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Rain did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm at the University of Delaware’s second day of Commencement ceremonies honoring graduates in the Class of 2021.

Commencement Day 2

Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson and Evan Krape

UD celebrates 2021 graduates from colleges of Health Sciences, Education and Human Development, Lerner, and the Biden School

The University of Delaware celebrated hundreds of graduates on Saturday, May 29, the second of two days of Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2021 that are designed to honor academic achievement during a global coronavirus pandemic.

In the morning, graduates of the College of Health Sciences and College of Education and Human Development were honored. In the evening, the focus was on graduates of the Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics, and the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration. Both ceremonies were held in Delaware Stadium.

In one more sign of Blue Hen resilience, UD leaders, graduates, families, faculty and friends adapted to rainy circumstances Friday night and Saturday, and made each ceremony a success.

University officials rely on three sets of weather forecasts. Friday night's second Commencement session was shortened because of a clear threat of dangerous lightning. Graduates of each college were recognized as an entire class rather than walking individually across the platform. Saturday’s forecast — and then reality — was rain only. Thus, the only change in the Saturday programs was that graduating students checked in for the event inside Delaware Field House — and many put on rain ponchos. The ceremonies then proceeded as planned, with graduates crossing the platform as their names were called. In all of the sessions, the smiles were bright, wide and frequent.

UD graduates were full of joy despite the rain on Saturday, May 29, as they were honored for their academic achievement.

On Friday morning, the graduates in the College of Arts and Sciences were honored. In the evening, graduates from the colleges of Engineering, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and Earth, Ocean and Environment performed the ceremonial tossing of tassels.

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

UD President Dennis Assanis spoke to members of the Class of 2021 on Saturday, May 29.

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 wrap-up story about all of the Commencement activities.

Christopher Jentzch, who received his master’s degree in music on Friday, sang the national anthem before Saturday morning’s 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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