March 12, 2021

Dear Class of 2020,

Since your graduation from the University of Delaware last year, I hope you are doing well, staying healthy and enjoying this new chapter of your lives. As I have said, the Class of 2020 holds a special place in my heart because so many of us arrived at UD together in 2016, and I truly missed the opportunity to celebrate your accomplishments with you in person at Commencement last year.

When we had to postpone Commencement because of the COVID-19 pandemic, I promised that we would work to reschedule the ceremony as soon as it was safe to do so. As we all know, the pandemic has lasted far longer than any of us could have expected, but at this time, we are cautiously optimistic that an in-person Commencement ceremony, consistent with health guidelines, may be possible at the end of May for the Class of 2020.

This would be offered instead of the Alumni Weekend celebration we were planning for you, since Alumni Weekend will be virtual this year. We expect Alumni Weekend will resume in person in 2022.

Last year, you shared your opinions about Commencement via a survey. Based on that feedback, as well as the current status of the pandemic in Delaware, the University is exploring possible options to celebrate the Class of 2020. We are eager to know your likelihood of attending an in-person celebration. The possible options are:

  • An in-person Commencement ceremony: The entire Class of 2020 would be invited to gather at Delaware Stadium on Sunday, May 30. To maintain proper physical distance in the stadium, attendance would be limited to 23% of our stadium capacity, or about 4,100 people, in compliance with current CDC guidelines. The event would also be live streamed online.
  • A special Class of 2020 Reunion Celebration in 2022: Instead of an in-person ceremony this year, your class would enjoy special access and recognition at the next in-person Alumni Weekend in June 2022.

While an in-person ceremony is very possible in 2021, it is not guaranteed. The number of COVID-19 cases must be under control in our community, and the University will need to secure special permission from the state of Delaware for any large gatherings.

Please take a moment to complete this short survey by 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 16, to share your opinion on these possible options. [Note: A unique link was sent to each alumnus.]

We expect to provide an update on plans for the Class of 2020 celebration as soon as possible.

Thank you in advance for sharing your input. I sincerely hope that public health conditions will continue to improve in the weeks and months ahead so that we can gather in person and celebrate you, the amazing Class of 2020, in true Blue Hen style.


signature of President Dennis Assanis

Dennis Assanis

University of Delaware   •   Newark, DE   •