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UC San Diego’s Class of 2016 to Graduate June 11 and 12

Eleven ceremonies include the All Campus Commencement featuring Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, as well as graduations for undergraduate colleges, professional schools and graduate programs


  • Christine Clark

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  • Christine Clark

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Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

More than 8,000 students of the University of California San Diego will graduate during the campus’s commencement weekend June 11 and 12, beginning with the All Campus Commencement featuring keynote speaker Muhammad Yunus, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and founder of the global microfinance movement. The event, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 11, will mark the first time in 16 years that UC San Diego will convene all of its graduating undergraduate and graduate students for a campus-wide commencement ceremony.

Image: Nobel Peace Prize recipient Muhammad Yunus

Muhammad Yunus

“We are confident the UC San Diego class of 2016 will have a positive impact on our world,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Our students and alumni are courageous and inventive, they push boundaries and challenge expectations, much like our keynote speaker for the All Campus Commencement, Muhammad Yunus. We are pleased to have Yunus address all of our graduating students, as he embodies UC San Diego’s ideals of public service, social mobility and global citizenship.”

Yunus, a social entrepreneur and economist, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for founding the nonprofit Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The bank is credited for lending billions of dollars in loans to impoverished entrepreneurs in an attempt to eradicate poverty.

The All Campus Commencement will kick off graduation weekend at UC San Diego. The event will include the official conferring of degrees for 8,058 undergraduate and graduate students. Following the ceremony, the campus’s six undergraduate colleges, two professional schools and various graduate programs will host personalized graduation events where students will walk across stage as their names are read.

The All Campus Commencement, designed to strengthen a sense of community among UC San Diego graduates, will feature a hospitality village located on the field with a number of food vendors, UC San Diego Bookstore and Alumni booths as well as a flower vendor. The village will provide spaces for families, friends and graduates to get refreshments and relax between ceremonies.

The majority of UC San Diego’s commencement events take place June 11 and 12, which are preceded by the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences ceremony on May 14 and the School of Medicine’s June 5 graduation. See details on the speakers, the number of graduating students and guests for the various ceremonies below.

Sunday, June 5

  • School of Medicine, 10 a.m.: The UC San Diego School of Medicine will confer medical degrees on 133 graduates––seven will receive both M.D.s and masters of advanced studies in clinical research degrees, and an additional 10 will receive joint M.D./Ph.D. degrees. The ceremony takes place on the East Lawn between the Medical Teaching Facility and the Stein Research Building. The keynote speaker will be Rolf Benirschke, who played for the San Diego Chargers as their placekicker from 1978 until 1986. He is the national spokesman for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and for Hepatitis C awareness. In 1996, he published his book, “Alive and Kicking,” which cites his famous quote: “It’s not what you become it’s what you overcome.” Total number of graduates: 133.

Saturday, June 11

  • Graduate Division, 1:30 p.m.: The Graduate Division commencement ceremony is set to take place inside RIMAC Arena with 1,820 graduates and 2,000 guests. Of the new graduates, 1,275 will receive masters’ degrees and 545 will receive doctoral degrees. The keynote speaker is superintendent Cindy Marten, who earned a master of arts in education studies from UC San Diego in 1995. Marten served as an educator for 25 years—as a teacher, an instructional leader and a school principal. In July 2013, Marten was appointed superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District, the second largest school district in the state of California. Total number of graduates: 1,820.
  • Warren College, 2 p.m.: Earl Warren College will hold its ceremony for about 900 graduating students and 5,000 guests. Graduating senior Veronica Bradley, who is earning a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering, will deliver the keynote speech. Total graduates: 900.
  • Sixth College, 5:30 p.m.: Keynote speaker and alumnus Jameson Rogers will address approximately 1,000 graduating students and 5,000 guests. Jameson, who attended Sixth College and earned a bioengineering degree from the campus in 2008, is a biotechnologist and data scientist. He was named a member of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list and is the author of several scientific articles and patents. During his doctoral studies at Harvard University, Jameson co-invented a new class of bio-manufacturing strategies that accelerate biotechnology development. Total graduates: 1,000.

Sunday, June 12

  • Thurgood Marshall College, 8 a.m.: Marshall College will honor 1,050 graduates with more than 5,000 guests on RIMAC Field. The keynote speaker will be John Marshall, son of Justice Thurgood Marshall, who is former Virginia secretary of public safety and senior advisor to the national Thurgood Marshall College Fund, which provides resources and scholarships to students at historically black colleges and universities. In 1999, Marshall was appointed as the first African-American director of the United States Marshals Service by President Bill Clinton. Total number of graduates: 1,050.
  • Rady School of Management, 9:30 a.m.: Inside RIMAC Arena, two alumni who earned masters’ degrees in business administration (MBA) from the Rady School in 2006 will deliver commencement addresses to 400 guests and the school’s 169 graduates, of which 98 are earning MBAs, four are receiving doctorates in management and 77 are receiving masters in finance. The speakers are Ciara Kennedy, chief operating officer of Amplyx Pharmaceuticals, and Sean McCarthy, chief executive officer of CytomX Therapeutics Inc. Total number of graduates: 169.
  • Revelle College, 11:30 a.m.: Alumnus Philip Wang will address about 850 Revelle College graduating students and more than 5,000 guests. Wang graduated from UC San Diego in 2006 where he earned a bachelor’s degree in visual arts. While attending UC San Diego, Wang met Wesley Chan and Ted Fu, also visual arts majors, and together the three alumni run Wong Fu Productions. The growing independent production company has a well-known YouTube channel with more than 2.5 million subscribers and has garnered over 200 million views of short films, music videos and video blogs from its large and loyal fan base. Total number of graduates: 850.
  • School of Global Policy and Strategy, 12:30 p.m.: The School of Global Policy and Strategy will bestow 105 masters of international affairs, six masters of pacific international affairs, 33 masters of advanced studies in international affairs as well as six joint bachelors of arts in international studies and masters of international affairs degrees to graduates. The graduating students and more than 700 guests will gather inside RIMAC Arena to listen to Tom Malinowski, assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor. Before appointed to his current post, Malinowski was the Washington director for Human Rights Watch, one of the world’s leading independent international organizations dedicated to defending and protecting human rights. Total number of graduates: 150.
  • Roosevelt College, 2:30 p.m.: Some 990 graduates and about 8,000 guests will gather to hear the commencement speech from UC San Diego graduating senior Megan Ludington. Ludington developed a strong sense of global citizenship from a very young age. She spent the majority of her childhood in Russia and Uzbekistan, traveling to over twenty countries before she was 18. She is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in public health, with a minor in global health. She has plans to pursue a graduate education in global health as well. Total number of graduates: 990.
  • Muir College, 5:30 p.m.: Graduating Muir seniors Peter Levin and Hope Aleta Czbas will deliver the keynote speeches to the college’s 940 graduating students and about 4,000 guests. Total number of graduates: 940.

Graduates by the numbers:

Total undergraduates: 5,730

  • Warren College—900
  • Sixth College—1,000
  • Thurgood Marshall College—1,050
  • Revelle College—850
  • Eleanor Roosevelt College—990
  • John Muir College—940

Total graduate students: 2,328

  • Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences—56
  • School of Medicine—133
  • Graduate Division—1,820
  • Rady School of Management—169
  • School of Global Policy and Strategy—150

Total graduating class: 8,058

For more information on UC San Diego’s commencement ceremonies, click here.

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