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VLS Commencement Ceremony

Villanova University 
Charles Widger School of Law 

May 15, 2021
11:00 a.m.
Campus Green

Given the most recent capacity guidelines from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, graduates are now allowed to have two guests at select events during Commencement Weekend. We that many students and families will choose to attend these events remotely, so we are also committed to providing a highly produced virtual option for anyone celebrating off campus.

The schedule for Villanova Law's 2021 Commencement Weekend is as follows:

Thursday, May 13
1:00 p.m. 
– Honors Convocation (in person, by invitation only, no guests)
Dean Mark Alexander and members of the Law School community will honor graduating students who have attained Latin Honors (Summa Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, or Cum Laude), will be inducted into the Order of the Coif or will receive selected commencement awards. This event takes place on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. in the Arthur M. Goldberg Commons. By invitation only. No guests. This event will be recorded.

Friday, May 14
10:30 a.m.
– Baccalaureate Mass* (Charles Widger School of Law graduates and two guests are invited to attend)

Saturday, May 15
11:00 a.m. – Charles Widger School of Law Commencement and Reception*

*Events will be livestreamed; no more than two guests permitted. No exceptions.

With this change, it is important to reinforce expectations for any guests in attendance. Regardless of whether an individual has been vaccinated, all graduates and guests must follow Villanova’s CARITAS Commitment, which includes wearing a mask and physical distancing at all times throughout the weekend. Additionally, while we are committed to providing a celebratory weekend, we anticipate we will not be able to meet our normal standards of guest hospitality, such as on-campus shuttle services and guest dining options, so please plan accordingly.

More details will be communicated in the coming weeks, and the latest information will soon available on the Commencement website. We are pleased we were able to make this change with the new guidance from the Commonwealth, and look forward to celebrating our graduates and their accomplishments this May.

NOTE: In the event of severe weather, there will be necessary adjustments made to the current schedule. Events would take place on the same scheduled day; however, time changes and/or further guest limitations may be necessary to accommodate indoor ceremonies. Those changes would be made, and the details shared, either the evening before or the morning of the events. 


Student Assembly

Beginning at 10:30 a.m., Graduates’ name cards will be available with staff volunteers at tables near the fountain in front of Alumni Hall. (#3 on map). Graduates must pick up their name card prior to line-up in order for their name to be called at the ceremony.

At 10:45 a.m., Graduates should report to the Graduate Assembly area along the walkway between St. Rita’s and Alumni Hall (#4 on the map) wearing your caps and gown (tassels to the right). Law School staff will be on hand to assist you in lining up.

There is no place in the Assembly Area or the Campus Green to leave personal items. Please leave these items with your guests or in a secured location.

Please wear shoes suitable for potentially uneven terrain (grass and cobblestones).


Graduate Procession and Seating

Graduates will line up at 10:50 am in a socially distanced and single-file line. The processional will begin at 11:00 a.m. Dean Centeno will lead the procession down the path into the Campus Green and continue to the graduate seating area. Staff floor marshals will direct you to your seats. Please do not skip seats and follow the guidance of the staff marshals.


Calling of the Names

Graduates will be called forward one row at a time. As your row is called forward, follow the directions of the Marshal to approach the stage. PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO BRING YOUR NAME CARD. The names of all graduates—attending in person or virtually—will be called, and in person graduates will walk across the stage when their name is called. When you approach the stage, graduates will scan your name card and then continue across the stage as your name is called. Staff will be on hand to assist. After you cross the stage, you will pick up your scroll (Note: Your actual diploma will be mailed home to you). Following safety guidance, we ask that you do not shake hands with the Deans when you cross the stage. You will then return to your seat as the rest of the graduates are called forward.

A professional photographer will take your photo when you exit the stage.



Immediately following the ceremony, all graduates, guests, faculty, and staff are invited to a reception on the Riley Ellipse (#5 on map) next to the Campus Green (#2 on map). Please see the Commencement map for more information. 

The Commencement Ceremony for the Charles Widger School of Law Class of 2021 will take place on the Campus Green. The Campus Green is in the center of Villanova University’s campus and will provide a beautiful setting for our outdoor ceremony. A reception, also on the Campus Green, will immediately follow the ceremony. Severe weather location will be the Finneran Pavilion. Please see the Commencement map for location and parking information.

Parking is available in lots S-4, S-5 and S-6 for the CWSL Commencement ceremony.  For those needing assistance, please use the Main Entrance.

You should have already registered for the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law Commencement ceremony, therefore, you may order your cap and gown through our partner, Herff-Jones. These items will be shipped at no cost. The deadline for order to be shipped is Sunday, April 18.

Parking will be in the law school garage, no parking passes are needed.

Guests with special needs who have a disability placard/plates may park closer on campus. These guest should use the Main Entrance off Ithan Avenue (please see the Commencement map) where public safety staff will direct you to the designated area for parking/drop-off. 

If you have chosen to attend the Commencement Ceremony in person, two digital guest tickets will be emailed to you in May. You will be responsible for distributing these tickets to your guests prior to the ceremony. More information regarding the passes will be sent to you as the date approaches.  

Graduation announcements and other commemorative items are available via Bartley Print Center. You can choose customizable printed announcements, which include personalized pictures and text. Announcements can be shipped to your home, office or student mailbox.



If you have specific questions, please email the Villanova Law 
Commencement 2021 - Thank you for wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance