Yale Class of 2020 website is live: your preview of the week’s programming

Old Campus

The Yale 2020 website — created to celebrate this year’s graduates from across Yale College and the graduate and professional schools — went live this morning, May 11.

Throughout the coming week and beyond, the site will serve as center stage for a series of videos, photographs, music, and other content honoring the accomplishments of Yale’s Class of 2020. Programming culminates Monday, May 18, at 11 a.m. with remarks by President Peter Salovey and the formal conferral of degrees.

Here’s a guide to the celebrations ahead.

Graduate and professional schools

Yale’s 13 graduate and professional schools have developed diverse and wide-ranging celebrations for their graduates. Planned festivities include:

A mix of live and recorded ceremonies or Zoom gatherings for the Schools of Art, Drama, Engineering & Applied Science, Forestry & Environmental Studies,  Management, and Music;

Filmed addresses from the deans of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Law School, Schools of Medicine and Nursing, and several other schools;

And special mailings to graduates in the Divinity School, School of Public Health, and the Physician Assistant Online Program.

Many schools have created dedicated web spaces to showcase their Yale 2020 programming, and to make videos and other content available for current and future viewing. The Yale 2020 website includes links to these sites.

Yale College

Beginning Monday, May 11, Yale College “Class Week” is an expanded version of the festivities traditionally observed on the day prior to commencement exercises. New Class Week videos will be released daily at 2:30 p.m., starting with a welcome and preview by the senior class officers and members of the Class Day committee.

The programs for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday will feature speeches written and delivered by members of the class.

On Friday, Dean Marvin Chun will address the graduates, followed by a video montage of reflections by graduating seniors on their favorite memories from Yale.

Saturday will showcase a “Toast to the Yale Class of 2020,” with guest contributors — all familiar faces from Yale’s community of alumni and friends.

Sunday’s video, beginning at 2:30 p.m., will be headlined by the Class Day address delivered by gene therapy pioneer Jean Bennett ’76. The program will finish with a special edition of the Yale College alma mater, “Bright College Years,” performed by the Yale Bands and Glee Club.

Members of the Yale College graduating class will receive a Class Day “care package” in the mail this week.

President’s remarks and conferral of degrees

At 11 a.m. on Monday, May 18, President Salovey will address all graduates.

Other celebratory programming — including a blessing by University Chaplain Sharon Kugler — will be presented in individual videos, all scheduled for release on May 18 at 11 a.m.

Official conferral of degrees also will take place on Monday. This year’s cohort of nine honorary degree recipients will be recognized on the Yale 2020 website with a video, biographies, and citations written for the occasion.

Social media

Graduates, their family members, and others celebrating with the Class of 2020 are invited to contribute to the Yale 2020 website by posting photographs and videos tagged #Yale2020. The Yale 2020 site will include links to curated Flickr albums and other university social media feeds. The site also allows members of the extended Yale 2020 community to submit their photographs and videos directly for possible inclusion as featured content.

Future celebrations

While the focus for now is on this memorable celebration, staff and students across the university continue to plan for in-person gatherings of the Class of 2020 that will take place once it is safe to congregate in large numbers.

When Secretary and Vice President for University Life Kimberly Goff-Crews wrote to students last month, she reaffirmed the university’s commitment to bringing the Class of 2020 back to New Haven “to participate in all the ‘pomp and circumstance’ associated with a traditional Yale graduation and to spend time with your classmates.”

Yale’s newest graduates can look forward both to a robust slate of Yale 2020 programs over the next eight days — and to a festive return to campus in the future.

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Media Contact

Karen N. Peart: karen.peart@yale.edu, 203-432-1326