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Commencement 2021

Lesley honored more than 1,200 graduates during a vibrant virtual ceremony on May 22, 2021. Enjoy highlights, photos and videos from our graduates, student speakers, special guests, honorees, and more.

A collage of the 2021 graduates in their caps and gowns.

Finding community and facing the challenges

Virtual Commencement celebrated the determination and persistence of the Lesley University Class of 2021 as relief from the prolonged pandemic appeared.

Graduate Search



A photo of Elizabeth Broun in her cap and gown for the 2021 virtual Commencement ceremony.

Guest speaker Elizabeth Broun, first woman to lead the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Lesley celebrated Dr. Broun with an honorary degree. She urged graduates to draw inspiration from leading young voices, including climate activist Greta Thunburg, inauguration poet Amanda Gorman and Parkland survivor and gun control advocate Emma González.

A photo of Santos in her cap and gown for the 2021 virtual commencement ceremony. She is standing at a podium and there is a banner behind her that says "Lesley University."

Guest speaker Laurie Santos hosts the popular podcast “The Happiness Lab”

Dr. Santos, a Yale professor, encouraged graduates to “give yourself a little grace” and fight the toxic culture to be pushed to the brink. “The post-pandemic world needs you, in particular, to get it right," she said to graduates. "And that means you’ve got to listen to the science.”

Virtual Commencement 2021 Highlights

See photos of Class of 2021 graduates

News & stories about our inspiring graduates

Read about our graduates who are going on to blaze trails as teachers, counselors, expressive arts therapists, and more.

Watch Virtual Commencement 2021

Enjoy remarks from university leaders, honorary degree recipients, guest speakers, student speakers, deans and the Alumni Association president, and view the PHD Hooding Ceremony.

View the Commencement 2021 playlist on YouTube.

Commencement Office