Some 8,364 graduating students of the University of California, San Diego will gather to hear commencement speeches from dynamic speakers such as alumnus J. Craig Venter, a biochemist, geneticist and entrepreneur; Frank Bruni, New York Times op-ed columnist; alumnus Dan Santat, author and illustrator; and Christiana Figueres, United Nations Executive Secretary. The students will participate in the campus’s 11 commencement events, with the majority of ceremonies taking place June 13-14, preceded by the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences May 16 and the School of Medicine’s June 7 graduation.
“It’s gratifying to see our graduating students embark on new endeavors as UC San Diego alumni,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “These graduates are well prepared to enter the world as both scholars and citizens who will carry on UC San Diego’s legacy of innovation, service and excellence.”
Ceremonies Kick off with School of Medicine and All Campus Graduation Celebration
At 10 a.m., Sunday, June 7 on the East Lawn between the Medical Teaching Facility and the Stein Research Building, the UC San Diego School of Medicine will confer medical degrees on 115 graduates––10 will receive both M.D.s and Master’s of Advanced Studies in Clinical Research degrees, and an additional 10 will receive joint M.D./Ph.Ds. The keynote speaker will be J. Craig Venter, who graduated from UC San Diego with a bachelor’s in biochemistry in 1972, and earned his doctorate in physiology and pharmacology from the campus in 1975. Venter made worldwide headlines in 2000 when his team tied a rival team in a furious race to be the first to sequence the human genome. In 2008, Venter was awarded the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama. In 2014, he established a $37 million research facility at UC San Diego which is part of the J. Craig Venter Institute that Venter established in Rockville, Md. in 2006.
UC San Diego’s commencement weekend will kick off with the university’s ninth annual All Campus Graduation Celebration at 5 p.m., Friday, June 12 at RIMAC Field. The informal celebration is open to graduating undergraduate and graduate students, as well as their friends and families. The event will include a keynote speech by Danny Zuker, an award-winning executive producer and writer for the popular ABC series, “Modern Family.” Following the program, the celebration will feature appetizers and local beer for attendees who are 21 and older.
June 13 Ceremonies: Eleanor Roosevelt College, School of Global Policy and Strategy, Revelle College, Rady School of Management and John Muir College
The first of three ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, June 13 will be held by Eleanor Roosevelt College at 8 a.m. on RIMAC Field. Some 990 graduates and about 8,000 guests will gather to hear the commencement speech from UC San Diego graduating senior Avril Prakash who will discuss how the values and mission of Eleanor Roosevelt College will help graduates advance in life.
The School of Global Policy and Strategy (formerly the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies) will honor 108 Master of Pacific International Affairs (MPIA), 45 Master of Advanced Studies in International Affairs (MAS-IA) and 10 Master of International Affairs (MIA) graduates at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 13 inside RIMAC Arena. The graduating students and more than 700 guests will gather to listen to United Nations Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres. Figueres has been involved in climate change negotiations since 1995 when she founded the Center for Sustainable Development in the Americas. She is a widely published author on the design of climate solutions and a frequent adviser to the private sector.
Alumnus Dan Santat, who is a writer and illustrator of children’s books and animated shows, will deliver the keynote speech at 1 p.m., Saturday, June 13 to about 930 Revelle College graduating students and more than 5,000 guests. Santat earned a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from UC San Diego’s Revelle College in 1998. He is the author and illustrator of “Sidekicks” and the winner of the Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators for “Oh No!” (or “How My Science Project Destroyed the World”). He is also the creator of the Disney animated hit “The Replacements.” This year marks the 50th anniversary of Revelle College, and members of the first graduating class will be in attendance at this event to commemorate the milestone.
The Rady School of Management’s ceremony will take place at 2 p.m., June 13 inside RIMAC Arena . Julia Brown will give the keynote address to more than 160 graduates and 800 guests. A successful executive, Brown has had a long career in the biomedical field. She currently serves on the boards of CONNECT, CleanTECH San Diego, Corporate Directors’ Forum and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. She is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists. As a trustee of the UC San Diego Foundation, Brown is immediate past chair, past vice chair and past chair of the board’s stewardship committee.
The Muir College ceremony will be held at 5 p.m., June 13 on RIMAC Field. Some 850 graduating students and about 9,000 guests will attend. Graduating senior Thomas Ryu Thao will deliver the keynote speech celebrating the importance of having both independent and interdependent qualities.
