UC Santa Barbara’s spring 2021 commencement will consist of a livestreamed ceremony — featuring Oprah Winfrey as the keynote speaker — and an in-person “Grad Walk,” Chancellor Henry T. Yang announced in a campus-wide email on April 23. 

Winfrey — an American television personality, author, philanthropist and local Montecito resident — will address graduates on June 12 via Zoom, Yang said in the email. Virtual or small in-person events arranged by UCSB schools, academic divisions and departments to take place after the keynote speech will be contingent on county public health guidelines, and information on signing up for personalized graduate slides will be sent directly to eligible students.

The “Grad Walk” will take place during the week of June 7 as an in-person event, Yang said in the email, during which graduates can walk across a stage as their names are announced on a livestreamed broadcast for friends and family to view online. The class of 2020 is also invited to the “Grad Walk” following the loss of its in-person graduation last year.

Further details on reserving “Grad Walk” times and information on safety protocols will be posted on the university’s commencement website.


Asumi Shuda
Asumi Shuda (they/them) is the Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Shuda was the Deputy News Editor, Community Outreach News Editor for the 2022-23 school year and the 2021-22 school year and an Assistant News Editor during the 2020-21 school year. They can be reached at asumishuda@dailynexus.com or news@dailynexus.com.