NOTE: The Class of 2020 had two events: a virtual conferring of degrees in May of 2020 (see below for more information) and an in-person ceremony on Sept. 18, 2021.

In-Person Ceremony

President Hatch and a graduate shake hands.

“Hope in Troubled Times”

President Emeritus Nathan O. Hatch, who retired in June, was invited back to give the commencement address. Read the address »

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Virtual Conferring of Degrees

Originally aired May 18, 2020. Additional links: Facebook, YouTube and Youku.

Surprise (virtual) guests!

Hatch Addresses Graduates

In remarks titled “Before and After,” Wake Forest President Nathan O. Hatch considers the unprecedented times we are living in and how students are uniquely equipped to face the challenges of today and those still to come. More »

A Message From President Nathan O. Hatch

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

President Nathan O. Hatch

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 Hatch signature

Nathan O. Hatch



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