The Collegian
Friday, March 01, 2024

Ask Maddy: Graduation tears and tickets

Editor’s Note: Ask Maddy is an advice column published every Wednesday. Anonymous questions are taken from this Google form. Questions are also taken both from The Collegian’s Instagram, @thecollegianur and via email at The views and opinions expressed in this article do not reflect those of The Collegian.

Dear Maddy,

How do you stop yourself from crying when you think about graduation? Also, how many tickets do we get?

Dear reader,

Now personally, I am a crybaby — I literally cry at the drop of a hat — so I’m expecting graduation to be no different. Even this question made me shed a tear, but I still appreciate you asking all the same.

For those who don’t know, graduation at the University of Richmond is not like high school. It’s not just the final ceremony in the E. Claiborne Robins Center, but an array of customs and traditions leading up to it. If you haven’t already, be sure to save space on your calendar for May 5-7.

While the official 2023 schedule has not been released, many of the events from last year’s graduation will be continuing this year as part of tradition. Here’s what you need to know about graduation weekend (and the likelihood that you’ll shed a tear or two):

Receptions All Around

No matter what you’ve been involved in during your time on campus, there are receptions and celebrations for everyone to join. Whether it’s a visit to the Journalism Reception (I’m certain I will be packing tissues in my purse) or the late night Senior Celebration for all those graduating in The Forum, there is much to do on campus both Friday and Saturday..

The receptions come to a close with the Candlelight Ceremony, traditionally held at Westhampton Lake. I’m certain it’ll be a real tear-jerker.

Likelihood of tears: 4/10

Be Ready for Baccalaureate

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On Sunday morning, the day of graduation, baccalaureate is traditionally held in the Cannon Memorial Chapel. Baccalaureate is a multifaith worship service that recognizes the importance of graduation as a milestone, and all are welcome to attend. This is a great event to bring family members together before the big finish at the Robins Center.

Likelihood of tears: 6/10

Graduate Walk of Fame

Each year, just before the final event, undergraduates gather by the Gateway Village Courtyard for the Graduate Walk, one of the most nostalgic activities of the weekend. Starting around noon, all of the undergraduates, donning their caps, gowns and other regalia, take one last stroll through campus before crossing the finish line. The route starts on the Westhampton side of campus, moves through the Stern Quad and finally ends outside the Robins Center.

It may be a hike for some, but as a sentimentalist, don’t be surprised if you catch a tear or two from me.

LIkelihood of tears: 3/10

Commencement at Last

On Sunday afternoon, those graduating from the School of Arts and Sciences, the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business and the Jepson School of Leadership Studies will begin the commencement exercises. There are a number of aspects to keep in mind for the best ceremony:

  • If you would like to clarify your name pronunciation, call the Name Pronunciation Hotline at 804-287-6505.
  • Curious about how to wear your regalia? You can find a guide to what everyone is wearing here.
  • For those interested in nominating someone or yourself as a speaker at commencement, follow the link here
  • Finally, each graduate is eligible for up to seven graduation tickets, according to last year. More information will be available soon.

And finally, my likelihood of tears: 10/10

contact writer Madyson Fitzgerald at 

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