Webcast: June 4

 

Watch the on-demand video with ASL interpretation


Congratulations, graduates! Welcome, families and friends!

This page hosts the on-demand video of MIT’s June 4, 2021 online Commencement Celebration Program and Degree Conferral (for all degrees, all Schools).

  • Pre-program festivities, hosted by Dylan Sleeper ’21 and Annie Yun ’21
  • Starting at 1:04:19 | Online Commencement Celebration Program and Degree Conferral
  • Graduate Recognition website

This program includes the Commencement address by Bryan Stevenson, Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, along with salutes from student leaders, joyful collaborations in music, a turn of the Brass Rat, and the conferring of degrees by MIT President Rafael Reif.

The pre-program show, hosted by two members of the Class of 2021, features greetings from students, faculty, and alumni, as well as video glimpses of MIT life. Congratulations, #MIT2021!

Class of 2021 FAQ

Celebrating Commencement

Download a PDF of the MIT Commencement 2021 program, including graduates’ names


Order of the Program

Opening

DIARY OF A PANDEMIC YEAR

Composed by Jamshied Sharifi ’83
Conducted by Frederick E. Harris, Jr.

Lyrics based on poetry by Sophia D-G ’22; Patricia Gao ’21; Cynthia Hua, Affiliated Research Assistant, Media Arts and Sciences; Moana Minton Meadow ’02; Maisha M. Prome ’21; and Kareena Villalobos ’22

Poetry compiled and edited by Erica Funkhouser, Lecturer, MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing

Performed by MIT Wind Ensemble & MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble, Frederick E. Harris, Jr., Music Director; MIT Symphony Orchestra, Adam K. Boyles, Music Director; MIT Concert Choir, William Cutter, Music Director; MIT Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Laura Grill Jaye, Music Director; and Rambax MIT, Lamine Touré, Music Director

With students from The Chorallaries of MIT, The MIT Logarhythms, MIT Syncopasian, The MIT Asymptones, and MIT Resonance

Director/Editor: Jean Dunoyer ’87 | Audio Mixing and Mastering Engineer: Jamshied Sharifi | Recording Engineer: Cuco Daglio | Videographers: Miles Lowery, Jean Dunoyer, and Alex Loer | Director of MIT Video Productions: Clayton Hainsworth


Welcome

Diane B. Greene SM ’78
Chair, MIT Corporation

Invocation

Reverend Thea Keith-Lucas
Interim Chaplain to the Institute

Commencement Address

Bryan Stevenson
Founder and Executive Director, Equal Justice Initiative

Video: The Class of 2021 Looks Back

Produced by MIT Video Productions

Salute

Madeleine Sutherland
President, MIT Graduate Student Council, 2020-2021

Salute and Turning of the Class Ring

Kofi Blake
President, MIT Class of 2021

Greetings from Palmer Station, Antarctica

Daniel Lowenstein
PhD student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography/Chemical Oceanography
Research Assistant, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Charge to the Graduates and Conferring of Degrees

L. Rafael Reif
President, MIT

Salute from the Faculty

Sangeeta N. Bhatia SM ’93 PhD ’97
John J. and Dorothy Wilson Professor of Engineering, MIT

Welcome into the MIT Alumni Association

Charlene C. Kabcenell ’79
President, MIT Alumni Association

Closing Remarks

Diane B. Greene SM ’78
Chair, MIT Corporation

School Song
and Take Me Back to Tech

Led by the Chorallaries of MIT

The hour following the online Commencement Celebration Program and Degree Conferral is devoted to the presentation of graduates’ names. In addition, graduates may search for their names and share an individual slide with family and friends.

Go to the graduate recognition site

For the full list of performers, please see our page of thanks and acknowledgments

Lyrics and composer’s notes

Notes

Diary Of A Pandemic Year grew from a seed planted by Fred Harris and Gayle Gallagher; to compose and present a piece of music at MIT’s 2021 Commencement that reflected the unique challenges of the past year. Fred and Gayle had specific ideas about the architecture and tone of the piece: it should begin with a pensive fanfare, it should progress from dark to light, and it should incorporate text in some way. I find such guidance helpful in narrowing the scope of a composition and making it possible to begin writing. But it was not until Erica Funkhouser sent a compilation of student poems on the pandemic that the vision for the piece became clear. The emotional openness, simplicity, and at times aching sadness of their writing was my guiding light, and informed all compositional decisions.

Reading their selected lines, and the longer poems from which they were drawn, I began to get a sense of the impact of the pandemic on young people – its larger significance given their fewer years on the planet, its limiting force on a time that should for them be exploratory and expansive, and its uncomfortable place in a matrix of unfolding calamities brought on primarily by human inattention and hubris.

