To Degree Candidates:

Portrait of Chancellor Gary S. May, standing and smiling with arms crossed in front of a blue background.

Congratulations on reaching this wonderful milestone! Today is a moment to celebrate and connect with fellow classmates, families and loved ones, and feel the support from our entire UC Davis family.

When you came to UC Davis, you joined a community that’s driven to make the world a better place. You understood that academics are paramount, and you discovered that the college experience is about so much more. You learned to outgrow the expected, to exceed what’s needed and to do what’s just. And you did it all during some of the most challenging times in recent history.

UC Davis has prepared you well for your next chapter. This campus thrives on a commitment to excellence, and our faculty sets the bar high for students. You not only met that bar, but you pushed beyond. Wherever life takes you — or wherever you take life — remember this is just the beginning of your journey.

You’ll find members of our Aggie family all around the world, and I encourage you to make use of this valuable network and remain connected with our campus.

I hope you leave UC Davis with cherished memories to last a lifetime. I encourage you to keep close our values of excellence and openness to diverse perspectives and new ideas. Now is the time to grow forth and imagine what’s possible, to consider how you will make an impact and contribute to the public good.

The world is waiting for you. Go Ags!

Best regards,

Gary S. May

“Remember to use your knowledge and powers for good. Every day, try to learn something new, help someone and make the world a better place.”

Video Keynote Speaker

Congratulatory Video Message

Faculty Speakers

Student Speakers

About the student speaker selection

Graduating students apply to speak at commencement by submitting a draft speech and a video demonstrating their presentation style. A 14-member committee of faculty, staff and students selects the speakers after finalists present their speeches in person.