President’s Posts

Michael Rao, Ph.D.

Dear VCU Class of 2020,

Because of state and federal orders prohibiting large gatherings, I am sorry we cannot honor you in person at commencement next month. Nonetheless, I want you to know how proud we are of you. You have contributed significantly to VCU’s profile as a nationally premier and nationally renowned university that is focused on humanity’s greatest challenges—one of which we are facing together right now. Even though COVID-19 means we are doing our work in different places and different ways, my confidence is unwavering because humanity’s future is in your good hands.

That is why we want to do everything we can—even in these unusual times—to honor and celebrate your accomplishments. Beginning at 10 a.m. on May 8, VCU will host a virtual commencement celebration where your deans, provost, and community will join me in honoring you and conferring your degrees. We also invite you to personalize this celebration by sharing your VCU memories, photos, and accomplishments with us and your fellow graduates, and we will provide you a keepsake copy of your commencement program.

You will receive an email tomorrow from with more information and more-specific details about what we can all look forward to during the commencement celebration.

None of us know what is next for Virginia or our world, nor when we can return to a sense of normalcy at VCU. But what is certain is that the unprecedented steps we have taken together have helped others and strengthened us. And that is the soul of our mission: to use what we know, what we discover, and what we create to make life better everywhere for everyone.

We look forward to celebrating the many ways in which you make that mission real. We look forward to celebrating your commitment and persistence. We look forward to celebrating you.

I hope to see you virtually on May 8.


Michael Rao, Ph.D.
VCU and VCU Health System

Categories News, Periodic update, To VCU
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