The current moment feels hopeful; the birds sing of new life. But I sense in the pandemic a warning, and an unsubtle suggestion that we should not “return to normal”, but seek an evolved, equitable, and holistic way of structuring our world. Our young people know this in their bones. We should listen.

Jamshied Sharifi


Lyrics

Lyrics based on poetry by Sophia D-G ’22; Patricia Gao ’21; Cynthia Hua, Affiliated Research Assistant, Media Arts and Sciences; Moana Minton Meadow ’02; Maisha M. Prome ’21; and Kareena Villalobos ’22

Poetry compiled and edited by Erica Funkhouser, Lecturer, MIT Comparative Media Studies/Writing

 

To the list of things that make me sad,
I add each day each day
 
The color goes.
This is the world:
Just gray and gray and gray.     
 
Longing is the same in both directions.    
Look at the sky and remember    
 
Everything beautiful lies both forwards and backwards.    
Look at the sky and remember
That it’s good to be alive.    
 
Overwriting the written constellations
I create my own new map
I trace my finger along the lines.   
 
I am the little blade of light
Blade of light
from the crack in the door.
 
I am the orange wedge
Of sun
Of sun
Through your window.     
 
This is the beginning
of the story we tell
again and again
It is the beginning
of the story we tell
Who will listen?
 
We are fragile
we are precious
we are fragile
 
We are fragile
we are precious
we are fragile
 
We are fragile
we are precious
Who will listen?  

Arise All Ye of MIT

Lyrics revised (1985) by Alvin Kahn
Download PDF

Arise, all ye of MIT
in loyal fellowship
the future beckons unto thee
and life is full and rich.
Arise and raise your glass on high
tonight shall ever be
a mem’ry that will never die
for ye of MIT.

Thy sons and daughters, MIT
return from far and wide
and gather here once more to be
re-nourished by thy side.
And as we raise our glasses high
to pledge our love for thee
we join all those of days gone by
in praise of MIT.

Download PDF

I wish that I were back again at Tech on Boylston Street,
Dressed in my dinky uniform so dapper and so neat.
I'm crazy after calculus, I never had enough;
’twas hard to be dragged away so young,
’twas horribly awfully tough!

Hurrah for Technology, ’ology ’ology oh,
Glorious old Technology, ’ology ’ology oh!

Back in the days that were free from care in the ’ology varsity shop,
With nothing to do but analyze air in an anemometrical top.
The differentiation of the trigonometric pow’rs
The constant pi that made me sigh in those happy days of ours.

Hurrah for Technology, ’ology ’ology oh,
Glorious old Technology, ’ology ’ology oh!

Take me back on a special train to the glorious institute,
I yearn for the inspiration of the technological toot.
I’d shun the quizzical physical prof and chapel and all that,
But how I’d love to go again on a scientific bat.

Oh
M-A-S-S-A-C-H-U-S-E-T-T-S
I-N-S-T-I-T-U-T-E-O-F-T-E
and then it’s
C-H-N-O-L-O-G and Y comes after G

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology!
Hey!

Tag your social media posts with #MIT2021! Connect on Twitter (@MIT, @MITCommencement, @MITStudents, @MIT_Alumni), Instagram (MITpics, MITStudents, MITalumni), and Facebook (Facebook.com/MITnews, Facebook.com/MITAA). Go to socialmediahub.mit.edu to experience the day through MIT social media accounts.

The Commencement party kit includes downloadable party decorations, Zoom backgrounds, music, a discount code to the COOP to purchase MIT swag, and more, courtesy of the MIT Alumni Association. Contact

Available information is posted here for Commencement-related events organized by MIT Schools, departments, labs, centers, programs, and groups. If you know there is something happening and do not see what you are looking for, please check with the organizers directly.

School of Architecture and Planning

Architecture
Thursday, June 3 | 12 – 1:15 pm
Request a Zoom invitation

Program in Media Arts and Sciences
Thursday, June 3 | 2 – 3 pm EST
Celebration information

School of Engineering

The Harvard-MIT Program in Health Sciences and Technology
Wednesday, May 26 | 5–7 pm
Request an invitation

Supply Chain Management Program
Saturday, May 22 | 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Friday, June 4 | 3:30 pm – 5 pm
Request an invitation

Sloan School of Management

One Sloan Convocation
Friday, May 28
Event information and webcast link

School of Science

Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences
Thursday, June 3 | 4:30 pm
More information

MIT–WHOI Joint Program
Wednesday, June 2 | 3:30 – 4:30 pm
Zoom registration details to follow

This Commencement season is unusual...see the Class of 2021 FAQ for more information.

For webcast technical issues, please

For the names of musicians and contributors, please see the full list of credits and acknowledgments of the many people to whom we are indebted for producing MIT Commencement 2021.