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Kean to Host In-Person Commencement Ceremonies for Class of 2020

The grad caps say it, its a beautiful day to graduate

Kean University will host a series of in-person commencement ceremonies on its Union campus later this month to celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of the Class of 2020 amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The ceremonies, which will run throughout the week of July 27 at Alumni Stadium, will give more than 3,000 undergraduates and nearly 700 graduate students the chance to cross the stage and be recognized in front of family and friends.

Lamont O. Repollet, Ed.D., will address graduates for the first time since becoming president of the University on July 1.

“The Class of 2020 is an amazing group of students who overcame unprecedented challenges in their final year at Kean,” Repollet said. “We know students often dream of walking across that stage at graduation, and we were determined to make it happen for this class. We are thrilled to honor them in person and celebrate their success.”

In May, the Class of 2020 was the University’s first class to participate in a virtual commencement with personalized videos, a virtual tassel turn and speeches from special guests like Whoopi Goldberg, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and Martin Luther King III.

While thousands of graduates and their families joined in the virtual experience from their backyards and living rooms, many students said they were missing the chance to cross the stage live and be recognized.

“Our students are resilient and have overcome great odds to achieve their degrees,” said Ada Morell ’97, chair of the Kean Board of Trustees. “Instead of having one commencement ceremony, this class will get to celebrate twice, which is fitting for all they have achieved to get here.”

To comply with state regulations, each in-person ceremony will be limited to 150 graduates and two guests per graduate. Graduates will be assigned to their ceremony based on the University’s seven colleges. 

Everyone inside the stadium will be required to wear a mask and maintain social distancing at all times to help ensure the safety of the graduates, their guests and Kean staff.

Each ceremony will be streamed online so friends and family can view it remotely as well.