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Virginia Commonwealth University Annual Report 2019-2020

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Connecting virtually

Virtual commencement

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May Commencement was no ordinary event. Along with other universities across the U.S., VCU canceled its in-person ceremony amidst the pandemic. But the COVID-19 restrictions did not stop VCU from honoring its approximately 5,000 graduates — it was a virtual celebration.

The interactive platform recognized all of the spring’s degree recipients and included custom profiles for graduates who opted to create a slide for the celebration. Video messages from VCU President Michael Rao, Ph.D.; Gail Hackett, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs; the deans of each of VCU’s colleges and schools; and the VCU Alumni Association donned the site — and continued to live on and open to the public well after the ceremony. Other features included a video highlight reel to help the Class of 2020 relive some of the moments that marked their time at VCU; a hashtag campaign (#VCU2020) to engage friends and families; free virtual Commencement swag; and a coordinating keepsake Commencement program book mailed free of charge to graduates.

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