Commencement Weekend in Pictures

Photos from the all-University Commencement Ceremony, Baccalaureate Service, and Illumination Ceremony 

On May 21, at the morning's all-university ceremony, Amina J. Mohammed, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations and chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group, delivered the commencement address to the Class of 2023 on the Green of the Medford/Somerville campus. Here, we share photos from that event as well as special moments from Commencement weekend.

All-University Commencement Ceremony

Students from across Tufts' schools participated in the All-University Commencement ceremony, which was held on the Green. It included the Academic Procession, the awarding of honorary degrees, the Commencement address, recognition of faculty emeriti, the presentation of degree candidates, and the granting of degrees by the Tufts University Board of Trustees. 

students at commencement

Photo: Alonso Nichols

two students hug

Photo: Alonso Nichols

A graduating student wears a stuffed elephant on her mortarboard

Photo: Matt Healey

a graduate checks her appearance in her cell phone camera

Photo: Alonso Nichols

three graduates with bouquets

Photo: Paul Rutherford

two graduates walk to the Green

Photo: Paul Rutherford

a student wearing flowers on her mortarboard waves

Photo: Paul Rutherford

Illumination: A Tufts Tradition

The Illumination Ceremonies are a longstanding and beloved Tufts tradition that take place in the first weeks of new student Orientation and again on the eve of Commencement. According to legend, when Charles Tufts donated the land for the university to be built upon, he said he would put “a light on that hill.” By lighting candles during Illumination, we remind ourselves of our responsibility as a community to seek knowledge and to partner with communities and the world beyond to promote peace. 

A Cherished Moment: Baccalaureate Service

On May 20, the Baccalaureate Service marked the last time the undergraduate class came together as a group before Commencement. This multifaith celebration, begun in 1864, honors the heritage of spirituality and values at Tufts through a diversity of religions, philosophies, and cultures in the form of music, readings, and blessings. 

Tufts University chaplains welcomed guests to the Gantcher Family Sports and Convocation Center and President Anthony Monaco addressed the class. Isabelle Charles, A23, gave the Wendell Phillips Address. 

The ROTC Commissioning Ceremony

On May 20, seven members of the undergraduate class of 2023 were commissioned at the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Commissioning Ceremony, held in Goddard Chapel. The guest speaker was Representative Dan Crenshaw, who has represented the Texas 2nd District in Congress since 2019. Crenshaw earned his own officer commission through Navy ROTC while a Tufts undergraduate, as a member of the class of 2006.

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