changing situation with COVID-19, our commencement plans have changed since this story was first posted in July 2020. For the most up-to-date information, please visit

Christopher Newport University will celebrate the graduation of the Class of 2020 at ceremonies on May 1-2 2021.

President Paul Trible announced the new commencement weekend in a message to the members of the class: “Historic circumstances require difficult decisions. We will honor you as you deserve to be honored, on the Great Lawn and in front of your classmates, faculty and families.”

The events will be both a joyous time shared with the entire Christopher Newport community and a one-year reunion for the Class of 2020.

“This is the best way to give the graduates the memorable celebration they have earned while protecting the safety of everyone in our community,” Trible said. The celebration will adhere to public health guidelines.

The university had planned to hold commencement October 9-11, but that is no longer possible. Phase 3 of Virginia’s plan to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 does not allow large public gatherings. Additionally, the October dates coincided with fall break which has now been canceled in order to finish on campus instruction before Thanksgiving.

The Class of 2020 includes 1,103 graduating seniors and 64 students who have earned graduate degrees.

Commencement for the Class of 2021 will be held as scheduled the following weekend, May 7-9.

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