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UD postpones class of 2020 graduation to next spring

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Christy Fleming
Christy Fleming
The managing editor of TownSquareDelaware.com, Christy Fleming also supports a variety of non-profit initiatives in Delaware. Her background includes positions in public relations, advertising and journalism.

University of Delaware held a virtual Blue Hen Celebration on May 30th for the class of 2020. The Twilight ceremony is a right of passage for all incoming freshmen.

The University of Delaware announced today that it is moving is Commencement and Convocation ceremonies for the class of 2020 to the spring of next year.

In a letter to students and families shared this afternoon, UD President Dennis Assanis said that the uncertainty of the growing Covid-19 pandemic and the expanded of quarantine restrictions left few viable options for Commencement activities to take place this summer.

Families have been asked to hold June 2 – 4, 2021 as dates the graduation of this year’s seniors, pending resolution of the pandemic.  Activities would immediately precede alumni weekend. 

 

In his letter, Assanis stated, “As we have continued to closely monitor the pandemic and the uncertainty ahead, we have decided to postpone Commencement and Convocation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 until the spring of 2021.”

He added, “I speak on behalf of the entire University faculty, staff and administration when I say how much we were hoping to reschedule our in-person graduation events for later this year… Regrettably, we have now come to the realization that it will not be feasible with current state guidelines and public health guidance pertaining to large gatherings.”

One major logistical hurdle was the fact that seniors who reside in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and other states who returned to Delaware for the graduation would have to quarantine at home following their in-person visit to Newark. Governors of those states recently signed executive orders requiring individuals traveling from Delaware to quarantine for 14 days. (Pennsylvania has issued a recommendation calling for quarantining Delaware travelers.)

 

With graduates, families, friends, faculty, staff and administrators, Assanis said a typical UD Commencement would attract some 20,000 people — well more than the 250 currently allowed (500 with an approved waiver) for in-person, outdoor gatherings in Delaware. Even the smallest Convocations involve more than 250 people, said Assanis.  

Administrators assessed timing, venue/space access, production logistics and necessary adherence to health and safety protocols and regulations before deciding to postpone the event.

The recent surge in cases in Delaware and neighboring states also played into the school’s decision. “Scheduling an event at this order of magnitude right now would be neither responsible nor allowable with the restrictions on travel and the size of gatherings… With crowds to gather, photos to capture and warm moments to celebrate, we would not want a UD Commencement to fall short of the meaningful and memorable experience it deserves to be,” he said.

The virtual Class of 2020 Blue Hen Celebration included hundreds of pictures of seniors over their four years at the school as well as a special message from fellow Blue Hen and movie star Aubrey Plaza

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Latest News

COVID cases decline; more than 200,0000 vaccines given; state continues testing

The state has created a way for people to report violations of the state's vaccine policy

UD ramps up restrictions designed keep COVID cases from continuing to climb

The university brought 4,000 students back to campus for spring and one of the new rules says they are not allowed to have visitors.

New program allows people to dine out and help raise money for Do More 24 campaign

Restaurants will offer specials, and a portion of the sales will be donated, but that portion will be paid by a sponsor.
- Thank you to our sponsor -
- Thank you to our sponsor -

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