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UD postpones May Commencement

Photo by Kathy F. Atkinson

Officials seek input on alternatives from graduating students

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and current restrictions on public gatherings, the University of Delaware will postpone its 2020 Commencement, originally scheduled on Saturday, May 30, in Delaware Stadium, along with associated Convocations and other ceremonies.

UD President Dennis Assanis made the announcement April 2 in a communication to all graduating students. In the email, he wrote, “We’ve had to take a series of responsible, yet drastic measures to keep our community safe and healthy. Unfortunately, this now means that we must postpone our plans for the traditional Commencement ceremony scheduled for May. Importantly, this is not a cancellation.”

Calling Commencement “perhaps my favorite day of the year,” Assanis added, “We are committed to giving the amazing Class of 2020 a wonderful send-off in true Blue Hen style.”

As the uncertainty of the pandemic situation continues to evolve, UD officials are weighing the multiple factors in staging an event as complex as Commencement to determine the best course ahead.

While discussions are already underway between administrators and select student leaders, Assanis is expanding that discussion via email to all students scheduled to receive a degree at this year’s Commencement. This communication seeks active input of all affected students, asking them  to share their thoughts in a special online survey to help the administration make an informed decision for Commencement planning ahead. Students were asked to complete the survey by April 9.

“This is your celebratory moment, and only with your input can we make it meaningful for you,” Assanis said in the email.

Thanking students for their kindness, patience and understanding during this time of crisis, Assanis concluded his message to them, saying, “We will navigate the way forward as a Blue Hen community to celebrate you, our newest group of world changers: the proud graduates of the University of Delaware.”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University asked its students to leave campus by March 17, extended spring break by a week and moved all courses online via remote learning when the spring semester resumed March 30.  Details about the University’s response to the pandemic are posted on UD’s special coronavirus website.

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