President Marc Tessier-Lavigne conferred nearly 1,800 bachelor’s degrees, 2,400 master’s degrees and more than 1,000 doctoral degrees at Stanford Stadium on June 16. In the keynote address, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted the deep connection between Silicon Valley and Stanford. “In an age of cynicism, this place still believes that the human capacity to solve problems is boundless. But so, it seems, is our potential to create them,” he said. 

Cook implored graduates to be builders, but to take responsibility for their creations. “[T]here are few areas where this is more important than privacy,” he said. “If we accept as normal and unavoidable that everything in our lives can be aggregated, sold or even leaked in the event of a hack, then we lose so much more than data. We lose the freedom to be human.”

Photo of Tim Cook at podium.Photo: Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service

‘Our problems—in technology, in politics, wherever—are human problems. From the Garden of Eden to today, it’s our humanity that got us into this mess, and it’s our humanity that’s going to have to get us out.’ –Tim Cook


Photo of graduate on cell phone.Photo: Avery Krieger, PhD student 


Photo of graduates during Wacky Walk holding construction signs.Photo: Avery Krieger, PhD student 


Photo of graduates during Wacky Walk holding signs.Photo: Avery Krieger, PhD student


Photo of graduate dressed as the "Stanford Bubble" for Wacky Walk.Photo: Avery Krieger, PhD student


Photo of graduates dressed as jelly fish for Wacky Walk.Photo: Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service


Photo of graduate student crossing the stage with infant.Photo: Eli George Goodman, ’21 


Photo of graduate students at commencement.Photo: Eli George Goodman, ’21


Photo of graduate student receiving her hood.Photo: Eli George Goodman, ’21


Photo of graduating student celebrating with child.Photo: Eli George Goodman, ’21


Photo of graduate and family members looking at her diploma.Photo: Eli George Goodman, ’21




Shedding

By Juliana Chang, ’19, MA ’19

This is an ode to the 100 hairs I shed every day.
To the ones I flick off Wilbur dining tables
or pull out of my flannel while biking one handed
or have to dig out of my dorm room carpet with a nail file. 
To the ones who go in the night or down
the drain or into the hairbrush, to
the ones I never see leave too.

Praise to the 100 hairs 
who float away in the wind
and get tangled in the browning leaves of Palm Drive,
to the ones who become mulch in the Arrillaga garden
and grow lentils and turmeric for years to come.
Praise to 100 adventurers who are off
to populate Crothers’ mantle corner dust
who have decided today 
is a fine day to break from routine—
no more argan oil or shampoo, today is a day for
dirt. Today is a day for change, for going astray.
A stray hair decides to break from cranium
and I am glad some part of me is still brave enough
to follow heart and not head.
Praise to the 100,
to leaving at the right time.
To the everyday kind of moving on.

In my graduation announcement I want them to write
she sheds a lot
by which they’ll mean she changed
by which I mean I came in with one head and left
with another. After I graduate
I don’t expect Stanford to remember me,
but I hope the trees do. 
I hope the weird looking red sculpture things around campus do.
I hope for a living memory, one that will leave as the living do.
Praise to hair, to cultivating, to growing
like you’ve got somewhere to go.


Juliana Chang, ’19, MA ’19, majored in linguistics and earned a co-terminal master’s degree in sociology.