Commencement activities

It is recommended that in-person commencement celebrations take place outdoors and are college or school-based activities. The following guidelines are consistent with the directives from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

  • Indoor commencement venues cannot exceed 30 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy, if applicable, or 500 persons (whichever is less).
  • Outdoor commencement venues cannot exceed 30 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy, if applicable, or 5,000 persons (whichever is less).
  • If no occupancy load is established by the authority having jurisdiction, a ratio of 40 square feet per person shall be used to determine occupancy limits. For example, an outdoor area with 100,000 square feet of accessible area has an occupancy limit of 2,500, of which no more than 30% (or 750 persons) is permitted for commencement.
  • Family groups of no more than 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors may sit together closer than 6 feet apart, but must be separated from other groups at least 10 feet apart, consistent with the total occupancy above.
  • Events involving the use of musical wind instruments or singing should include plans to cover the bells of instruments with cloth coverings and include screens for performers.

Beginning May 15, the following guidance takes effect:

  • It is recommended that in-person commencement celebrations take place outdoors and are college or school-based activities.
  • The total number of persons for indoor commencement venues cannot exceed the lesser of 50 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy, if applicable, or 1000 persons. The total number of persons for outdoor venues cannot exceed the lesser of 50 percent of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy, if applicable, or 5,000 persons.
  • If no occupancy load has been established by the authority having jurisdiction, a ratio of 40 square feet per person shall be used to determine occupancy limits. For example and outdoor area with 100,000 square feet of accessible area has an occupancy limit of 2,500, of which no more than 50 percent  1,250 persons – is permitted for commencement.
  • Family groups of no more than 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors may sit together closer than 6 feet apart, but must be separated from other groups my at least 6 feet consistent with the total occupancy above.

Events involving the use of musical wind instruments or singing should include plans to cover the bells instruments with cloth coverings and screens for performers.

Visit commencement.vcu.edu for information about planned Commencement activities.