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Congratulations to the UC class of 2020!

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As President Napolitano said in her video message to 2020 graduates:

“You’ve embodied the word “extraordinary” through your exemplary achievements at the University of California, both inside and outside the classroom. You have worked so hard, sometimes overcoming great obstacles, in pursuit of your UC education, and you are graduating with your eyes open about the immense challenges we face as a society. No one can know what the future holds, but this much is certain: As UC graduates, I know you have the tenacity, skills and creativity to succeed and to lead us through this challenging moment.”

From inspiring video messages to a video-game-based virtual commencement to the university’s first “drive-thru” graduation festivities, we’re celebrating the newest graduates at campuses systemwide. Here’s how to participate and how to watch the festivities that have already taken place. You can also show your UC pride with downloadable celebratory social media assets and posters.

Upcoming celebrations 


UC Davis will hold several online commencement celebrations for graduates, beginning on June 10 with the School of Education Graduation. View the full schedule here. The main celebration takes place Friday, June 12 and will feature California Surgeon General Nadine Burke Harris and NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson, among others. Students can download a celebration kit with an array of digital and printable swag — from Zoom backgrounds to lawn signs and handheld props. Supporters are invited to share their pride on social media using the hashtag #DearUCDavisGrad. 


The Class of 2020 Virtual Commencement will take place on June 13, with school graduations beginning at 10:30 a.m. Registered graduates will receive a celebration box with cap, tassel, sign and license frame.

Los Angeles

UCLA’s many virtual commencement celebrations feature an array of notable speakers including Chair of the University of California Board of Regents John Pérez, actor and social justice activist George Takei and Yasmeen Lari, Pakistan’s first female architect. Students are invited to celebrate virtually and in person with help from the #UCLA2020 Commencement Celebration Kit.


UC Riverside’s virtual commencement will take place on June 14, beginning at 2 p.m. Students are invited to download Zoom backgrounds of favorite campus locations like the Pierce Lawn (JPG). Downloadable lawn signs are also available on the commencement website.

San Diego

UC San Diego’s Virtual Commencement 2020 will take place on June 13 beginning at 9 a.m. Students and guests can log in for tailored content and to access the virtual yearbook. Watch a message by student speaker Jesús Alejandre Fernández, download celebratory Zoom backgrounds and celebrate grads on social media using the hashtag #UCSDGrad.

Santa Barbara 

The Class of 2020 Virtual Celebration will take place on June 13, starting at 9 a.m. and will feature personalized graduate slides, remarks from academic leadership, a student speaker and a song by award-winning musician and distinguished alumnus Jack Johnson. Celebrate graduates on social media using the hashtag #UCSB2020.  

Santa Cruz

Virtual commencement ceremonies will take place on June 13 and 14 (see the schedule), taking into consideration feedback from student polls. All students who registered for commencement will receive a graduate gift box containing a diploma cover, Class of 2020 tassel, lapel pin, alumni tote bag, pen and a slug sticker. Friends and family can send a messages of support to UC Santa Cruz graduates on the class of 2020 website.

Past celebrations


Although UC Berkeley’s May 16 in-person celebration was canceled, a simulated commencement took place at Blockeley University, a model of UC Berkeley that was built by students and alumni in the video game, Minecraft. Watch a video of the virtual commencement, which includes remarks by Chancellor Carol Christ. Here’s more info about how Cal celebrated its graduates and a website where friends and family can share well-wishes.

Hastings Law

UC Hastings commencement was scheduled for May 11. On May 9, faculty, staff and fellow students issued a video message to inspire and celebrate 2020 graduates

Irvine Medical Center

The UC Irvine School of Medicine hosted a “drive-thru” commencement on May 30. Students and families attended and watched live speeches from the safety of their cars. Watch a video of the event.

Los Angeles Medical Center

Graduates of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA celebrated the class of 2020 on May 29. Watch a video of the virtual event, which featured remarks by Nadine Burke Harris, California’s first-ever surgeon general.


The UC Merced virtual commencement took place on May 16. Access the full Commencement Chronicle online, featuring remarks from Interim Chancellor Nathan Brostrom and a video of the virtual ceremony.

Riverside Medical Center

The UC Riverside School of Medicine commencement took place on May 29. View a video of the live-streamed event featuring Celtic music by the award-winning UCR Pipe Band and download the UC Riverside Medical School program (PDF).

San Diego Medical Center

UC San Diego Medical School celebrated graduates during a May 31 virtual commencement ceremony that featured Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha — the pediatrician and public health advocate who exposed the Flint, Michigan water crisis. View a video of the celebrations and download a program (PDF).

San Francisco 

The UCSF School of Medicine commencement took place on May 18. Watch the full celebration online and celebrate graduates on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #UCSFgrads. Check out a congratulatory Tweet from Speaker Pelosi!

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