NEW LONDON, Conn. — The U.S. Coast Guard Academy announced that it is preparing to hold a virtual graduation ceremony on May 20 due to social distancing restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The graduating Class of 2020, along with the rest of the Academy Corps of Cadets, were on spring break when travel restrictions were imposed and were ordered to stay home. The Corps then shifted to virtual remote classes, which are ongoing.
During the virtual ceremony, Chad Wolf, the acting Department of Homeland Security secretary, is scheduled to deliver the keynote address. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz also will provide remarks.
“This decision was made in the best interest of the health and well-being of our entire academy family and our local community,” said Rear Adm. Bill Kelly, the academy’s superintendent.
“I’d like to thank our faculty and staff who have made it possible to graduate the Class of 2020 on time and deliver them to their duty stations prepared to serve our nation. The entire academy community has come together to match an unprecedented mission with unprecedented effort and innovation. I am enormously proud of them.”
The Class of 2020 is the largest graduating class with 258 cadets in the academy’s 144-year history as well as the largest class of women at 102.