NOVA’s 2021 Virtual Commencement To Be Held May 5th, 6th, and 7th with Praise from State and National Officials

April 21, 2021

NOVA will be celebrating the great achievements of its students for the classes of 2020 and 2021. This year’s theme is ‘Believe, Aspire, Achieve.’ This event will be held across three days, and is slated for May 5th, May 6th and May 7th. In prioritizing the health and safety of students, their families, faculty and staff, NOVA’s upcoming graduation will be conducted in a series of online ceremonies for graduates of May 2021, December 2020 and May 2020. 

NOVA graduates tossing their caps in the airThe commencement will start with opening remarks from Anne M. Kress, president of NOVA; Dr. Donna Minich, college Marshall and college Senate chair; Ms. Rosaelena (Rosie) O'Neil, college board chair; Dr. Teba Aljumaili, associate dean and Daniel Christman, student representative to the NOVA college board.

Honorary speakers for the event will be U.S. Senator Mark R. Warner, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, U.S. Congressman Rob Wittman, U.S. Congressman Gerry Connolly, U.S. Congressman Don Beyer, U.S. Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni, Virginia Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw and Virginia House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn.

"As a NOVA alumnus, I am excited to help celebrate NOVA graduates in this upcoming commencement ceremony," said Atif Qarni, Secretary of Education of Virginia. "This has been a difficult year, but NOVA graduates have demonstrated incredible strength, dedication and tenacity as they have worked toward this important milestone."

The event will close with comments from Kelly Persons, executive director of the NOVA Educational Foundation. In addition, the NOVA Foundation will award six scholarships over the three days of commencement. The scholarships can be used for transfer to a 4-year institution or for completing a career studies certificate program. 

The NOVA Commencement will be recorded and closed-captioned for viewing purposes and will be made available on the NOVA website. The event will be facilitated by ‘Marching Order’, a visual service provider. For frequently asked questions, please visit the commencement link here. For questions about graduation, email For media questions, please contact Hoang Nguyen, public information officer, at

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