In full swing: Commencement ceremonies underway for the Classes of 2020 and 2021

It has been a fortnight to remember for the Graduating Classes of 2020 and 2021, who have finally been able to mark their milestone achievements with in-person ceremonies after the virtual Commencement earlier this year.

More than 10,000 graduates and their loved ones will mark the occasion at the 89 physical ceremonies, previously temporarily derailed due to the worsening COVID-19 situation back in May.

Commencement kicked off bright and early on the morning of 1 Oct with degrees in Engineering, and will run all the way to 24 Oct with strict safe management and zoning measures in place.

Other ceremonies which have taken place include those for degrees from the Schools of Business and Computing, the Faculties of Dentistry and Science, the University Scholars Programme (USP), and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

Commencement traditions and the ceremonial heritage of NUS, such as the presence of the academic procession and the playing of the National Anthem, were duly observed, with graduates from these faculties celebrating their achievements amid the applause of family and friends.

In line with safe management measures, those in attendance did not sing the National Anthem – they stood at attention while it was played. Additionally, there were fewer people in the academic processions, with each ceremony having just one row of nine including the Presiding Officer. 

Although the ceremony took around an hour and the time spent on the stage to receive the scroll maybe just a few seconds, the feeling of receiving the scroll physically in front of family members, batch-mates and presiding officers is exceptional and truly gives me a sense that I finally have graduated from NUS,” Mr Ong Seng Kuan, who graduated with a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (Class of 2020), reflected.

Mr Thuva T., who graduated with a Master of Science in Geotechnical Engineering (Class of 2020) and attended his ceremony with his wife and eight-year-old daughter, also enthused about the good memories he and his family created at the ceremony, having waited more than 15 months for it to come to fruition.

Ms Quek Xian Yun, who graduated with a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (Class of 2020), shared, “I did not know what to expect with all the rules and regulations but ended up feeling really thankful and happy that I had the opportunity to take pictures with my family, friends, and professors in that setting.”

Thanking the organisers for making the ceremony possible, she added, “Commencement to me is really about the people and the place; without any one of those, it just feels incomplete. It was truly so much more memorable than the virtual Commencement.” 

Meanwhile, the ceremonies to come will continue until 24 Oct, celebrating graduates with degrees from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and the School of Design and Environment, among others.

Ms Usy Aliya Rusyda Nur Adly, who is graduating with a degree in Nursing from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (Class of 2020), shared her excitement and joy at her upcoming Commencement on 17 Oct. The milestone is particularly significant as she is the first graduate in her family and a testament to her mother’s hard work and dedication in raising three children on her own.

“I am incredibly excited to attend my in-person Commencement ceremony as it represents a cumulation of effort, achievements unlocked and reliving of memories,” she shares.

“The NUS journey can be a rollercoaster of unpredictable ups and downs but looking back, it’s made of moments: where lessons are learnt, characters are built and memories are made. With that, we are all set to make a difference to the world.”


Read more about the upcoming Commencement ceremonies on the Commencement website, see the Schedule of Ceremonies, or watch the webcasts of completed ceremonies.