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128th Commencement Ceremony


On Friday, June 10, 2022, Caltech held its 128th Commencement with a ceremony on campus, marking the first in-person Commencement since 2019, allowing hundreds of graduates to process in front of a crowd of cheering friends and family on Beckman Mall. The Institute honored graduates with 560 degrees: 218 bachelor's degrees, 139 master's degrees, and 203 doctoral degrees. [Caltech story]

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126th Commencement Ceremony


Caltech’s 126th commencement ceremony was held virtually on Friday, June 12, 2020, honoring graduates with 454 degrees—207 earning bachelor's degrees, 101 earning master's degrees, and 146 earning PhD degrees. Caltech president Thomas F. Rosenbaum opened the ceremony, noting the unusual circumstances of the event and emphasizing that "even in separation, community can triumph." The program kicked off with a video montage of well-wishers, including Caltech Nobel laureate Frances Arnold, Caltech faculty and staff members, and Modern Family actress Ariel Winter. The speakers congratulated the grads and anticipated successful careers filled with notable achievements. In concluding, Harry Gray, Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry and founding director of the Beckman Institute, urged graduates to "have a little fun along the way." [Watch the Ceremony] [Caltech story

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124th Commencement Ceremony


Caltech’s 124th commencement ceremony was held on Friday June 15, 2018. This year's speaker was John Lewis, U.S. congressman and a leader in the Civil Rights Movement who said Dr. King inspired him to "get into good trouble and necessary trouble." He instructed students to "study the way of peace, love, and non violence." Caltech celebrated the accomplishments of 579 graduates: 227 bachelor's degrees, 161 master's degrees, and 191 doctoral degrees.

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123rd Commencement Ceremony


Caltech’s 123rd commencement ceremony was held on Friday June 16, 2017. The commencement speaker was Mae Jemison, an engineer, physician, and NASA astronaut. Looking up, she said, allows us to remember that there is more that connects us than divides us. "Connection to the greater universe is something I hope for you throughout your lives. Never forget to look up and keep the bigger picture in mind. Look up at the sky, the moon, the stars when you need to recharge. Let the gravity of Earth give you a warm hug when you're feeling low. Look up to remember what inspires you. Keep the sparkle in your eyes, keep it long past graduation." [Caltech story]

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122nd Commencement Ceremony


Caltech’s 122nd commencement ceremony was held on Friday June 10, 2016. The commencement speaker was surgeon, writer, and public health researcher Atul Gawande, MD, MPH. He reminded the graduates that, “today, you become part of the scientific community, arguably the most powerful collective enterprise in human history. In doing so, you also inherit a role in explaining it and helping it reclaim territory of trust at a time when that territory has been shrinking.” He also cautioned them and explained, “the mistake … is to believe that the educational credentials you get today give you any special authority on truth. What you have gained is far more important: an understanding of what real truth-seeking looks like. It is the effort not of a single person but of a group of people—the bigger the better—pursuing ideas with curiosity, inquisitiveness, openness, and discipline.” [The Mistrust of Science]

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121st Commencement Ceremony


Caltech’s 121st commencement ceremony was held on Friday June 12, 2015. The commencement speaker was cultural anthropologist Genevieve Bell, an expert on the intersection of culture and technology. She reminded the graduates that it is the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law which she referred to as a bold statement of engineering and a promise about the state of the future. She asked the graduates to not only bring their technical skills to the table, but also their humanity and obligation to make the work a better place. [View Dr. Bell’s commencement address]

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120th Commencement Ceremony


Caltech's 120th Commencement Ceremony, held on Friday, June 13th, 2014, celebrated the accomplishments of 526 graduates. Awarded were 197 bachelor's degrees, 148 master's degrees, 2 engineer degrees, and 181 doctoral degrees. The graduates were addressed by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Daniel Yergin, a leading authority on energy, international politics, and economics, and a recipient of the United States Energy Award. He inspired the graduate students with an address that encompassed six "lessons," including the advice to be curious and to act on one's convictions to change the world. [Facts about the Class of 2014]

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119th Commencement Ceremony


Caltech's 119th Commencement Ceremony was held on Friday, June 14th, 2013 celebrated the accomplishments of 588 graduates, awarding 256 bachelor's degrees, 96 master's degrees, 2 engineer degrees, and 236 doctoral degrees. The graduates were addressed by the University of Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman. She used the life and career of Caltech alumnus Frank Robert Capra, one of America's most powerful directors during the 1930s and the directory of It's a Wonderful Life (1946), to inspire the graduating students. She emphasized the main message of the movie "that each of us touches more than we can appreciate". [Facts about the class of 2013]

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118th Commencement Ceremony


Caltech's 118th Commencement Ceremony was held on Friday, June 15th. The graduates were addressed by technology entrepreneur Elon Musk, founder and chief executive officer of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and Tesla Motors, and the chairman of SolarCity. He used the English physicist & science fiction author, Arthur C. Clarke's, quote "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." to inspire the graduates to be twenty-first century magicians by advancing science and technology. He also talked about his success at Paypal and encouraged the graduates to "take feedback from their environment and be as closed loop as possible." [Facts about the class of 2012]

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117th Commencement Ceremony


Caltech's 117th Commencement Ceremony was held on Friday, June 10th. The graduates were addressed by Ahmed H. Zewail, Caltech's Linus Pauling Professor of Chemistry, professor of physics, and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He spoke about the importance of science to the advancement of all the world's cultures, and the crucial role communications technologies played in the largely non-violent 2011 revolution in Egypt—his home country.

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