Wake Forest Commencement 2020

A Message From President Nathan O. Hatch

The following message was sent to graduates of the class of 2020 on August 13.

President's Welcome

Dear graduates of the Class of 2020,

I hope this message finds you well — staying healthy and safe, and enjoying the next steps of your journey.

During this year of uncommon challenge, Wake Forest has made the health and safety of our community its primary focus. As you know, when we virtually conferred degrees upon the Class of 2020 in May, we hoped to hold an in-person commencement ceremony for the graduates in October. Because of the ongoing global pandemic and the continued risk of large gatherings, it is necessary to postpone the commencement ceremony until May 2021.

We know this is disappointing news for you and your families, and we truly wish this long anticipated day could be held as we envisioned. Though delayed, our community fervently wants to honor our graduates face-to-face, celebrate the significance of their achievements, and recognize the resilient spirit of the Class of 2020.

Wake Forest plans to hold the commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 22, 2021. Each graduate school will conduct its own hooding ceremony, and the undergraduate and graduate school commencement will take place outside on Hearn Plaza, weather and public health conditions permitting. Additional information regarding ticket distribution, registration and a schedule of events will be shared when it is available and posted on this site.

In addition to postponing commencement, we have also cancelled other fall traditions, including Family Weekend (Oct. 9-11) and Homecoming (Nov. 6-8). These decisions were not easy to make, but they are the necessary steps to keep our community as healthy as possible right now.

We appreciate your understanding and look forward to seeing you in May 2021. Until then, please stay healthy and safe.


Nathan O. Hatch

2021 Update

The updated Spring 2021 undergraduate calendar is available here [PDF].

  • Commencement for the Class of 2021 is scheduled for May 17.
  • Commencement for the Class of 2020 is scheduled for May 22.

As with everything during these uncertain times, these dates and how Commencement will be held are subject to change depending on evolving public health conditions.

More information will be shared as soon as it is available.