Stanford University
Graduates and Dean Graham procession

2021 Commencement

Photo by Andrew Brodhead

Congratulations to our 2021 graduates!

Steve Graham preparing for commencement
Dean Graham prepares for the procession at the 2021 commencement. (Photo credit: Andrew Brodhead)

A commencement message from the dean

In my youth I was a cave explorer. In entering a new cave, I didn’t know what lay ahead, what dangers, what pitfalls. Sometimes it involved miles of scrambling and crawling in isolation and total darkness other than the limited distance my headlamp would illuminate, trying to avoid dead-end passages, unsure if I’d find an exit to the bright sunlight.


We are all now emerging from the dark foreboding cave that has been the COVID-19 pandemic. You graduates have been resilient and have persevered in the face of new challenges, isolation, and uncertainty. Your experience over the last year and a half has been unlike that of any graduating cohort in Stanford Earth’s history! You have succeeded, you have triumphed over unprecedented adversity to achieve your academic goals.


You have broken into the sunlight, but the pandemic has changed the world in ways we do not yet fully understand. But as a result of what you’ve just experienced, you are armed with the skills and an understanding of the importance of perseverance that will allow you to face an uncertain future and make it your own. Congratulations! Stanford Earth is proud of you!

Advanced degrees ceremony

Undergraduate degree ceremony

We are Stanford Earth

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