Frequently Asked Questions

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The Conferring of Degrees was broadcast via Facebook Live on Saturday, May 2, 2020, at 11 a.m. ( The video broadcast is visible even for those who don’t have a Facebook account.

This ceremony ensured that students’ degrees are official and that they can enter the job or graduate school market as holders of a college degree.

Roanoke College students finished their spring semester taking classes remotely due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The May 2, 2020 ceremony was broadcast via Facebook Live, and featured Roanoke College President Michael C. Maxey; Dr. Richard A. Smith, Vice President and Dean of the College; and The Rev. Christopher M.  Bowen, Timothy L. Pickle Dean of the Chapel. They were joined by the Roanoke College mascot, Rooney. 

During the ceremony, President Maxey spoke to students at length about the campus community’s resilience in the face of the pandemic.

“This virus has disrupted our lives but it cannot wreck our values or our spirits,” Maxey said. 

“It is not often we can claim that, ‘we are part of  history in the making,” Maxey said to the graduates watching online. “But, this degree conferral is history in the making. Its virtual format is historic. The last months are historic. The lack of your presence over the past months is historic. Moving to remote learning is historic. For all of those reasons and many more, you make history. In fact, you are creators of history in this moment.” Read all of Maxey's remarks

Diplomas were mailed to graduates, and President Maxey said he looks forward to hearing the graduates' names called and greeting them at the full commencement ceremony, on Saturday, May 1, 2021.

The Class of 2020 is comprised of 429 graduates from 30 states and 10 countries. Of the 429 graduates, 216 graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree, 133 finished with a Bachelor of Science degree and 80 earned Bachelor of Business Administration degrees. The five most popular majors of the class, in order, are business administration, psychology, communication studies, history and public health studies.

When can I get my cap and gown/can you mail me my cap and gown? We will be sending out an email in late September/early October to formally request gown sizing for the graduates of the Class of 2020; usually, we have regalia pick-up the day before the commencement ceremony, but many graduates noted in the survey that they wished to have their regalia sooner than at a rescheduled ceremony. Your regalia (cap, gown, hood, and tassel) as well as honor cords, if applicable, will be packaged up and sent out in late fall to your mailing address on record (an opportunity to update your address will be included in the form you receive for gown sizing). You will be responsible for bringing back your full regalia for the rescheduled May 1, 2021 commencement ceremony.

When will I receive my diploma? Diplomas were mailed to the home addresses of our graduates. If you did not receive your diploma, please contact the Registrar's Office at 540-375-2211. Diploma frames are available through the online Roanoke College Campus Store