Stanford University Commencement 2021

Stanford University’s 130th Commencement weekend, June 12-13, 2021, occurred in two parts. Saturday’s Advanced Degree Commencement Ceremony featured a speech by physician and author Atul Gawande and Sunday’s Senior Class of 2021 Commencement Ceremony featured actress, writer and producer Issa Rae. Gawande spoke about the fantastical unpredictability of post-commencement life and advised the graduates to embrace whatever opportunities came their way. "In your formative years, you don’t know - you can’t know - what will ultimately matter to you; what will grab you by the shoulders and awaken you and stay with you," said Gawande. "So you have to be open to trying stuff - to saying yes." Rae reminisced about her own Stanford graduation and time on the Farm and described how friends, classmates and administrators had supported her creative journey. "Build and tap into your community," she advised the graduates.

Reflecting on the pandemic and the response to racial injustice in the last year, University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne said how proud he was of the graduates and that he hoped this year helped clarify what was truly important to them. "You have gained the knowledge and the skills to pursue a life that conforms with your values," said Tessier-Lavigne at Saturday’s event. "The strength and tenacity that have brought you through the last year will help you in that pursuit."

Issa Rae encourages the Class of 2021 to be a VIP in the club of life

Issa Rae, a writer, actor and producer known for her wit, wisdom and creativity, said the community she built at Stanford was the reason she was able to pursue her dreams.

Say yes to everything, Atul Gawande tells Stanford’s advanced degree graduates

Stanford graduate Atul Gawande, a Brigham and Women’s Hospital surgeon, Harvard professor and best-selling author, encouraged advanced degree recipients to be open to trying just about everything.

Celebrating Stanford’s Commencement Weekend 2021 in photos

The graduates of 2021 were feted by the university community, family and friends during the weekend’s Commencement ceremonies.

Wacky Walk at Stanford’s 2021 Commencement

Stanford’s 2021 Undergraduate Commencement began with Wacky Walk, the university’s nontraditional procession of graduates into Stanford Stadium.

"Joy is to be sought and treasured. Go forth and lead a life steeped in gratitude." Words to the Class of #Stanford2021 from @StanfordMed ’s Odette Harris, who became one of the first black female neurosurgery professors in America when she was promoted in 2018.

Stanford announces 2021 Cuthbertson, Dinkelspiel and Gores awards

Stanford has announced the winners of the 2021 Cuthbertson, Dinkelspiel and Gores awards honoring faculty, students and staff. The winners, including Cuthbertson awardees Jan Barker-Alexander and Thomas Fenner,  will be publicly recognized on June 13, during the Commencement ceremony for the Senior Class of 2021.

"Go out and change the world, we’ll be cheering you on." Words from Tara VanDerveer to the Class of #Stanford2021 . VanDerveer claimed the record for all-time wins by a women’s basketball coach in December 2020, during her 35th season leading @StanfordWBB.

"Growth is not always glamorous." @GirmayZahilay , ’09, to the Class of #Stanford2021

"Do your best to slow down." Words from one of the fastest distance runners in America to Stanford’s 2021 graduates. #Stanford2021 @sarahall3

"An essential element of a happy life is knowing your worth." Words from Yvette Lee Bowser, ’87, to the Class of #Stanford2021 . Bowser, showrunner for Dear White People and Run the World, is the first African American woman to have developed her own primetime series.

"I wasted so much time and energy feeling like I didn’t measure up. Invest instead in improving intangibles." Words from @JujuChangABC  to the Class of #Stanford2021 . Chang, ’87, is the first Korean American to have played a prominent role on a U.S. morning news show.

Stanford Graduate School of Business celebrates Class of 2021

Stanford GSB held a celebration to honor the Class of 2021 and their accomplishments on June 7.

An academic journey - accompanied by song

John Okhiulu, who grew up in the Oak Cliff neighborhood in Dallas, Texas, will graduate in June with bachelor’s degrees in African and African American studies and in human biology.

A campus family - Native students, aspiring vets and Viennese waltzers

Juliann "Juju" Hallum, who grew up in Bakersfield, California, will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in human biology from the School of Humanities and Sciences, and a master’s degree in laboratory animal science from the School of Medicine.

A first-year revelation sets the stage for the future

Trace Guzmán, who grew up in Texas, will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in management science and entertainment, and plans to move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in acting.

Twins distinguish themselves at Stanford - one rides waves, one rides trails

Jordan and Liam Llorin, who grew up near Baltimore, will graduate in June with bachelor’s degrees: Jordan with a bachelor’s in product design from the School of Engineering, and Liam with an individually designed major in engineering, titled Computer and Product Design. Jasmin Dalsgaard, an international student from Malaysia, will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in economics and will bid farewell to Branner Hall, the public service theme dorm she has called home for the last three years.

Reviving a vital part of student life - flowing fountains

Virginia Miller, who grew up on a horse farm on Vashon Island, Washington, will graduate in June with a bachelor’s degree in economics, with a minor in ethics and technology.

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