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2020 Commencement Ceremony

Dear AUA 2020 Graduates,


In consultation with NJPAC and the Leadership Committee, and following very clear federal and state guidance regarding travel and public gatherings, AUA regrettably must cancel the 2020 commencement ceremony set for May 29, 2020.  To protect the health of our graduates, their families, alumni, and faculty and staff of AUA—our highest priority in the face of this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic— we cannot responsibly plan to bring over a thousand people to NJPAC for our commencement ceremony in May. We are working on alternate plans to allow our 2020 graduates a chance to celebrate their commencement in the future.  Although it is no substitute, we will, identify a way to celebrate our graduates.  This decision was not made lightly, but with the best interests of the AUA community and our students’ families and loved ones in mind.

Commencement is one of the most time-honored traditions in our society, and it is one of the most highly anticipated celebrations at AUA for students, their families and friends, but we cannot jeopardize the health of our students and their families by possible exposure to the highly contagious COVID-19 virus. At this time, we encourage families to honor their AUA graduate in small family celebrations.

We invite you to share your ideas and thoughts on alternative ways to safely recognize this occasion.  You may email us at [email protected]

Our cap and gown provider, Herff Jones, has confirmed that students will be able to receive full refunds for unused regalia. To request a refund students should visit  Diplomas will continue to be mailed directly to individual graduate students once all degree requirements are completed. Any questions about receiving your diploma should be sent to [email protected]

AUA fully understands how profoundly disappointing this news is for you and we share in your disappointment that this unprecedented health crisis has robbed everyone of this moment.


-Graduation Planning Committee


Overwhelmingly, respondents asked to have a virtual commencement ceremony, and we heard you. After much careful thought, we’re pleased to announce that AUA will host our first virtual Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2020 on Friday, June 12, 2020 at 2 PM ET.

All 2020 AUA Grads should get an email to sign up for the event.

All guests should sign up for the Facebook Live event here.

During the ceremony, members of the AUA graduating class, along with their friends and families, will gather online as AUA leadership recognizes them and confers their Doctor of Medicine degrees. The virtual ceremony will include remarks from AUA President Neal Simon, our executive deans, this year’s valedictorian, and our alumni speaker, as well as performances of the United States and Antigua national anthems.

We’re all extremely excited to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2020, and hope you are too! This is a moment to celebrate. We hope the Class of 2020 can look forward with confidence to the future.

Commencement Ceremony / Graduation FAQs

What is the AUA virtual commencement ceremony?
The AUA virtual commencement ceremony has many of the same components of a live ceremony, which you and your guests will view online on Friday, June 12, 2020. During the ceremony, your name will be shown on screen as a 2020 graduate.  A Virtual Commencement allows graduates, family, and friends to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2020. Although AUA has made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s in-person Commencement Ceremony, we are working diligently to put together a virtual experience to mark this special occasion.

How do I join the AUA virtual commencement ceremony?
The AUA virtual commencement ceremony will be on Friday, June 12 at 2pm ET. Grads will get an email with the specific login information. All other guests can sign up here.

What if I do not want to participate in the AUA virtual commencement ceremony?
All 2020 graduates are not required to participate in the virtual ceremony, but we do encourage you to.

What if I haven’t purchased a cap and gown yet?
Students can still purchase their AUA cap and gown online through our vendor Herff Jones Make sure you select American University of Antigua as other schools also begin with the name American University.  Site closes on May 6th at 11:59pm EST.

Do I need a cap and gown to participate in the AUA virtual commencement ceremony?
No, you do not need a cap and gown to participate in the AUA virtual commencement ceremony.

Will graduation requirements be adjusted in any way?
No, students are still required to meet all AUA graduation requirements (completed all clinical rotations and passed all USMLE Step exams) in order to be considered an AUA 2020 graduate during the virtual commencement ceremony.

Who can join in the virtual commencement ceremony?
Anyone can join in the AUA virtual commencement ceremony.  Only 2020 graduates who fulfilled all graduation requirements by May 8, 2020 will be shown on the screen as an AUA 2020 graduate.

When will I get my large diploma?
Large diplomas will be mailed to all 2020 graduates in late July.