Class of 2020 welcomed back for commencement commemoration ceremony

September 20, 2021

University News

The University of Richmond celebrated Class of 2020 graduates, whose traditional commencement was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, through a weekend of events held Sept. 18-19 — including a commencement commemoration ceremony in the Robins Center Arena.  

The ceremony featured remarks from President Kevin Hallock and a recorded message from President Emeritus Ronald Crutcher. For the first time a student selected faculty speaker, historian and leadership studies professor Julian Hayter, addressed a graduating class. The keynote speaker was UR alum and NFL veteran Tim Hightower, director of alumni relations for the Washington Football Team, and the student speaker was 2020 graduate Lina Tori Jan, from Kabul, Afghanistan.

In his address to the class, President Hallock said: "You are extraordinary … You made it through the ups and downs of your rigorous Richmond academic studies. You finished your studies in a global pandemic; one we continue to endure. You have opened yourselves up, and you have made this moment. Take stock of that and be proud of it. We are proud of you. As you ride the next rounds of ups and downs on life’s journeys, remember that you are extraordinary and forever part of the Spider community."