Hello, Class of 2020. Our goal with Virtual Commencement was to produce an online event that would recognize your accomplishment, mark your transition, and evoke feelings graduates should feel at their graduation.
To provide this important transition required pre-recording all of today’s speeches ahead of time. Some of the speeches were recorded on the day before nationwide protests began. Before we begin today, I want to address what’s going on in our nation and how that relates to graduation day.
Today is the graduation you expected, but it’s not what you wanted. And yet, here we are. We have arrived at this moment in history—together—in disbelief and shock.
As we mourn the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many other Black neighbors, our country is facing a stark truth. Systemic racism and anti-blackness are pervasive in America. We simply cannot allow it to continue to happen.
We are at a tipping point, and this country needs your contribution to tip the balance to justice, once and for all. While here at UC San Diego, you were taught to be open, to listen, and to collaborate to solve problems.
Use these tools to speak up, peacefully protest, and create allies throughout our diverse community. Use them to act in the professional world… to invite diversity, celebrate differences, and work together to build better solutions.
UC San Diego is there with you in that effort. Our drive to create a campus climate of respect, fairness and cooperation is stronger than ever. Our focus to promote innovation and leadership by engaging the talents and abilities of everyone is tighter than ever. Our vision to achieve true excellence through productive relationships among people of diverse perspectives will not waiver.
To commence with that important work, you need to graduate today. You need to feel that sense of accomplishment. We need to celebrate your successful completion of a very long journey. With this in mind, we present Virtual Commencement 2020. Welcome to your Commencement.