Graduation Information

Madeira’s graduation will be on May 21, 2021.

Affirmation and Graduation

Affirmation: May 20, 2021 

Madeira’s Affirmation is held the evening before the traditional commencement ceremony. Seniors may choose to perform individually or as a group, offering their talents to family and friends, as well as the school community, before they graduate the following morning. Affirmation begins with a processional of the Class of 2021, and all seniors typically attend the event, regardless of whether they are performing. Delightfully surprising every year, this event affirms the talents of the class.  The Senior class Affirmation committee will be deciding the format for this event this year.  Details about the event will be updated as the committee decides on the format.


Graduation: May 21, 2021 10:30 AM E.D.T. 

As you might imagine, given the landscape of the COVID-19 virus, as well as current restrictions in place in the Commonwealth of Virginia, at this time we are not able to finalize a plan for the commencement ceremony. It is of course our goal to have an in-person graduation, even though we may need to modify the location and number of invited guests. If an in-person event proves untenable, we will have a virtual ceremony. We plan to communicate a final decision by mid-April.  Between now and May 21st, we will continue to provide you with updates and additional details regarding graduation. 

Graduation Attire

We require graduates to wear “paper white” formal attire with limited adornment that is suitable for the occasion. (We have fabric swatches at the AOD desk for your convenience. If you are not on campus, we suggest using a piece of white copy paper, which matches the color requirement.) No gloves, wreaths, hats or tiaras are allowed. We rely on families to provide counsel about tastefulness, and appropriate undergarments are required. Since the girls walk on a path through the woods, it is practical to have hems about two inches above the ground. White shoes of any style are required; bear in mind the terrain on our campus is not all paved, sometimes steep and potentially difficult to navigate in high heels. If you are planning to have an outfit altered or made, please bring a sample fabric swatch and pattern for approval before proceeding. 

Graduation attire must be approved by the executive assistant to the head of school, Ms. Hanifin (shanifin@madeira.org)Seniors must bring the actual attire to the Assistant to the Head of School by Friday, April 9, 2021 for this approval. 

Click here for additional graduation attire information and helpful resources. 

A number of Madeira alumnae have donated graduation dresses for those students who would like to borrow a pre-approved heirloom rather than purchase a dress. Information about this option will be shared with seniors throughout the year.  

Graduation Guest Assistance

Knowing that our beautiful campus is large and parts of it can be challenging to navigate, we provide special assistance, including golf cart transportation and/or aisle seating, to guests with mobility concerns. Information about requesting this assistance will be posted on this webpage in the spring. In addition, sign language interpretation during the graduation ceremony can be arranged if known in advance; let Ms. McGrory know as soon as possible if a guest would benefit from this service, no later than April 1. 

Rain Plan

We make every effort to hold graduation outdoors. However, if it is raining on graduation morning, a decision will be made to hold the ceremony in the Chapel/Auditorium, where space is limited. This decision will be announced in the early morning via our website and Blackboard Connect, our emergency alert system. 

If the ceremony is held in the Chapel/Auditorium, seating will be limitedMore details about rain tickets will be shared with seniors in early spring.  

Live Streaming

The commencement ceremony will be streamed live. We have partnered with a new, free streaming service, LocalLive, and online viewing will be available on the Madeira channel. To subscribe, visit https://locallive.tv/register/madeira 

The registration process is simple: you’ll be asked for your name and email address and then you’ll create a password. Once you have a password, you can login anytime by visiting locallive.tv and clicking the “Sign-In” link at the top right of the page. 

It’s easy. Watch on any device including laptops, tablets and smart phones. 

Graduation Accommodations

Please view the Where to Stay page of Madeira's website for options.


Parking for all events will be in the parking lots and the fields across from the Hurd Sports Center. Security staff will direct you; please follow their instructions.  Please plan to arrive in time to walk to your destination.

No driving will be allowed on the main part of campus from midnight until 1:00 p.m. on Friday, May 21.