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 actor, 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.”

Go to the web site to view the video.

Video by Kurt Hickman

On Sunday, Stanford University conferred 1,436 bachelor’s degrees to students representing 57 countries. The Commencement address to the Senior Class of 2021 was delivered by writer, actor and producer Issa Rae, ’07.

Go to the web site to view the video.

Video by Farrin Abbott and Kurt Hickman

On Saturday, University President Marc Tessier-Lavigne conferred 2,171 master’s degrees and 1,103 doctoral degrees at the Commencement ceremony for advanced degree recipients, which featured an address by surgeon, writer and public health leader Dr. Atul Gawande, ’87.

Full-length videos of the 2021 Commencement ceremonies are available on the Stanford YouTube channel:

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.

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.

Stanford Law School celebrates the Class of 2021

On June 12, 2021, 209 graduating Stanford Law School students celebrated their accomplishments and each other in person at Stanford Stadium or remotely through Zoom.

Stanford education students close the book on a year like no other

The Stanford GSE community reflects on the complications and unexpected innovations of the pandemic year.

Medical school’s graduates recall a momentous year

Speakers at the Stanford School of Medicine 2021 virtual graduation ceremony looked back at a year dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing awareness of racial injustice.

Stanford Earth graduates: Make your own future

Graduates of the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences have the skills and knowledge to persevere in the face of new challenges and uncertainty, according to Dean Stephan Graham.

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.

In the Spotlight: Outstanding graduates of the Class of 2021

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.

Exploring public service on campus and overseas

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.