Commencement goes online: What to look out for


The University will be holding its first-ever online Commencement, for the Classes of 2020 and 2021. The 60 ceremonies from 26 Jun to 3 Jul will see this time-honoured ceremony take on new virtual dimensions, celebrating the hard work of over 23,500 graduates from these two cohorts.

The schedule of ceremonies is available here, and you can join in to view the proceedings online.

Here’s what to look forward to, as these graduates commemorate this key milestone in their lives.


1. Celebrating in community

Despite the pandemic, graduates – who could be in Singapore or overseas currently – will be able to connect with each other and celebrate safely with their friends and family.

While watching the e-ceremony on YouTube, graduates will be able to reminisce about their schooling years and their loved ones can send congratulatory messages– all using the “Live Chat” feature.

There are also specially-prepared Commencement e-cards for the sending of best wishes.


Staff members from different University departments and across the faculties have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to make the ceremonies a success, since more than a month ago. The task list has been long but the work has often been invisible – from ensuring that technology works as planned, to coordinating with the graduates and the speakers.

The only aim is for the graduating cohorts to have a memorable experience. And many graduates are already looking forward.

“To me, the online Commencement is symbolic of how fast things are changing and the importance of staying adaptable in today's times,” said Victor Zhu from the NUS Science Class of 2020, who will be attending with his family to celebrate the joyous moment together.


2. Traditions, preserved

Experience the grandeur of the ceremonial proceedings, including the fanfare, ceremonial processions, the opening and closing declarations, presentation of graduates, and speeches by Valedictorians.

The Chancellor of NUS, Singapore President Madam Halimah Yacob, will be presiding over the first ceremony on 26 Jun at 10am. Both Mdm Halimah and NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye will speak at the ceremony.

The first ceremony will also include an excerpt of the Special Conferment Ceremony held earlier this year for Honorary Graduate Dr Oon Chiew Seng. Dr Oon, the Honorary Graduate for the Class of 2020, had shared about overcoming adversity and seizing opportunity in her speech.

Recordings of Mdm Halimah and Prof Tan’s speeches, as well as the excerpt from Dr Oon’s ceremony, will be played at the subsequent ceremonies.


3. Get inspired

The ceremonies will be graced by guest speakers to share their life experience with the graduating cohorts.

The list includes:

  • Razer’s founder, Mr Tan Min Liang
  • Microsoft Singapore’s Managing Director, Mr Kevin Wo
  • The Head of the Manufacturing Technology Development Centre at Pfizer, Dr David Walker;
  • ExxonMobil’s APAC Chairman and Managing Director, Ms Geraldine Chin;
  • Singapore’s Ambassador to Japan, His Excellency Peter Tan Hai Chuan; and
  • GIC’s Chief Technology Officer, Ms Wu Choy Peng

Other highlights include a song and video montage prepared by the NUS University Scholars Programme Classes of 2020 and 2021; and a dance performance by NUS Medicine students.


4. One for the ‘Gram

What’s an event without social media nowadays? The University has specially designed a set of Commencement Instagram story filters, for our graduands to commemorate the occasion in that picture perfect way.

“I have not tried the IG filters, but they look pretty adorable!” said Victor. On his part, Putra Mohammad Danish Bin Mohd Rafee from the NUS Computer Engineering Class of 2021 also gave his thumbs-up to the IG filters.

Have fun and try the filters here!


Last but not least, we look forward to seeing all the graduates at the Commencement ceremonies. Congratulations to the Classes of 2020 and 2021!