Mason adds in-person graduation options for 2021 and 2020 graduates

A Student Wearing Graduation Cap

Dear Patriot,

We are delighted to invite the Spring 2021 graduating class and all 2020 graduates to the Fairfax Campus to celebrate in-person graduation recognition events during the week of May 10.  Graduates may choose one of two in-person options, and their family and friends are also invited to attend.

The official University Commencement will be held virtually at 2 p.m. EDT Friday, May 14, and all 2021 graduates are encouraged to participate. Commencement will be live-streamed and the link will be posted on the graduation website at  In addition, these new in-person events are opportunities for you to celebrate your academic accomplishments while still adhering to COVID-related health restrictions.

So that Mason can accommodate as many graduates as possible, you may select either the Patriot Procession or the Mini Ceremony.  Registration is required to participate in either event.  All doctoral candidates and graduates please see the information below for the Doctoral event on May 14.

Option one:  The Patriot Procession is a unique opportunity for graduates, doctoral candidates, and their guests to celebrate this tremendous achievement together in a very personal way. The Patriot Procession will take place at the soccer stadium on the Fairfax Campus. Graduates choose a preferred time and may bring up to 8 guests.  Graduates will have their moment on stage and their name will be announced.  They will have several photo opportunities that will conclude with a photograph with their family and friends.  Wearing your graduation regalia is encouraged but not required.  Registration is required and will remain open as long as time slots are available.  The Patriot Procession will be ongoing during the week of May 10, with the schedule posted at

Option two: Mini ceremonies offered by each of Mason’s academic colleges for the Spring 2021 graduates will take place outside EagleBank Arena. In addition, 2020 graduates will have their own celebratory mini ceremony on May 14.  Those who participate in the mini ceremony are required to wear graduation regalia. Graduates may bring up to three guests, who will be seated with them. These one-hour ceremonies will include brief congratulatory remarks followed by the reading of graduates’ names as they cross the stage and are photographed. There will be no formal procession or recession during mini ceremonies.  Registration is required and will close at 5 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 16.  Once registration is closed, a finalized schedule will be announced and graduates who have registered will receive an email with instructions on how to claim their tickets. A tentative schedule will be posted soon that lists the dates by college/school/event, along with  information to rent regalia,  at

REGISTER for the Patriot Procession or Mini Ceremony at

Doctoral Ceremony: Spring 2021 Doctoral candidates and all 2020 Doctoral graduates are invited to participate together in a live, university-wide event where their names and degrees will be announced on the morning of Friday, May 14.  Based on current public health guidelines, hooding of doctoral candidates will not be part of the ceremony.  Each graduate may invite up to three guests. Please indicate your desire to participate by completing the registration form by 5 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 16.  The ceremony details will be finalized at that time and you will receive an email with instructions to claim your tickets. If you are a doctoral candidate, please register for the doctoral ceremony and not your academic unit’s mini ceremony, however you may register for the Patriot Procession if you choose.

REGISTER for the Doctoral Ceremony at

All events will take place rain or shine.

All events will follow current Virginia public health guidelines and will include social distancing. Face coverings are required to be worn at all times while on campus, except when photographs are being taken at the Patriot Procession or Mini Ceremonies. All graduates and their guests are required to complete the Mason COVID Health Check on the day of the event and must be prepared to show their green health check confirmation email to be admitted to their respective events.   All attendees, including graduates, must show their ticket for admittance to comply with contact tracing protocols.

Go to for all the latest information or contact University Events ( with any questions.  We look forward to celebrating your academic achievements!


Mark R. Ginsberg, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President

Rose Pascarell
Vice President, University Life

Posted in Letter from VP, Official University Communications.