Dear Graduate Student Community,

What a year it has been! 

As I write this, commencement ceremonies are happening all over campus. It is always a moving time for me to see many of you celebrate how much you have accomplished. This is truly a spectacular achievement. Berkeley conferred more than 4,000 master’s and professional degrees and nearly 800 doctoral degrees this year. We are so excited to see the great things that you will do and hope that you can take time to enjoy this important moment. Congratulations from all of us in the Graduate Division!

For those of you completing your doctoral degree, you may be eligible for the Future of Higher Education Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. This two-year fellowship seeks applications by May 24 from those who have interest in learning more about higher education administration.

All of the commencements I attended included students calling for an end to the violence in Palestine. I know many students, staff, and faculty have lost loved ones, and others are horrified by the killing of an estimated 35,000 Palestinians, most of whom were women and children. If you are struggling during these challenging times, remember there are mental health resources available to support your well being. Please take advantage of them and be sure to take the time to take care of yourselves.

As we look ahead, I’m filled with optimism for the new era that awaits us on campus. I will miss working with Chancellor Christ, an outstanding leader with whom I have been honored to work. I am excited for a new path ahead with Rich Lyons serving as Berkeley’s twelfth Chancellor. 

I’m particularly thrilled to share that I have been reappointed to be the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division. In my first five years in this role, we have developed new innovative programs, boosted support services for graduate students in greatest need, weathered a few storms, and a pandemic. When I faced the end of my term, I knew my job here was not done. While there will still be challenges ahead, I am confident that with your dedication and perseverance, we will overcome them and emerge even stronger. 

In closing, I want to celebrate and acknowledge the third annual winners of our Leadership in Graduate Diversity Awards, which recognize graduating doctoral, masters or professional school students’ contributions to diversifying the academy. Congratulations to Christian White and Arlyn Moreno Luna, with honorable mention to Emani Holyfield! Read more about their accomplishments.

Whether this is your first or last year at Berkeley, I want to congratulate all of you for making it through! I hope your summer plans include a well-deserved break, relaxing, and doing the things you enjoy most with those you love. Of course, we will be thinking about you. Please consider sharing your summer plans with us so we can stay connected. 

Fiat Lux! See you next year!

Lisa García Bedolla

Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division