Commencement 2020

"Hope is a powerful force," says Bryan Stevenson in his 2020 Emory Commencement address. "Hope will sometimes make you stand up, even when people say, 'Sit down.' It will make you speak, even when people say, 'Be quiet.'"

By Staff
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Commencement 2020 was like nothing Emory has ever seen. More than 60,000 people in 90 countries and 50 states went to the Commencement website to take part in the celebration. Emory’s main Commencement video and individual school videos were viewed more than 150,000 times. More than 3,000 memories and well-wishes—stories, photos, and videos—were submitted for display from all around the globe and across campus.

Deans conferred honorary degrees on outstanding nominees, one of whom was 2020 Emory Commencement speaker Bryan Stevenson. Before making his speech on Zoom, Stevenson received an honorary doctor of laws degree in recognition of his fight against injustice and his leadership in creating two nationally acclaimed cultural sites: The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, both of which opened in Montgomery, Ala., in 2018.

In his address to the Class of 2020, Stevenson talked about ways to help fight injustice. Beyond facing the future with hope, he urged graduates to “get proximate to the poor and marginalized” and to cross barriers and boundaries to increase understanding.

Enjoy the coverage of the 2020 Commencement and join in. Send messages to the new graduates and recount some of your own memories of your time at Emory.


2020 by the Numbers


Emory University Class of 2020
175th Commencement