Congratulations to the Class of 2024!

Dear Graduates,

Congratulations! Your determination and pursuit of excellence are inspirational. The Class of 2024 is an especially resilient one. Many of you had to navigate the reality of a global pandemic, from your last days of high school through your early university years or as you studied at a community college and transferred to UC Santa Cruz.

Now you have a world full of opportunities before you, whether that is advancing a more equitable society, combating climate change, creating art, music, poetry, games or apps, or building healthier and more resilient communities through science, engineering, medicine, or public service. We are so excited to see what you will accomplish as alumni, and hope that you will stay engaged with UC Santa Cruz as you progress through the next stages of your life.

Knowing some of the challenges you’ve overcome, including over this past year at UC Santa Cruz, we want to provide a great experience at commencement and do all we can to prevent the ceremonies from being marred by disruption.

Several campus events over the past weeks that we were attending or expected to attend were targeted for disruption. As campus leaders we are accustomed to protests and demonstrations, including those directed at us. However, your commencement is not the time. The celebrations of commencement should not be overshadowed or upstaged by those who want to make a statement to campus leadership who are present. You and your families have worked too many hours and spent considerable resources to make this day happen. We do not want our presence at commencement to distract from families and friends recognizing and celebrating your accomplishment.

Because of that, we will not attend the ceremonies in person. It’s not because we don’t want to be there or are concerned about safety—nothing could be further from the truth. There’s no place we’d rather be than on the East Field cheering you on. However, commencement is for our graduates and their families and friends, and we believe this decision will help keep the focus where it should be—on you. Their cheers and shouts of admiration are the most important ones to be heard that day. At UC Santa Cruz, our commencement ceremonies are organized by residential college and presided over by the college provost and our mainstage celebrations are presided over by the leader of that organization. That will not change.

We hope you arrive here with a sense of extraordinary accomplishment, self-confidence, and optimism. This has been a long, challenging year, in a series of challenging years. Yet, you have persisted. And our campus, community, and our society are the better for it. As you face future opportunities and challenges ahead, we hope that you approach them with as much resilience, grace, and empathy as you have demonstrated during your time on campus.

We wish you much success as you begin this next phase of your life. Congratulations, Class of 2024.

Fiat Slug!
Cindy and Lori

Cynthia Larive

Lori Kletzer
Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor