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GSAS Celebrates Two Commencements in 2022

May 24, 2022

After two years without the full pomp and circumstance of a traditional Commencement ceremony, this year the University honored the Classes of 2020 and 2022 in back-to-back weekends of festivities.

On May 14, the campus welcomed graduates and their guests for an Alumni Commencement ceremony. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences invited back both the Class of 2020, which had only a virtual commencement the year that they graduated, as well as the Class of 2021, who had a modified ceremony last year on Old Campus without guests. In recognition of their accomplishments, the Graduate School announced Damian Vergara Bracamontes (Ph.D., American Studies and Women’s Gender, & Sexuality Studies) and Jessica Long (Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) as Banner Bearers and Mehraveh Salehi (Ph.D., Electrical Engineering) as the Student Marshal.

Approximately 150 GSAS alumni returned, along with 10,000 other alumni and guests across the university to celebrate their accomplishments. A University Ceremony included remarks from President Peter Salovey and recognition of the 2020 Honorary Degree recipients. The Graduate School’s alumni then processed to Woolsey Hall in full regalia to walk across the stage in recognition of their degrees. “While it’s certainly true that the pandemic profoundly affected the final stage of your time at Yale, you have adapted and persevered to finish the degrees you came to Yale to accomplish,” said Dean Lynn Cooley in her remarks.

The following weekend, the University celebrated once more with its first full Commencement Weekend since the COVID-19 pandemic paused campus activities in March of 2020. On Sunday, May 22, the Graduate School held its annual Convocation Ceremony at the Yale University Art Gallery to award over 40 academic prizes—including the University’s prestigious Porter and Field prizes—to graduating students and to recognize the recipients of the 2022 Graduate Mentor Awards: Michael R. Dove (Margaret K. Musser Professor of Social Ecology); Dylan Grace Gee (Assistant Professor of Psychology); Lisa Lowe (Samuel Knight Professor of American Studies); and Owen Dennis Miller (Assistant Professor of Applied Physics).

The next day, graduating students gathered in their caps and gowns in the McDougal Center courtyard to begin the Procession to Old Campus. They were led by the Class of 2022 Banner Bearers Patrice Collins (Ph.D., Sociology) and Darren Nah (Ph.D., Political Science), as well as the GSAS Student Marshals: Samantha Rossano (Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering); Yantao Luo (M.Phil., Earth & Planetary Science); Aurélie Moutran (M.S., Biomedical Engineering); Sarah Morell (M.A.S., Global Affairs); Olivia Mozdzierz (M.A., History). The Graduate School was also represented in the Faculty of Arts and Science procession where Doyle Calhoun (Ph.D., French) served as Banner Bearer.

At the University Commencement on Old Campus, Dean Cooley presented the candidates for each degree to President Salovey: 10 Master of Advanced Study; 255 Master of Arts; 271 Master of Science; 436 Master of Philosophy; and 410 Doctor of Philosophy. Following the revelries of the University Commencement, approximately 450 Graduate School degree recipients paraded across the stage of Woolsey Hall to receive their diplomas amidst the cheers of faculty and guests. Dean Cooley recognized the determination and perseverance of this class whose final two years have been challenged by lack of access to labs and archives. “You have overcome all of the obstacles that stood in your way and completed your studies in triumph,” Cooley remarked. She then welcomed the graduates to the alumni community and tasked them with spreading their knowledge into the world: “Take what you have learned at Yale and make the world a better place.”

A recording of the GSAS Alumni Degree Ceremony can be found here.

A recording of the GSAS 2022 Diploma Ceremony can be found here.