Alexis Ohanian—internet entrepreneur, investor, and co-founder of Reddit and Initialized Capital—will be the speaker for Johns Hopkins University’s virtual Commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 21.

Commencement messages to the undergraduate Class of 2020

Commencement 2020 invitation

Johns Hopkins University looks forward to recognizing the academic achievements of the Class of 2020 during our virtual universitywide Commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 11 a.m. EDT. Please join the Class of 2020, family, and friends to watch the hour-long ceremony online.

The Class of 2020 has taken the virtual ceremony as an opportunity to create something that is meaningful, celebratory, and uniquely Hopkins. Formal remarks will be given by Chair of the Board of Trustees Lou Forster, A&S ’82, SAIS ’83, JHU President Ronald J. Daniels, our Commencement Speaker Alexis Ohanian, and several other distinguished guests. After the degrees are conferred at the end of the ceremony, each graduate’s name, degree, major, and school will scroll alphabetically alongside memories shared by the class.

Plans for in-person “redo” universitywide Commencement ceremonies are being made for December 2020. Additionally, we have reserved the morning of May 27, 2021 at Royal Farms Arena for a separate Class of 2020 universitywide ceremony. More information will be available on the Commencement website in the coming months.

We look forward to celebrating with you on May 21!

Class of 2020 Commencement update - please share your photos and videos

Dear JHU Seniors:

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2020 Commencement idea campaigns recently launched by the Senior Class Council, Peabody student leaders, and the JHU Commencement Office. We loved your many great proposals for how to make all of the Class of 2020’s nontraditional celebrations meaningful and fun for you, your families, and friends.

We have begun incorporating some of your ideas into the virtual celebration that will be held on May 21, 2020. Two of them require your help right away: a web-based “yearbook” page for each graduating senior and using photos/short videos from your Hopkins experience in the virtual ceremony.

Please send us pictures and short videos from your Hopkins experience and information for your yearbook page through the online form no later than 8 a.m. on Mon., April 20.  

While the virtual Commencement ceremony idea campaign is closed for voting, you still have until Wed., April 15, to submit ideas and votes for your in-person “Redo” Commencement Ceremony and Senior Week(end) Activities using the Idea Lab website.

We will have more exciting developments to share with you soon on how your Commencement celebration is taking shape. For more information visit


Senior Class Council, Peabody Student Leaders, and the Commencement Office

Undergraduates of the Class of 2020: Share your ideas for your Commencement celebrations

Undergraduates of the Class of 2020:

The Senior Class Council and the Commencement Office want to involve you in developing plans for celebrations for the Class of 2020. Like you, we are disappointed that we can’t have a traditional in-person Commencement this May, but we know we can still make these nontraditional celebrations truly meaningful and fun for you and all the families, friends, and loved ones who will be with us too!

Today, we are launching three 2020 Commencement idea campaigns. Please visit the Idea Lab page for more information and learn how your voice can be heard.

How to Participate:

  1. Visit (You will be prompted to log in with your JHED.)
  2. Check out the campaigns and enter the one or ones of your choosing.
  3. Review the description and be sure to read the rules for additional information.
  4. Submit your ideas and/or vote on existing ideas.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Senior Class Council and Commencement Office

A Message from the JHU Commencement Office to Seniors and Families

Dear Members, Families, and Friends of the Class of 2020,

We understand how disappointing it is that we will not be able to hold an in-person Commencement ceremony this spring and want to reassure you that the Senior Class Council and the Commencement team are in touch about planning future events for Commencement and related activities. First and foremost, President Daniels and university leadership are committed to working with the Class of 2020 to develop plans for a meaningful celebration of the Class of 2020’s remarkable achievements. In the coming days, we will be collaborating with students to put together a platform–something like an Idea Lab challenge–so seniors may have their ideas heard. This input will be used to shape the celebrations–from the virtual ceremony this May to Senior Week(end) activities during Young Alumni Weekend in fall 2020 to when the Class of 2020 would like their in-person “Redo” Commencement Ceremony.

While the virtual ceremony this May needs to happen so our students can have their degrees conferred and be prepared to start jobs and graduate school programs, the Commencement team will be working with students to make it uniquely the Class of 2020’s. Please know that the Commencement Office also has reserved May 27, 2021 for a separate Class of 2020 ceremony for those who want to put a date on the calendar now, but we have heard that many seniors would like an earlier date (next fall) and will be working with students on making that happen as well.

We truly know how important Commencement is, not just for our seniors, but for all of their families, loved ones, and friends, as well as their professors and the entire Johns Hopkins community. We all want to do everything we can to make sure it is special. Please stay tuned for more information. If you have immediate questions, you can email

Stay safe, and we will stay in touch.

Last updated October 2, 2020