DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University will celebrate more than 5,700 members of the Class of 2021 in coming weeks starting with an in-person ceremony for undergraduates in Wallace Wade Stadium Sunday, May 2.
Roughly 1,859 undergrads will be feted at the outdoor ceremony, a step toward normalcy after a one-year pause in 2020 due to COVID-19. Duke did not hold an in-person ceremony for last year’s Class of 2020 due to COVID-19 and university officials still plan to celebrate those graduates in person at a later date.
The May 2 ceremony is from 9-11 a.m.; each student is allowed two guests, who must have tickets to attend. All attendees are required to wear masks and follow social distancing measures. Duke will livestream the event at https://commencement.duke.edu/.
Singer-songwriter John Legend will deliver the undergraduate commencement address and will receive an honorary degree.
Duke President Vincent E. Price will also present honorary degrees to civil rights leader and activist Barbara Arnwine; Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing professor Jacquelyn Campbell; Harvard University professor of history and of African and African American Studies Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham; and former administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency William K. Reilly.
Duke senior Meghana Sai Iragavarapu, a Greensboro native and Robertson Scholar, will deliver the student commencement address.
Social media users can follow commencement and contribute to the conversation using the hashtag #Duke2021.
Other upcoming ceremonies include:
-- On Friday, April 30, at 4:30 p.m., Duke Chapel will present the traditional Baccalaureate Service online on its website. The service is interfaith and includes prayers, music and a Scripture reading. President Price will give the President's Reflection and Chapel Assistant Dean Bruce Puckett will deliver a sermon.
-- On Monday, May 3, at 9 a.m., the Pratt School of Engineering Master’s Programs students will celebrate in a private ceremony in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The event is not open to the public and will be livestreamed on the Duke Engineering YouTube channel.
-- On Wednesday, May 5 at 1 p.m., the Nicholas School of the Environment will celebrate its graduating professional and doctoral students in a ceremony at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Complementing the in-person ceremony will be a series of virtual recognition celebrations by program and department on Friday and Saturday.
-- On Wednesday, May 5, at 5 p.m., Duke Divinity School will hold a Graduation Celebration at Cameron Indoor Stadium for graduating students who are registered to attend. They event will feature music and reflections from graduating students as well as remarks by Dean L. Gregory Jones. The event is not open to the public but will be livestreamed.
-- On Friday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Graduate School will hold a drive-through celebration for graduating Ph.D. students. On Saturday, May 8, it will hold a virtual Ph.D. ceremony at 10 a.m. that will be streamed here. George Wright (Ph.D. ’77 History), the 2021 recipient of The Graduate School’s Distinguished Alumni Award, will speak to the graduating Ph.D. students as part of the virtual ceremony.
-- On Saturday, May 8 at 10 a.m., Dean Marion E. Broome will preside over, and ABSN student Duy-Tan Ngo will address, Duke University School of Nursing graduates at the School’s Hooding and Recognition Ceremony in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The event is not open to the public, but will be livestreamed on the school’s website.
-- On Saturday, May 8, the Duke University of School of Medicine will hold a small, outdoor ceremony on the Duke South Lawn to honor Spring 2021 health professions graduates.
-- On Saturday May 8, at 11 a.m., Duke Divinity School will hold Baccalaureate for the Class of 2020 after last year’s service was postponed due to the pandemic. The event will include the reading of the names of the 2020 graduates and an opportunity for students (who choose to purchase regalia) to be hooded, this year at home by a family member or friend. Dr. Edgardo Colón-Emeric, incoming dean, will preach the service. The event will be available via YouTube, but the link has not been announced yet.
-- On Saturday, May 8 at noon, the Fuqua School of Business Master in Quantitative Management: Health Analytics students will celebrate in a private online ceremony.
-- On Saturday May 8 at 3 p.m., Duke Divinity School will hold Baccalaureate for the Class of 2021 featuring the reading of the names of the 2021 graduates and an opportunity for students (who choose to purchase regalia) to be hooded, this year at home by a family member or friend. Dr. Edgardo Colón-Emeric, incoming dean, will preach the service. The event will be available via YouTube, but the link has not been announced yet.
-- On Saturday, May 15 at 2 p.m., The Fuqua School of Business Daytime MBA students will celebrate in a private ceremony in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The event is not open to the public and will be livestreamed on Fuqua’s YouTube channel.
-- On Saturday, May 22 at 10 a.m., The Fuqua School of Business MMS and MQM students will celebrate in a private ceremony in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The event is not open to the public and will be livestreamed on Fuqua’s YouTube channel.
-- On Thursday, June 3, at 7 p.m. (China Standard Time), the MMS:DKU students will celebrate in a hybrid ceremony on the Duke Kunshan University campus in China. Joe Wu (MBA 2004), founding partner at MFund, will deliver the commencement speech.
-- On Friday, May 7 at 2 p.m., Yuwen Liu, founder of BOHE Angel Fund, will address the Class of 2021 of Global Health, Medical Physics and iMEP programs at Duke Kunshan University in Kunshan. About 20 graduates of the Class of 2020 will also join the in-person ceremony, as due to the pandemic there was no in-person commencement ceremony last year. This event is not open to the public.
-- On Saturday, May 15 at 10 a.m., Theresa Newman (JD ’88), Charles S. Rhyne Clinical Professor of Law co-founder and co-director of the Duke Law School’s Wrongful Convictions Clinic, will address Law School graduates at their convocation ceremony. The event is not open to the public, but will be livestreamed on the law school’s YouTube channel.
Degrees to be conferred:
Duke will award degrees this commencement season to about 1,859 undergraduates and 4,040 graduate and professional students who finished their course work in September or December 2020, or this spring or in the first summer session of 2021. (Some academic programs will award degrees later this year as well.)
Among undergraduates receiving their degrees, 370 are from North Carolina.
The estimated degree breakdowns for the graduates are as follows:
-- Trinity College of Arts & Sciences -- B.A. 700; B.S. 734.
-- Pratt School of Engineering -- B.S.E. 278.
-- Nursing -- B.S.N. 147.
Graduate and professional degrees:
-- Duke Divinity School -- M.Div. 107; Th.M. 11; M.T.S. 40; M.A.C.P. 12; Th.D. 6; D.Min. 31.
-- Fuqua School of Business -- MBA 671; MSQM 192; M.M.S. 177.
-- Graduate School -- M.A. 197; M.S. 423; M.F.A. 16; M.A.T. 14; Ph.D. 376.
-- School of Law -- J.D. 251; LL.M. 54; S.J.D. 3.
-- Nicholas School of the Environment -- M.E.M. 147; M.F. 7.
-- Pratt School of Engineering -- M.Eng.M. 131; M.Eng. 76.
-- Sanford School of Public Policy -- M.I.D.P. 35; M.P.P. 75.
-- School of Medicine -- M.D. 113; M.H.S. 9; M.H.S.-R 58; D.P.T. 78; MBS 24; MMCI 42; MSBS 48.
-- School of Nursing -- M.S.N. 271; D.N.P. 98.
-- Duke Kunshan University -- M.S. 14; MEP 6; MMS 80.