Stanford honors 2020 graduates with a virtual celebration

Stanford Talisman performed during the virtual graduation celebration.

During a virtual celebration on Sunday, June 14, in honor of the 2020 graduates, President Marc Tessier-Lavigne offered his congratulations to students and, speaking on behalf of the Stanford community, assured them that they are both resilient and essential to help address the unprecedented challenges facing our nation and world today.

“Even in the face of these uncertain and difficult times, I want to tell you today how confident we are in your ability to weather this storm,” he said.

The livestreamed event – which did not take the place of Stanford’s traditional Commencement ceremony – marked the end of spring quarter and the completion of degrees for undergraduate and graduate students. As of June 8, approximately 1,700 bachelor’s degrees, 2,400 master’s degrees and 1,100 doctoral degrees were to be awarded to 2020 graduates. In all, more than 14,000 viewers tuned in to celebrate the graduates’ achievements and recognize their contributions to the Stanford community.

“I admire your perseverance in getting to this important benchmark in your lives,” said Provost Persis Drell. “And I admire your commitment to Stanford’s founding purpose to work for the benefit of humanity.”

The celebration opened with a performance of Amazing Grace by Stanford student a cappella group Talisman, followed by remarks from graduate and undergraduate student leadership who reflected on the unprecedented circumstances into which they are graduating. They also noted the inspiring ways in which students have stepped up in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide demonstrations against anti-Black violence.

“We could have let the fear and uncertainty force us to recede,” said Jackson Eilers, one of the Senior Class presidents. “But instead, our fellow students saw the opportunity to lead in the community.”

Read the entire story in Stanford Report.