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Commencement is a celebration of years-long work as well as the start of an exciting new chapter. It’s a moment for students to reminisce about their time at SFCM—an impactful jury performance, that amazing side-by-side with members of the San Francisco Symphony, or those late-night jam sessions—while looking ahead to the future. The ceremony offers a chance to learn about an influential speaker’s life path, as well as hear from fellow peers whose journeys are just beginning.

This year’s online commencement will feature all this and more. To be streamed on SFCM’s YouTube channel (with real-time comments) and website Friday, May 22 at 5 PM Pacific, the celebratory event will virtually send off the Class of 2020—at home worldwide—to bright futures.

Here are some things to look forward to at this year’s online ceremony:

Alan Alda

Alan Alda, an Academy Award nominated-actor, writer, and director, will give the keynote address. A seven-time Emmy winner, Alda is best known for his work on MASH and The West Wing. He most recently starred in Marriage Story alongside Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson (nominated for six Academy Awards in February).
Beyond the entertainment world, Alan is a science advocate. He teaches scientists how to use storytelling to talk about their achievements.
Although Alda has given multiple inspiring (and quotable!) commencement speeches, May 22 will be the first time he’s addressing graduates from the comfort of his own home—virtually. And after decades of making his mark on the world, Alda has a lot to share.

Jeremy Denk will perform

He’s normally touring the world’s biggest stages, so his time at home is SFCM’s gain. Straight from his apartment in New York, Jeremy Denk—one of America’s foremost pianists and an SFCM faculty member—will play a special piece in honor of the Class of 2020.