Commencement and Celebration Plans for Classes of '20 and '21

Commencement and Celebration Plans for Classes of '20 and '21

Photo of a student graduating on the back of Bellarmine Hall

Beginning on May 15, Fairfield University will recognize graduates with both virtual Commencement ceremonies and in-person academic celebrations on Bellarmine Lawn through May 23.

Fairfield University will honor the achievements of the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021, both with virtual Commencement ceremonies and with in-person academic celebrations. President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, provosts, deans, and faculty will recognize graduates’ academic achievements by school and/or department at academic celebrations. 

All academic celebrations will take place on Bellarmine Lawn, rain or shine, with health and safety protocols in effect. Graduates may each invite two guests to attend.

Class of 2020

Graduate and Professional Studies:
The graduate and professional studies ceremonies will be virtual on Saturday, May 15 at 9:30 a.m.

In-person academic celebrations on Bellarmine Lawn for Class of 2020 undergraduates will take place on Saturday, May 22, at 9:30 a.m. for both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, and at 2 p.m. for both the Charles F. Dolan School of Business and the School of Engineering.

A special celebratory event for all members of the Class of 2020 will be scheduled during the University’s Fall Alumni & Family Weekend.

Class of 2021

The total number of degrees expected to be conferred are: 966 bachelor’s, 405 master’s, 23 sixth-year certificates, and 41 doctorates.

Graduate & Professional Studies:
On Sunday, May 16 at 9:30 a.m., Fairfield University will hold an in-person academic celebration for Class of 2021 graduate and professional studies students on Bellarmine Lawn.

Beginning on Monday, May 17, Fairfield will hold a series of in-person academic celebrations for Class of 2021 undergraduates, with College of Arts and Sciences celebrations at 9:30 a.m. and at 2 p.m.

In-person academic celebrations for undergraduates in the Charles F. Dolan School of Business will take place on Tuesday, May 18, at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

On Wednesday, May 19, the in-person celebration for undergraduates in the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies will be at 9:30 a.m., and the School of Engineering's academic celebration will be at 2 p.m. on May 19.

Virtual Commencement ceremonies to confer all Class of 2021 undergraduate and graduate degrees are scheduled for Sunday, May 23 at 9:30 a.m. 

This year’s speaker for the Class of 2021 undergraduate and graduate virtual ceremonies Judy Woodruff—the anchor and managing editor of PBS NewsHour—will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. A news veteran who has covered national and international news and politics for over four decades at NBC, CNN, and PBS, Woodruff has reported on every presidential election since Jimmy Carter, and has moderated numerous US presidential debates.

Starting in 1977, she served as the White House correspondent for NBC. Woodruff went on to be the chief Washington correspondent for the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour at PBS, as well as the anchor for PBS’ award-winning documentary series, Frontline with Judy Woodruff. She later served as an anchor and senior correspondent at CNN for 12 years before returning to PBS NewsHour, which she co-anchored with the late Gwen Ifill.

Woodruff is also a founding co-chair of the International Women’s Media Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting and encouraging women in journalism and communication industries worldwide. She serves on the board of trustees of the Freedom Forum, and is director of Public Radio International and the National Association to End Homelessness. She is recipient of the Poynter Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism and the Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists. Among many honors, she has received the News and Documentary Emmy, a CableACE Award for Best Newscaster, and the Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Media. Woodruff is the recipient of more than 25 honorary degrees. She is a graduate and trustee emerita of Duke University.

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