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Students celebrating at Commencement

Past Ceremonies

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, pride and joy that the momentous achievement deserves.

Looking for photos of your graduate? Visit Grad Images to search by name, school and year.

Commencement 2023

“Our stories remind us that we are resilient, powerful and persistent. They remind us that sometimes we fail in order to succeed, that progress is never linear and detours are just a different way to get to where we want to go. What matters is the effort you make to get back up and keep pushing.” — Letzy Vargas ‘23

On Saturday, June 17, thousands of graduates lined up to take part in All Campus Commencement. The Class of 2023 received messages of perseverance and a sense of reassurance from Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, student speaker Letzy Vargas, and California Assembly speaker emeritus and UC Regent John A. Pérez.

Commencement address: John A. Pérez
Student speaker: Letzy Vargas ’23

Commencement 2022

On Saturday, June 11, Jessica Meir, alumna and PhD shared her insights with thousands of UC San Diego graduates as the keynote speaker for All Campus Commencement. Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla also called the Class of 2022 to action. “Your fellow humans and our planet need you right now. With issues like war, gun violence, mental health, systemic racism and climate change, there is much work to do. And these are not easy problems to solve; they require earnest effort, collaboration and time. You are the solution. You are the most capable generation in human history.”

Meir echoed Chancellor Khosla, noting that this generation genuinely cares for the environment, and that it is the responsibility of everyone to help sustain the earth. “Whether it is one of your priorities or not, you are dealing with the consequences of all those before you,” said Meir. “It is our duty as a temporary inhabitant of this brilliant, blue oasis in the solar system to cherish and to protect it.”

Commencement address: Jessica Meir, PhD ’09
Student speaker: Lucas Anthony Lima ’22

Commencement 2021

“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

Commencement 2020

“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 speakers: Jesús Alejandre Fernández ’20, Morgan Montoya ’20 and Alicia Y.C. Yancey ’20

Commencement 2019

“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

Commencement 2018

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

Commencement 2017

“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

Commencement 2016

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