The commencement ceremony is one of the most important moments in a student’s academic career—the conferral of a degree and the culmination of years of hard work. At UC San Diego, it is an exciting time for the students, their family and friends, and the campus—a time celebrated with all the pomp and circumstance, joy, and pride that the momentous achievement deserves.
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“I watched this class closely in the early days of the pandemic. I saw how you pivoted during an unimaginable situation; I saw you rise to meet every single challenge that presented itself. And here you are today, graduates of UC San Diego. You are the personification of persistence. You have set a new bar for excellence. And you are going to do amazing things in your lives.” — Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla
On Saturday and Sunday, June 13-14, UC San Diego celebrated over 7,800 graduates with ten in-person commencement ceremonies. The Class of 2021 received messages of adaptability and the notion of embracing change from Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, student speaker Francesca Hart, and co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Alicia Garza.
Commencement address: Alicia Garza ’02
Student speaker: Francesca Hart ’21
“I am always proud of our graduating class, but this year especially so. They have proven not only that they can adapt, but also that they can thrive under extenuating circumstances. Their incredible resilience and innovative problem-solving during the pandemic portend the positive changes they will make on our world in the years to come.” — Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla
On June 13, UC San Diego celebrated the Class of 2020 with an interactive, virtual commencement experience. A collection of talented students performed a mashup of the national anthem, student speakers gave short speeches to their peers and celebrated CBS journalist Bill Whitaker addressed the class with a message of congratulations and support. In keeping with campus tradition, all graduates shared in a virtual tassel-turning moment after the conferral of degrees by Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla.
Commencement address: Bill Whitaker
Student speaker: Jesús Alejandre Fernández ’20, Morgan Montoya ’20 and Alicia Y.C. Yancey ’20
- UC San Diego News: "Virtual Commencement Uses Creative Ways to Infuse University Tradition with Interactive Fun"
- Keynote Speaker: Bill Whitaker (Video)
- Student Speaker: Jesús Alejandre Fernández ’20 (Video)
- Student Speaker: Morgan Montoya ’20 (Video)
- Student Speaker: Alicia Y.C. Yancey ’20 (Video)
- Instagram: #UCSDgrad
“I hope you will each embrace the faith that every challenge surmounted by your energy; every problem solved by your wisdom; every soul awakened by your passion; and every barrier to justice brought down by your determination will ennoble your own lives, inspire others and explode outward the boundaries of what is achievable on this earth.” –Madeleine K. Albright
On June 15, UC San Diego celebrated over 9,300 students, who graduated from the campus this spring. This year’s All Campus Commencement included messages of tolerance and partnership from Chancellor Khosla, former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright, and student speaker Michaela Juels.
Commencement Address: Madeleine K. Albright
Student Speaker: Michaela Juels ’19
Messages of hope, perseverance, and giving back were delivered to thousands of members of UC San Diego’s Class of 2018 who gathered for All Campus Commencement. The campus’s next generation of groundbreakers heard from Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, graduating student Lucero Felicita Camarena, and alumna Kimberley Phillips Boehm.
“You are a generation that leads the way to making our environment more sustainable—how we live, love, and learn more diverse. You lead movements to make our democracy stronger and more equitable. You are more inventive, creative, and entrepreneurial than any other previous generation. Thank you for being leaders.”—Kimberley Phillips Boehm
Commencement Address: Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla
Alumna Address: Kimberley Phillips Boehm ’82
Student Speaker: Lucero Felicita Camarena ’18
“You have the opportunity to create a better world, a happier world,” said His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who delivered the keynote address to 25,000 UC San Diego graduates and their families on June 17, 2017, at All Campus Commencement. His message to graduates centered on the power of compassion, the importance of emotional knowledge, and the responsibility that younger generations have to make the world a better place.
Commencement Address: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
Student Speaker: Richard “Ricky” Flahive ’17
Keynote speaker and Nobel Prize laureate, Muhammad Yunus, challenged graduates to change the world for the better at the first UC San Diego All Campus Commencement since 2000. His message? Though the world may be rife with problems, each individual has the creative capacity to solve these problems in new and innovative ways.
Commencement Address: Muhammad Yunus
Undergraduate Student Speaker: Karina Mohajeranis ’16
Graduate Student Speaker: Alberto “Beto” Vasquez ’16