UD postponing this year’s commencement to 2021

NEWARK — The University of Delaware is postponing its commencement for the Class of 2020 until the spring of 2021, university officials announced Tuesday.

“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. We have assessed timing, venue/space access, production logistics and, most importantly, necessary adherence to health and safety protocols and regulations,” UD President Dennis Assanis said in a letter to recent graduates. “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.”

He cited the number of graduates, family members, friends, faculty, staff and administration as posing issues with creating “an event this order of magnitude right now.”

“The numbers of positive COVID-19 cases have resurged in Delaware and nationally. 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 continued. “I am sure you are disappointed to hear this news, but please be assured that we have every intention of making this celebration of your academic achievement at UD a special one for you in 2021.”

The university is tentatively looking toward June 2-4 of next year. The university held a virtual Blue Hen Celebration on May 30 this year.

“We look forward to welcoming you back to the UD campus next spring during a time that will be truly celebratory for our entire Blue Hen alumni community,” he said. “Again, congratulations to you all – an exceptional class of graduates that is moving forward at an extraordinary time when the world needs compassionate leadership, inspired creativity, and unstoppable resilience to take on any challenge that comes your way.”

The postponement of the ceremony is among others. Wilmington University announced the university will also postpone its commencement originally rescheduled to Oct. 25.

“The safety of the more than 10,000 people we typically welcome to these ceremonies could be compromised,” President LaVerne Harmon said in a letter. “We remain committed to recognizing our graduates and will communicate a new date when more information becomes available.”

The news of postponed commencement ceremonies also comes on the heels of higher education institutions announcing their plans for the next academic year. UD, Delaware State University, Wesley College and Goldey-Beacom College plan to welcome their students back to campus this fall. Wilmington University and Delaware Technical Community College will hold their fall semesters online.