DOVER — Next month will mark Delaware State University’s first in-person graduation since 2019.
The university announced Monday that its plan for May’s commencement ceremonies has been approved by the state.
On May 7 and 8, the university will celebrate recent graduates. Because of the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic last spring, the class of 2021 will be joined by members of the class of 2020.
To stay in accordance with the state’s COVID-19 guidelines, DSU will hold six separate ceremonies, including a morning celebration for master’s and doctoral candidates May 7 and a full-day celebration for undergraduates May 8. All students in the spring classes of 2020 and 2021, including those who completed their studies in the summer and winter of 2020, are eligible.
All in attendance must show a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of the ceremony or provide proof of a completed coronavirus vaccination.
Attendees will be checked by a temperature screening upon arrival, and masks must be properly worn at all times while on campus.
Each ceremony will combine video and live presentations. There will also be a few surprise guests.
“There is nothing more central to what we do — or more important — than ensuring that our students complete their degrees and are prepared to pursue their wildest dreams,” DSU President Dr. Tony Allen said in a statement.
The ceremonies for the School of Graduate, Adult and Extended Studies (master’s and doctorates) will kick off at 10 a.m. May 7 at the Tubman-Laws Hall Courtyard.
The following day’s events for undergrads will begin at 9 a.m., with the College of Agriculture, Science and Technology at the Tubman-Laws Hall Courtyard and the College of Humanities, Education and Social Science at Alumni Stadium. Ceremonies for the College of Business will start at 1 at Alumni Stadium and at the same time at Tubman-Laws Hall Courtyard for the College of Health & Behavioral Sciences.
Spring 2020 graduates will walk at Alumni Stadium at 4 p.m. May 8.
Each graduate will be allotted two tickets for their commencement. All six ceremonies will be livestreamed on the university’s YouTube site.
“I’m excited. For the last four years my dream was to see my parents watching me march across the stage,” 2020-21 Mr. DSU Christian Chapman said in a statement. “Thinking that this was going to be virtual was breaking my heart, but now that we are going (to hold the ceremony outside) and in the open, I couldn’t be more ecstatic.”
Dr. Harry L. Williams, CEO and president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and a former president of Delaware State University, will deliver the commencement address. During the program, the Board of Trustees will also confer the president emeritus title to Dr. Williams, who headed DSU from 2010-17.