Graduation season, like a compass, is marked with a series of degrees. But the word “graduation” seems too, well, gradual for what actually happens when the campus blossoms with academic regalia, floral (and currency!) leis, and smiling relatives from all over the planet.
In these few weeks, UC Berkeley granted more than 10,000 degrees to its undergraduate and graduate students. Nearly 2,000 of you are now masters or doctors, and are deservedly jubilant. With nearly a hundred ceremonies taking place all over campus, caps and gowns and smiles were everywhere and the joy was infectious. While words can’t capture the radiant faces and colorful settings, pictures can begin to do so. The images in the slideshow below are from just a few of the many ceremonies that took place, but they capture the spirit and flavor the different days, places, and events all had in common.
Whether posing the new grad under Sather Gate or cheering wildly (or applauding decorously) as he or she walks the stage, families are an integral part of this time of year. This year, they seemed even more noticeable than usual. Students’ parents, students’ spouses and partners, students’ offspring, from babes in arms to fully grown — all came to be part of the events.
At one of the largest rituals — that of the College of Engineering — two family milestones took place with no special fanfare. Two EECS students who were married while they were in grad school here both reached the scholastic apex and received their Ph.D.s, individually but nearly simultaneously. (They’re profiled below.) And a bioengineering student received his own Ph.D. hood under the proud gaze of his father, who was onstage vested with the authority to confer degrees en masse, a role he occasionally plays by virtue of his office, as he is the executive vice chancellor and provost of the Berkeley campus.
It was touching, and it’s been that kind of season. Congratulations to every new degree recipient and all who shared in that achievement.
Have a great summer!
Andrew J. Szeri
Dean of the Graduate Division