The global pandemic may have shuttered classrooms and forced a move to virtual learning with little warning, but there was no doubt that a traditional commencement ceremony would occur. It was just a matter of selecting a date.

But College leaders did not want the Class of 2020 to go without something special to celebrate the hard work the seniors accomplished to earn their undergraduate degrese. Chancellor Donna P. Henry decided to livestream a virtual commencement ceremony on May 9 at the same time the original event would have been held.

The virtual ceremony allowed Henry to confer degrees on the nearly 250 graduates so their proud families could watch from their own homes. It was a show of togetherness from afar.

Henry greeted the viewers from a podium set up in the campus library, a building that the Class of 2020 helped open with a Book Brigade four years ago.

“Commencement marks the close of the academic year,” she said. “It brings our broader community’ together to celebrate you and your achievements. Our broader ‘community’ includes each of you – our graduates. It includes our faculty and our staff who invest in you, who remember your individual gifts and talents, and who cherish the special bonds you have forged long after you have graduated.”

Henry said the broader community would still celebrate the occasion in person in October. She acknowledged the great sense of loss the global pandemic created. She said some of the Class of 2020 may have lost loved ones, neighbors, and friends during the pandemic. She expressed deep sympathies and said those loved ones would be proud of the achievements of the graduates.

“For the Class of 2020, I know you feel a great sense of loss over your final spring semester in College,” Henry said. “The loss of Cavapalooza, the spring theater productions and musical recitals, the undergraduate research presentations at NCUR or the American Chemical Society, your final Late Night Breakfast, the scent of freshly mowed grass lingering on campus, and the sight of newly planted flowers in our beautiful gardens.”

Henry said she knows the sense of loss they have of final hurrahs with friends and the loss of final words of wisdom, encouragement and appreciation spoken between teacher and student. It was a collective loss.

“But, there is a silver lining,” she said. “It’s called character. Character has poured into our virtual classrooms. Character lights up this campus even while you are away. It’s palpable. It comes in the form of patience, generosity, perseverance, resilience, strength, and unity.”

She urged the Class of 2020 to be extra proud of what they have accomplished this year. She also invited the graduates and their loved ones to attend the Oct. 4 commencement.

Mason Phillips, the Student Government Association president, also addressed the graduates. Phillips said the class had more than its fair share of struggles during the pandemic, but each had an opportunity to shine.

“However, you persevered, Phillips said. “You stayed connected with your classmates and professors, you continued to grind through your classes when they were converted to an online format, and you kept your spirits high even when we were all removed from our normal routine. With all of this adversity, it would’ve been very easy to quit. But you didn’t. You made it.

Interim Provost Mark Clark presented the Class of 2020 to Chancellor Henry so she would confer the degrees.

“Wherever it is you may be, I hope you will move your tassel from the right to the left,” Henry said. “You have now completed a major milestone in your life’s journey and we are thrilled to have set the path and joined you on your journey.”

CLASS OF 2020

VIRGINIA

Abingdon

Michael John Grennell
Nolan Leonard
Katie Laura Nunley
Courtney Paige Tucker
Sarah Kaitlyn Tucker
Alexandria
William David Boyle
Catherine H. Dina
Elsa Lina Girardo
William Boone Pendergraph

Annandale

Alejandro M. Tremols
Appalachia
Kaylee Rhea Austin
Melanie Renea Morris
Anthony Michael Wertz

Atkins

Tehya Nicole Faith Terrell

Bassett

Yesid Antonio Mosquera Perea

Berryville

Jordon Matthew Turner

Big Rock

Haley Elizabeth Belcher

Big Stone Gap

Ronald Allen
Jacop Barnett
Raechel Denise Clark
MaKenzie Katherine Dickenson
David Clayton Goodman
Justin Matthew Lovell
Dylan Thomas Mabe
Christol Estrella Norris
Jonathan Chase Robbins
Jordan Tyler Young

