UD postpones commencement, universities weigh graduation options

Delaware universities are still determining how to move forward with graduation details as coronavirus has shifted education to continue remotely for the rest of the semester.

University of Delaware announced Thursday that it would postpone its 2020 Commencement, originally scheduled for May 30. 

“We’ve had to take a series of responsible, yet drastic measures to keep our community safe and healthy,” President Dennis Assanis said in a prepared statement. “Unfortunately, this now means that we must postpone our plans for the traditional Commencement ceremony scheduled for May. Importantly, this is not a cancellation.” 

“We are committed to giving the amazing Class of 2020 a wonderful send-off in true Blue Hen style,” he added.

The university hasn’t determined a new date yet, but in a statement said that administration is working with student leaders and surveying class of 2020. 

UD is the latest of the higher education institutions to determine its commencement ceremonies would not go on as originally planned. 

Delaware State University announced last month that it would not hold a physical commencement this spring, but would opt for a virtual ceremony in May, in addition to a fall date to honor spring 2020 graduates.

In a letter, Wesley College President Robert Clark said the college is likewise planning an alternative/virtual commencement recognition ceremony in May, as well as a possible fall commencement. 

Wilmington University postponed its commencement ceremonies, and is looking at a tentative Sunday, Oct. 25 date.

“It was difficult to postpone commencement,” said Wilmington University President Dr. LaVerne Harmon in a prepared statement. “But the safety of everyone, including our graduates and their families, was foremost in our minds. Now that we have a tentative, new date, we’re delighted to plan a special celebration that honors students who have accomplished so much despite unprecedented circumstances. We will schedule the date definitively once statewide restrictions are lifted and remain through the fall.”

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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