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William & Mary to have Dr. Fauci speak at in-person graduation for Class of 2020

At the celebration during Homecoming, William & Mary will have Dr. Fauci virtually speak to students who have had several milestone moments changed by the pandemic.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — Infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci has been invited to speak at an in-person graduation ceremony for William & Mary's Class of 2020.

That group of students -- like their peers in many colleges and universities across the country -- celebrated commencement virtually during the first waves of the coronavirus pandemic.

At the in-person celebration during Homecoming in October, William & Mary will have Fauci virtually speak to a group of students who have had several milestone moments changed by the pandemic. 

The university will also be giving Fauci an honorary Doctor of Science degree. His bachelor of arts in classics is from College of the Holy Cross, and Fauci earned his medical degree from Cornell.

William & Mary President Katherine Rowe said the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD) "exemplifies the value of service that runs so deep in our university."

"He’s a public servant, who studied classics before turning to medicine," she said. "This breadth serves him well as he helps our nation navigate the challenge of our time."

The university will also be giving honorary degrees to Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, an expert on biodiversity, and Donald Patten, a former rector of William & Mary.

The commencement ceremony will be held on Oct. 10 at the Williamsburg campus.