June 14 Ceremonies: Thurgood Marshall College, Graduate Division, Earl Warren College and Sixth College
Leading off the commencement ceremonies slated for Sunday, June 14 is Thurgood Marshall College at 8 a.m. with about 1,200 graduates and more than 10,000 guests on RIMAC Field. The keynote speaker will be Frank Bruni, New York Times op-ed columnist. Bruni’s distinguished writing career at The New York Times has taken him from White House correspondent to chief restaurant critic to his current role as op-ed political and cultural observer. He has long been known for his carefully crafted opinions and observations on current events.
A total of 1,200 students receiving doctorate degrees and 500 students receiving master’s degrees as well as 2,000 guests will gather at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 14 at the RIMAC Arena for the Graduate Division commencement ceremony. The keynote speaker is Chris White, who holds a doctorate in chemistry and biochemistry from UC San Diego and is the founder of White Labs. White opened the company in 1995 to manufacture yeast cultures and provide fermentation services to the brewing, wine and distilling industries. Headquartered in Miramar, the company provides access to a variety of fresh yeast strands for San Diego brewers and beyond.
At 1 p.m. on June 14, Earl Warren College will hold its ceremony for 1,200 graduating students and 9,000 guests. Graduating senior Tiffany Win will deliver the keynote speech on what makes individuals extraordinary. The event will also highlight Warren College’s 40th anniversary which was celebrated this academic year.
Winding up UC San Diego’s commencement series will be Sixth College’s ceremony which will take place at 5 p.m. on June 14. Keynote speaker David Lopez will address Sixth’s 1,000 graduating students and 2,500 guests. Lopez earned his bachelor’s degree in management science from UC San Diego and co-founded USAdelante, an organization that connects Latino college students to a network of mentors. He now serves as executive director of Teach for America – San Diego, where he partners with local schools and districts to help ensure that students across the county have access to an excellent education.
The first of UC San Diego’s commencement ceremonies was held by the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 16 at the Price Center Ballroom where 56 student graduates received their Pharm.D. degrees. Robert Blouin, dean of the University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy, served as keynote speaker.
For more information on For more information, visit UC San Diego’s Commencement website.
UC San Diego’s 2015 Commencement Ceremonies
- Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences: 10 a.m., Saturday, May 16, Price Center Ballroom
- Speaker: Robert Blouin, Dean of the University of North Carloina Eshelman School of Pharmacy
- Number of graduates: 56
- The UC San Diego School of Medicine: 10 a.m., Sunday, June 7, East Lawn between the Medical Teaching Facility and the Stein Research Building
- Speaker: alumnus J. Craig Venter, a biochemist, geneticist and entrepreneur
- Number of graduates: 115
- All Campus Graduation Celebration: 5 p.m., Friday, June 12, RIMAC field
- Speaker: Danny Zuker, an award-winning executive producer and writer for the popular ABC series
- Eleanor Roosevelt College: 8 a.m., Saturday, June 13, RIMAC Field
- Speaker: Graduating senior Avril Prakash
- Number of graduates: 990
- The School of Global Policy and Strategy (formerly School of International Relations and Pacific Studies): 9:30 a.m., Saturday, June 13, RIMAC Arena
- Speaker: United Nations Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres
- Number of graduates: 163
- Revelle College: 1 p.m., Saturday, June 13, RIMAC Field
- Speaker: Alumnus Dan Santat, a writer and illustrator of children’s books and animated shows
- Number of graduates: 930
- Rady School of Management: 2 p.m., Saturday, June 13, RIMAC Arena
- Speaker: Julia Brown, Executive and trustee of the UC San Diego Foundation
- Number of graduates: 160
- John Muir College: 5 p.m., Saturday, June 13, RIMAC Field
- Speaker: Graduating senior Thomas Ryu Thao
- Number of graduates: 850
- Thurgood Marshall College, 8 a.m. Sunday, June 14, RIMAC Field
- Speaker: Frank Bruni, New York Times op-ed columnist
- Number of graduates: 1,200
- The Graduate Division: 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 14, RIMAC Arena
- Speaker: Chris White, Founder of White Labs
- Number of graduates: 1,700
- Earl Warren College: 1 p.m., Sunday, June 14, RIMAC Field
- Speaker: Graduating senior Tiffany Win
- Number of graduates: 1,200
- Sixth College: 5 p.m., Sunday, June 14, RIMAC Field
- Speaker: David Lopez, executive director of Teach for America – San Diego
- Number of graduates: 1,000