Spring 2020 Commencement Update and FAQ

Update: Friday, May 15

Dear Class of 2020,

We are pleased to share that dates for a virtual Commencement celebration and an in-person Commencement ceremony have been set.

A virtual celebration will be held on Saturday, July 25, and an in-person ceremony has been scheduled for Sunday, December 13, at the Oakdale Theater in nearby Wallingford, Connecticut. (We should emphasize that the Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 will be separate from the Winter 2020 Commencement that is scheduled to be held on a different date in December.)

At this time, the priority of the Commencement Committee is ensuring all graduates receive their regalia – including caps, gowns, tassels, hoods for graduate students, and Latin honor cords – in advance of the virtual ceremony.

Next week, you will receive an email from the Commencement Committee with details on how you can order your regalia. You will also receive an email next week from GradImages – the partner we are working with to create our virtual celebration – with information about how you can submit a photo to be featured part of the program.

Like you, we are disappointed that we will not be able to gather this weekend for a traditional Commencement ceremony. We are committed, though, to hosting a virtual celebration that is befitting of all you have achieved and to gathering when it is safe to honor you and your limitless potential.

Please know how proud we are of each of you and, particularly, the resolve you have shown during your final semester. We know this was a challenging experience, but you should take great pride in how you have responded to the adversity you have faced.

The entire University community will be thinking of you on Sunday. We look forward to celebrating you during our virtual program in July and coming together with you in December to host a celebration that you richly deserve. Until then, we offer you our best wishes in all of your future endeavors.


Mario Gaboury, J.D., Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Rebecca Johnson, M.A.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

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Frequently Asked Questions About Spring 2020 Commencement
  • When will degrees be conferred and students officially be considered graduates?

    President Steven H. Kaplan, Ph.D., and the Board of Governors will officially confer degrees on the original Commencement date of May 17, 2020. Graduates should use this as their official date of completion.

  • How will I get my diploma?

    Diplomas will be mailed once final exams and degree audits are completed. Please note that diplomas are printed and signed on campus, and the timing for mailing diplomas will depend on when on-campus University operations resume. Students should confirm that their physical mailing address information in their Banner student record is up to date.

    To confirm a mailing address, students should view their degree application on SSB through myCharger. If an address needs to be corrected, please email assistant registrar Taritha Middleton at tmiddleton@newhaven.edu.

  • When will the in-person ceremonies be scheduled?

    The University will hold in-person Commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2020 on Sunday, December 13. The ceremony times and details will be provided early this fall. The December in-person Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 will be separate from the Winter 2020 Commencement that is scheduled to be held on a different date in December.

    A virtual celebration for the Class of 2020 will take place on Saturday, July 25. Students will receive an email from GradImages with their personal link to upload an image of their choice. Students’ images, their names, degrees and any earned honors will be shared as part of the virtual celebration. Students must opt-in to be included in this online presentation. Students should check their spam and junk folders if their do not see an email. Students who don’t receive an email by Friday, May 22, should email Commencement@newhaven.edu.

  • Will the other traditional graduation activities (Senior Week, Grad-A-Palooza, and Commencement Ball) typically held in advance of Commencement also be rescheduled?

    The feasibility of hosting these activities is being explored. Details will be forthcoming once they have been confirmed.

  • Can I have a cap and gown and my honor cords sent to me now for photos?

    The University will be sending the Class of 2020 caps, gowns, tassels, hoods for graduate students, and Latin honor cords, at no cost. All students registered for May commencement will receive an email from the Commencement Committee with a link to order their gowns by size. This information must be completed by June 12 in order to ensure that supplies can be appropriately packed and shipped to students to arrive in advance of the virtual ceremony. Regalia cannot be sent to students that do not provide this information. Only students on the registrar’s list of approved May graduates will be eligible to receive regalia at this time.

    Students who have qualified for one of the University experiential stoles will have the opportunity to order that directly from the bookstore in advance of the December in-person event. Students who are interested in receiving affinity stoles (Greek life or clubs or organizations) should reach out to the organizations’ respective presidents or advisers for further guidance on if or how those can be distributed.

    Please note that all students will need to bring their official regalia to the December event in order to participate in the procession and ceremony. No additional caps, gowns, hoods, or honor cords will be available on site.

  • How will I be notified about the virtual and in-person commencement ceremonies?

    Commencement participants will be notified via their student email. You should continue to monitor your University student email account after the completion of your coursework.

    Your student email address will remain active forever, provided you use it at least once per year. Microsoft will terminate any mailbox that is inactive for a year, and there is no way for the University to reactivate the account. If you experience any issues accessing your University email, please contact the student support office at studenttechsupport@newhaven.edu. Please have your student ID available to verify your identity when contacting support. For more information, visit the Office 365 page on the Student Support website.

  • Who can I contact for more information or with questions?

    Students and parents with questions can email commencement@newhaven.edu.