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Commencement ceremony for Class of 2020 to 'proceed as planned' in September, despite new COVID-19 restrictions

Weekend still 'subject to change on short notice if necessary'

<p>2018 Graduates of the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences pop champagne as the commencement draws to a close.&nbsp;</p>

2018 Graduates of the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences pop champagne as the commencement draws to a close. 

Duke will go forward with its plans to host a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 on Sept. 26 despite new COVID-19 restrictions.

The ceremony will be held on Abele Quad, Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for public affairs and government relations, told The Chronicle.

Schoenfeld wrote that graduates and guests are expected to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine prior to arrival and comply with all Duke policies at that time. 

“Our highest priority will always be health and safety and, like everything else at Duke, the schedule for the weekend is subject to change on short notice if necessary,” Schoenfeld wrote.

Actor and comedian Ken Jeong, Trinity ‘90, will deliver the commencement address at the ceremony, and Duke will confer a slate of honorary degrees.

The ceremony was announced in May. In his announcement, President Vincent Price offered members of the Class of 2020 complimentary tickets to a football game against the University of Kansas on Saturday, Sept. 25. 

“I know that your final year on campus did not end the way you would have hoped, and I am very grateful for your patience and flexibility throughout the pandemic,” Price wrote in May. “We are all looking forward to welcoming you back for a joyful celebration of your class on campus this fall.”

Duke reported 304 COVID-19 cases among undergraduate students from Aug. 23 to 29, as well as 45 among graduate students and 15 among employees. The University updated several of its COVID-19 policies Monday, which now include requiring indoor and outdoor masking, suspending indoor dining and allowing undergraduate professors to teach remotely for the next two weeks.


Nadia Bey | Managing Editor

Nadia Bey is a Trinity junior and managing editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.

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