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December 2020 Update

The COVID-19 pandemic is once again necessitating a virtual commencement ceremony for the James Madison University Class of 2020, this time for students earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in December. 

The virtual ceremony will take place on Saturday, December 19 at 10 a.m. Additional information will soon be posted at

“While we would prefer to celebrate with you in person, based on the priority of health and safety of all those involved in the commencement ceremony and the governor’s current restrictions on large gatherings, we believe that this is a necessary and responsible decision,” President Jonathan R. Alger wrote in a letter to the December graduates.  

President Alger also congratulated the graduates on meeting their degree requirements, stating, “Given all that is happening around us, your perseverance toward this goal is impressive.” 

In addition to the ceremony, graduates will receive a special commencement gift. “This is our way of acknowledging your accomplishment and celebrating with you. We will also find ways to celebrate with you in the future as alumni of James Madison University,” Alger wrote. 

The university hopes to hold an in-person ceremony for all 2020 graduates should circumstances allow it. 

Information on graduation events at JMU can be found at


Media contact: Mary-Hope Vass,

Spring 2020 Update

JMU Further Postpones On-Campus Commencement Ceremony for Class of 2020

HARRISONBURG, Va. – James Madison University had hoped to host special on-campus commencement ceremonies August 7-8 to recognize and honor the class of 2020. After consulting with health officials regarding the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in compliance with Executive Order #67 prohibiting in-person public gatherings of more than 250 people (indoors or outdoors), the university has decided to further postpone these on-campus ceremonies.

The safety and health of graduates, their families and friends, and everyone in the JMU community continues to be the university’s guiding principle as administrators continue to make decisions based on the best information available. JMU is determined to host in-person ceremonies to celebrate the extraordinary and resilient Class of 2020; however, given the many uncertainties, the university will not be announcing a new date at this time.

The JMU Class of 2020 was officially conferred in a virtual ceremony in May and received a special gift in the mail from the university. The Class of 2020 consists of 4,508 students. The top three undergraduate majors are health sciences, interdisciplinary liberal studies and psychology. The top three graduate programs are education fifth year format (master of arts in teaching), master of education in special education and master’s degree in accounting.

For the latest news from JMU, please visit

Media contact: Caitlyn Read,

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