Duke University postpones commencement events for Class of 2020

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Duke University announced it is postponing commencement for the class of 2020.

The news came shortly after 11 additional members of the Duke community linked to the group who traveled abroad tested presumptive positive for COVID-19.

President of Duke University Vincent E. Price said Wednesday evening in a letter to students that "in light of the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the latest public health advisories on travel and large gatherings, we have made the very difficult but necessary decision to postpone commencement for the Class of 2020, including departmental ceremonies and other associated events."

Price said he is "resolutely committed to an in-person recognition of the Class of 2020" at some point.

"Commencement will surely take place, and here on campus," Price wrote. "And while we are still in the early stages of exploring possible dates and details of this ceremony, rest assured that it will reflect the indelible mark that this class has left on Duke. We also plan to send your diplomas later this spring."

He also said that comedian Ken Jeong, who was to deliver the commencement address on May 10, has "generously agreed to work with us on an online celebration to mark that moment-albeit remotely-while we await the opportunity to assemble with him in person."


Duke also announced Wednesday that courses would not give letter grades for the spring 2020 semester.

Instead, the University will transition to a satisfactory, unsatisfactory grading system. The policy does not apply to 500/600 level courses.

A grade above a C- or high will count as satisfactory.

Given the shift, the school will suspend the Dean's List for the spring 2020 semester.

For students who are interested in receiving a letter grade, students are asked to submit a form to the registrar's office no later than Sunday, April 22 at 5 p.m.
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