Blackwater

Breanna Michelle Napier

Blue Ridge

Ashley Marie Wells

Boykins

Michael Lee Adams

Bridgewater

Morgan Milligan

Bristol

Lane Scott Kealey
Daniel Isaac Laughlin

Bristow

Muntsier Adil Sharfi

Bumpass

Kendall Victoria Morse

Castlewood

Lauren Brooke Carico
Melodie Breane Kiser
Dalton Scott Mullins
Jeremiah Caleb Statzer

Cedar Bluff

Joseph Michael McNulty

Centreville

Gregory James Duncan
Diana Ofoshua Koduah

Chesapeake

Maria Nicole Smith

Clinchco

Tyler Shane Owens

Clintwood

Logan Stuart Baker
Rashelle Paige Barton
Chloe Madison Maleah Hayes
Walter Jacob Hill
Chandler Blake Mullins
Daniel Wayne Mullins
Kayla McKenzie Mullins
Gary “Trey” Duane Rose
Amber Danielle Stanley
Kendra Brydie Mae Stanley
Sabrina Danielle Stanley

Coeburn

Abigail Barry
Isabella Faith Branham
Patrick Andrew Brooks
Schyler Bryant
McKenzie Clay
Savannah Alyssa Crewe
Patrick Wayne Deel
Hurley Alexander Hamm
Sarah Helbert
Faith Jackson
Hayley Brooke McCarty
Kayla LeeAnn Mullins
Emily Palmer
Hannah Elizabeth Smith
Brittany Paige Stapleton
Maurice John Thompson Jr.

Culpeper

Bryce Lynn Harty

Danville

Rachel Nicole Burchette

Dry Fork

Katie Elizabeth Pritchett

Dryden

McKayla Rae Benson
Mary Abigail Willis

Duffield

Savannah Brooke Bowen
Carli Cheyenne Cassell
Amanda Paige Dockery
Victoria Lewis
Jonathan Alex McNew
Luke Alan Rhoton
Jennifer Ann Roberts
Lauren E. Tankersley

Elliston

Jessica Dawn Apgar

Fairfax

Mary Ibukunola Akinosi

Farmville

Ajavious Deo’Vante Watkins

Floyd

Evan Paxton Davis

Fort Blackmore

Olivia Katherine Green

Fredericksburg

Christopher Pritchett

Front Royal

Scott Timothy Foor

Gate City

Olivia Brooke Baker
Colton Lee Deaderick
Devon Chase McConnell
Emily Dawn Williams
Glade Spring
Ciaran M. Wheatley

Glen Allen

Marcus Shemar Tarrer

Goodview

David Lee Thomas III

Grundy

Brittany Leeann Blankenship
Maverick Tilden Coleman
William Trace Hughes
Khrista MacKenzie Moïse

Hampton

Tajh Ny’rec Eason

Haysi

Adriana Faith Coleman
Valerie Grace Edwards
Kasey S. Rife
Telena Marie Turner
Hayden Cody Allen Woods

Henrico

Malik Haggai Pearson

Hillsville

William Dale Farmer

Hiltons

Christopher Nathaniel James Lewis
Brianna Vada Rife

Honaker

Maggie Iris Chafin
Harley Jade Hess
Madeline Emily Alexis Parks
Shauna RaeAnn Peck
Kiana Hope Roman

Hopewell

Tyler Bowen Smith

Hurley

Carey C. Brown
Michael Reed Justice

Jonesville

Savannah Cochran
Charna Nicole Davis

Keokee

Nikeshia J. Bolling

King George

Alexis Sierra Sheehan

Lebanon

Emily Anne Helton
Makayela Nichole Johnson
Trevor Austin Owens
John William Stamper
Taylor Rose Woodlief

