Commencement 2021: Engineering Grads Take Center Stage at L.A. Coliseum For First Time in 71 Years

| May 21, 2021

In a return to in-person graduation, the Class of 2020 and 2021 celebrate “passage to a post-COVID new world”

After nearly 14 months of remote learning and relative seclusion, a USC Viterbi graduate exults after receiving her diploma at the L.A. Coliseum.

A grad celebrates right after having her official photo taken at the end of USC’s 2020-21 commencement ceremony for the USC Viterbi School of Engineering at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, May 19, 2021. (USC Photo/David Sprague)

Selfie sticks, “Fight on” salutes were raised high, as well as cardinal and gold umbrellas to block out the sun.

After nearly 14 months of remote learning and relative seclusion, it was a bright day, indeed, for 3270 graduating students of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

On May 19-20, as part of USC’s historic return to in-person graduation at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, members of the USC Viterbi Class of 2020 and 2021 received their diplomas on the same ground their predecessors had once walked 71 years earlier.

In what was once an annual tradition, the last USC graduating class to enjoy a Coliseum commencement was the Class of 1950.

“It is so fitting that we are formally certifying the crossing of your graduation finish line in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, home of the Olympics, home of the Trojans,” said Yannis Yortsos, dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. “Where the lighting of the torch can be taken to also symbolize the saying from Greek philosopher Socrates: ‘Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.’”

Following last year’s on-line only graduation celebration, Yortsos congratulated the two assembled classes — with students seated six feet apart — on their “grit, optimism and perseverance.”

Said Yortsos: “The post-COVID world ahead provides the incredible opportunity of an unpainted canvas, on which you will be asked to imagine the new engineering and technology innovation, one with increasingly human-centric focus. The world impatiently waits for you; and you are ideally prepared for it.”

Below you will find a Flickr album as well as a YouTube recording for each of the 3 USC Viterbi commencement ceremonies (May 19, 2021, 3:30 – 6:00pm; May 20, 2021, 8:00 – 10:30am; May 20, 2021, 3:30 – 6:00pm).

 

Commencement 2021: May 19 3:30pm USC Viterbi School of Engineering

 

 

Commencement 2021: May 20 8am USC Viterbi School of Engineering

 

 

Commencement 2021: May 20 3:30pm USC Glorya School of Dance, USC School of Architecture, USC Thornton School of Music, USC Viterbi School of Engineering

 

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