University seniors reflect on losing last semester, traditional convocation

​University seniors are anxiously waiting to hear the final decision about their impending “postponed” graduation ceremony.

commencement postpone illustration
​University seniors are anxiously waiting to hear the final decision about their impending “postponed” graduation ceremony.

Contributing Reporter​

Whether seniors are stuck in their hometowns or their tiny off-campus apartments, every single one of them is anxiously waiting to hear the final decision about their impending “postponed” graduation ceremony.

University President Dennis Assanis has been extremely vocal during this time, trying to ease students and faculty through this transition. On April 2, Assanis sent an email addressing all seniors and discussed possible alternatives to the graduation ceremony. He addressed concerns from the students and attempted to reassure the community that they will find a way to celebrate.

“Please know we are in this together,” Assanis said. “We will navigate the way forward as a Blue Hen community to celebrate you, our newest group of world changers: the proud graduates of the University of Delaware.”

Assanis included a survey in the email for the seniors to take, so the university administration could use the feedback in making its final decision. There were many different alternatives brought up in the survey, including a virtual ceremony, a joint ceremony in 2021 with the next graduating class and a ceremony later in 2020 if it is deemed possible.

While some seniors are still on campus trying to adjust to online classes and keep themselves busy, many of them are once again back in their hometowns, confined in their houses with their families. Some students are devastated that they will not be able to have the celebration they deserve on top of already saying goodbye to their last spring semester of college.

“Losing our last semester was hard, but not having a celebration for what we’ve accomplished would be pretty disappointing,” Liam Wilczynski, a senior management information systems major, said.

There are also students who have packed up and already said goodbye to the university, possibly forever. However, these students still feel the effect of graduation being postponed or potentially cancelled.

Amanda DiFilippo, a senior English major, echoed this sentiment. “No matter what the alternative is, it’s not gonna be the same,” she said.

With the uncertainty of when this will all settle, students are not sure what the right alternative even is.

Seniors are all hoping that they can celebrate their achievement with friends, faculty and loved ones and commemorate their time at the university, even if it is not exactly the celebration they had anticipated.

In his previous letter to the seniors, Assanis states, “UD is the place where inspiration is born … where curiosity is triggered, minds are opened, hearts are warmed, and purpose is emboldened.”

In another message to the graduating class on April 16, Assanis thanked survey respondents for their input, calling the feedback a “perspective [that] continues to provide valuable guidance” as the administration makes their decision. An in-person celebration was noted as the preference for both participants and administration alike, but no promises were made apart from the expectation for an “updated plan later in June” and a possible “special online graduation tribute” in the next few weeks.

Regardless, the university seniors will be prepared to move forward into the next chapter of their lives, knowing what they have accomplished cannot be taken away from them.


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