Duke University along with other area universities prepare for limited in-person graduations

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DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — For Duke University senior Jake Malone, it hasn’t sunk in yet.

“I think going into this semester. Really going into the fall. I didn’t have any expectations for graduation. I just kind of assumed that it wasn’t going to happen,” Malone said.

It is happening.

For the first time in more than a year, Duke University will have a limited in-person commencement at Wallace Wade Stadium.

“As we talked to our medical experts who guided all our decisions, we saw where the cases were in North Carolina and across the country. We believed we could have the graduates safely in Wallace Wade Stadium,” said Erin Kramer, Assistant Vice president of Media Relations & Public Affairs at Duke University.

Kramer said each graduate is allowed two guests. Everyone will be spaced out with assigned seating.

“[There will be] handwashing stations. Masking required. There are a lot of safety protocols,” Kramer mentioned.

While Malone said his family won’t be able to make it from San Diego, California, he’s looking forward to spending graduation weekend with friends.

“My girlfriend’s family is driving in and I’m so excited to see them and to have them for the weekend,” Malone said.

Duke University is not alone though. In the coming weeks, UNC is planning to have limited in-person commencement ceremonies.

NC State University and Shaw University will also do the same.

However, North Carolina Central University chose to not to have guests attend its ceremonies.

“I picked up my cap and gown today. It felt really real,” Malone said smiling.

Duke’s graduation will take place this Sunday morning.

College graduation plans around the Triangle

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