June 18, 2024

UMW Graduates Class of 2021

Class of 2021 graduate Makayla Ferrell was among the 1,181 UMW graduates who participated in Commencement last week after completing their final year of college in a global pandemic. Photo by Melissa Waller Photography.

Class of 2021 graduate Makayla Ferrell was among the 1,181 UMW graduates who participated in Commencement last week after completing their final year of college in a global pandemic. Photo by Melissa Waller Photography.

The University of Mary Washington conferred degrees upon a total of 1,181 students during its 110th commencement last week. For the first time, UMW held six different ceremonies for Class of 2021 undergraduate and graduate students on Saturday and Sunday, May 8 and 9. In addition, the University had three ceremonies for the Class of 2020, which were held on Thursday and Friday, May 6 and 7.

The University awarded 13 Master of Geospatial Analysis degrees, 20 Master of Business Administration degrees, 75 Master of Education degrees, 38 Master of Science in Elementary Education degrees, 446 Bachelor of Arts degrees, 502 Bachelor of Science degrees, 39 Bachelor of Liberal Studies degrees and 48 Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.

All degrees will be officially conferred on May 17, 2021. We regret any errors that may inadvertently appear in this listing. Read more. 

UMW Pivots for COVID-Era Commencements

The University of Mary Washington will hold nine separate in-person Commencement ceremonies for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 over the course of four days, May 6 to 9. Photo by Norm Shafer.

The University of Mary Washington will hold nine separate in-person Commencement ceremonies for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 over the course of four days, May 6 to 9. Photo by Norm Shafer.

Hannah Checkeye ’21 will cross the University of Mary Washington Commencement stage this weekend with more than she could have imagined when she came to campus four years ago.

She chose UMW because it gave her a pathway to pursue two passions: lacrosse and med school. Successful in both, she’s among a handful of students accepted into an early selection program at George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She’s just one example of UMW graduating seniors who are “Portraits of Perseverance,” having excelled in academics and extracurricular activities through a worldwide pandemic and turbulent times.

And COVID only enhanced her college experience.

With pandemic precautions in place, Checkeye is one of 1,100 graduates who will turn their tassels – ready to take on a world that’s already handed them test after test – during UMW’s in-person 2020 and 2021 Commencement festivities. The event will look different this year, with nine separate ceremonies over the course of four days, May 6 to 9. But, Checkeye said, “I’m still super excited to get to graduate in person!”

Visit the UMW Commencement Page for details and upcoming livestreams.

Pandemic-Era Commencement Holds A Number of Highlights

Jasmine Williams ’20 models her decorated mortarboard. Members of the Class of 2020 waited a year for their Commencement.

Jasmine Williams ’20 models her decorated mortarboard. Members of the Class of 2020 waited a year for their Commencement.

What a year … and 52 days! But who’s counting?

With University of Mary Washington Commencement ceremonies for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 taking place today through Sunday, we are.

When UMW paused in-person learning last spring, amid a growing pandemic, campus life as we knew it was thrown off kilter. Amid the disruption, Class of 2020 graduation plans were rescheduled, then put on hold. A robust MMDC (monitor, mask, distance and clean) campaign – and a gymnastics routine of face-to-face and virtual learning – brought students back to campus in the fall. But it’s been a long road.

Racial unrest and political angst swept the nation. Weekly emails from UMW’s “COVID-19 Implementation Team” told of fast-changing news: disease progression, vaccine availability and those hard-to-pin-down Commencement plans.

Now, with a web of socially distanced, guideline-adherent measures in place, Mary Washington presents the capstone activity for two extraordinary classes. Bring on the bagpipes, brightly colored honor cords, and decorated caps … and masks!

With everything else that’s been turned on its head, we’re flipping the number ’21, too. Here – in numerical order – are 12 things to know about one unconventional Commencement, broken into nine parts. Read more.