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University of Delaware graduates were full of smiles Friday during the first of four ceremonies to honor the Class of 2021 at Delaware Stadium.

Commencement Day 1

Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson and Evan Krape

UD celebrates 2021 graduates from colleges of Arts and Sciences, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Engineering, and Earth, Ocean and Environment

The University of Delaware celebrated the most recent graduates from four of its colleges on Friday, May 28, the first of two days of Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2021 that are designed to honor academic achievement during a global coronavirus pandemic.

The graduates in the College of Arts and Sciences received their diplomas during a ceremony Friday morning at Delaware Stadium. In the evening, graduates from the colleges of Engineering, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Earth, Ocean and Environment performed the ceremonial tossing of tassels. The threat of lightning forced University officials to shorten the evening ceremony, with the graduates of each college recognized as an entire class rather than walking individually across the platform. Graduates will be recognized individually during each college’s convocation.

UD President Dennis Assanis spoke to members of the Class of 2021 on Friday, May 28. In the Friday evening ceremony, he asked the graduates to smile with him for a selfie.

Two more ceremonies are scheduled for Saturday, May 29, to honor members of the Class of 2021. In the morning, diplomas will be awarded to graduates in the College of Health Sciences and College of Education and Human Development. In the evening, diplomas will be awarded to graduates of the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, and the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration.

President Joe Biden, who graduated from UD in 1965, delivered a special video message to graduates that was recorded in the White House.

Throughout the 15-month pandemic, which has killed more than 590,000 people in the United States, UD leadership has put safety and health first. The requirement necessitated completely postponing Commencement events in 2020. With more people getting vaccinated everyday and health conditions improving, the University responded with Commencement events that are adapted to the circumstances and follow guidelines put forth by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State of Delaware.

To close Commencement weekend, the Class of 2020 will be honored in a special ceremony beginning at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 30, in Delaware Stadium.

Please see the UDaily story about the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony, which began UD’s Commencement Weekend on Thursday, May 27. The ceremony honored those earning doctorates in 2020 and 2021. Please check with UDaily next week for a wrapup story about all of the Commencement activities.

The Saturday-Sunday schedule of Commencement Weekend events is below, with all occurring at Delaware Stadium:

  • Saturday, May 29, 9 a.m. — Graduates of the colleges of Education and Human Development and Health Sciences

  • Saturday, May 29, 7 p.m. — Graduates of the Lerner College of Business and Economics, and the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration

  • Sunday, May 30, 10:30 a.m. — Class of 2020 Commencement Ceremony

All appropriate health and safety measures will be observed at the ceremonies. Everyone entering Delaware Stadium will be required to complete a COVID-19 health screening the day of the ceremony. The questionnaire is available at http://covidcheck.udel.edu/ or via a QR code that will be posted outside the stadium and that can be scanned with a smartphone. In addition, those in attendance will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing.

For more information about this year’s Commencement activities, visit the UD Commencement website, which includes a special Frequently Asked Questions section

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