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Drew To Host Deferred 2020 Commencement

Seniors vote for deferment over virtual ceremony

March 2020 – The Drew University Class of 2020 will celebrate their graduation in a deferred ceremony.

Graduating students voted in a university survey offering either a deferred or virtual graduation, with a great majority favoring the former option.

Traditional Commencement exercises, originally planned to be held on campus May 9th, were cancelled as part of Drew’s measures to implement social distancing practices amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and in compliance with Governor Murphy’s executive order.

“We hope that this decision, based on student input, addresses the desires of our graduating students and relieves one particular important concern over the end of their time at Drew, especially in this difficult climate of uncertainty,” said Drew President MaryAnn Baenninger.

There was an overwhelming consensus on the preference for an on-campus experience, with 89 percent of students voting for a deferred ceremony.

The decision represents the vast majority of students, as 82 percent of soon-to-be graduates in the CLA, Theological School and Caspersen School of Graduate Studies voiced their opinions. While the ceremony will be deferred, graduates will still receive their degrees in May.

The desire for an in-person graduation was foreshadowed over the weekend as videos of several seniors holding a mock commencement ceremony before departing campus surfaced on social media.

We have tentatively scheduled the ceremony for Saturday, August 1, 2020. While we do hope we will be able to celebrate our graduates on this day, there are many factors unknown and out of our control. We will make a final determination about the viability of the August 1 date by June 1, 2020, which is our “drop dead” date for managing all of the logistics. We will communicate to all graduates on or about June 1, about whether we can move forward with an August 1 in person Commencement.

For the latest information regarding Drew’s response to the coronavirus, visit the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) resource site.

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