Leesburg

Ciara Rae Kain

Locust Grove

Matthew Morton Boshears

Manassas

Dezmon Hopkins

Marion

Deanna Lee Jackson
Ashley Mae Woolridge

Martinsville

Courtney MeShea Younger

Maxie

Dustin Cain Stiltner

Meadows of Dan

Kathryn Mikaela Rice

Mouth of Wilso
Joshua Richard Zippy Zolton Rasimowicz

Newsport News

Skyler Steven Kuehnel

Nickelsville

Alyssa Janell Ferguson
Jordon Michelle Matlock
Christopher Sean Parks
Alisha Dawn Taylor
North Tazewell
Matthew Luke Presley

Norton

James Winston Adams II
Jonathan Kevin Lawrence Blackwell
Tannor Cates
Dylan Blake Dockery
Vallen Elizabeth Ellis
Nathan Fields
Brittany Nichole Hall
Austin Blake Johnson
Margo Lewis
Dakota Lee Messer
Alyssa Danielle Vipperman
Nathan Andrew Ward
Pennington Gap
Kelly Elizabeth Long
Cody Shepard
Jordan Shepard
Jared Nathaniel Webb

Pound

Carrie LeAnne Barnett
Chase Kelton Brock
Christopher A. Burke
Olivia Grace Fast
Kendra Shae Gilmore
Lakota James Dillard Ison-Crisp
Sadra Marie Owens

Pounding Mill

Bethany Hope Smith

Prince George

Audrey Kaylen Armstrong

Purcellville

Paige Amanda Blackford

Richlands

Landon Gregory Mance

Richmond

Obumneme Eric Okenchi
Lauren Sue Williams

Rose Hill

Addison Noelle Rouse

Rosedale

Marshall Seth McGlothlin

Saint Paul

Joshua Edward Fox
Kalyn Jani Purtee
Courtney Faith Welch

Saltville

Kristopher Wade Kestner

Springfield

Matthew Stephen Vaughn

Stafford

Devante L. Purvis

Staunton

Chance Lee Sheffey
Casey Brent Taylor

Suffolk

Cole Andrew Bailey
Jonathan Calvin Bailey

Unionville

Kelsey Lynn Snow

Vansant

Sarah Grace Boyd
Troy Anthony Colley

Vienna

Julia Hoy

Virginia Beach

Samuel Mark Eger
Briana Elizabeth Kerr
Thomas Allan Noble
Tristin Dean Sellers
Cynita Michelle Webb

Weber City

John Avery Fansler
Kyra Cheyene Jessee
Matti-Jo Morgan Spivey

Windsor

Morgan E. Lancaster

Wise

Nathaniel Kyle Aguirre
Alex Ryan Cantrell
Hannah Faith Colley
Cole Dickenson
Katherine Rebekah Dotten
Daniel Bryce England
Dustin Allen Miller Fields
Christina Marie Fleming
Jarrod Logan Lee Gardner
Haley Elizabeth Isbell
Austin James-Lee Laney
Emily Joy Livingston
Tre Michael Mullins
Perenelle Ada Quinn
Alyssa Lauren Shell
Mallory Paige Shell
Clinton Presley Solomon
Travis Clayton McKaulley Stanley
Dennis Jordan Trosper
Terrance Sawyer Turner
Jeremy Lee Vanover
Drew Elgen Williams

Woodford

Dylan Matthew Luttrell

Wytheville

Joshua William Waller

TENNESSEE

Kingsport

Matthew David Medlin

Rockvale

Aya J. Melhem

KENTUCKY

Jenkins

Aron Bartley
Melissa Dawn Bartley

Virgie

Allison McKenzie Salyer

Whitesburg

Richard Kirk Banks
Zane Anthony Blair

NORTH CAROLINA

Seagrove

Dawson Clarence Cagle

ALABAMA

Deatsville

Gabriel Joseph Wurtz

FLORIDA

Lakeland

Collin Michael Fields

GEORGIA

Suwanee

Daryian James Basco

TEXAS

Grand Prairie

Marquis Dae’Shawn Braimer

GUATEMALA
Tristan Collin Pecerrelli