RICHMOND, Va. -- Many colleges and universities across Central Virginia hosted commencement ceremonies over the weekend.
Virginia Commonwealth University
Caps and gowns filled the Richmond Coliseum as hundreds of VCU students walked across the stage on Saturday.
VCU alum turned Hollywood star, Boris Kodjoe, delivered the keynote speech to graduates.
“The fear of failure is real. But that’s where faith comes in,” Kodjoe said. “...Dear Class of 2018, I implore you, you must give yourself permission to fail in order to experience the privilege of success. There’s no success without failure because there’s no triumph without adversity, no diploma without a lesson learned. Have faith that when you fall and get up again, you will win.”
“You have been blessed with an education that has ensured your academic development and your social awareness, an education that has given you knowledge and ignited your curiosity of the world and all of its people beyond these grounds, an education that has nurtured your confidence, fortified your integrity and expanded your socially conscious mind,” he said. “I truly admire you, because you have met the divisiveness that has been festering amongst us and built bridges using language of empathy.”
Kodjoe was a standout tennis player at the school and a 1996 graduate of the university's school of business.
Virginia Union University
And just over 300 students at Virginia Union University received undergraduate degrees at Hovey Field on Saturday.
Actress, entrepreneur and philanthropist Keisha Knight Pulliam gave the commencement speech.
She is best known for her role as Rudy Huxtable on the Cosby show.
Richmond Bland College of William and Mary
And hundreds of graduates walked across the stage at statesman hall this afternoon at Richmond Bland College of William and Mary.
Gov. Northam delivered the commencement address as nearly 250 students earned their associate degrees.
Over 50 of those students graduated with honors.
Northam becomes the first governor to serve as commencement speaker at the college since 1969.
Virginia State University
Virginia State University hosted two graduations Sunday and the VSU Multipurpose Center was packed at both ceremonies.
Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax gave the commencement address at the first ceremony and Senator Mark Warner spoke at the second.
University of Richmond
Over 800 students over at the University of Richmond received their undergraduate degrees Sunday afternoon over at the Robins Center where former Gov. McAuliffe addressed the crowd.
And new this year, students who were the first in their families to attend college were recognized by wearing grey and silver tassels.