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2021 Commencement

Congratulations Class of 2021!

The 163rd Commencement for the Class of 2021

Monday, June 14, 2021 at 11:00

The 163rd Commencement for the Class of 2021 has concluded. View the recording of the webcast here.

Class of 2021 Speaker

Alum Gwynne Shotwell, president and COO of SpaceX, addressed the Class of 2021

Gwynne Shotwell

Gwynne Shotwell, president and COO of SpaceX, delivered the Northwestern Commencement address to the Class of 2021 during the University’s June 14 virtual ceremony.

Shotwell, a double Northwestern alumna, also received an honorary degree, along with ‘me too.’ movement founder Tarana J. Burke, renowned medical researcher Dr. Helen H. Hobbs and fellow alumnus George R.R. Martin, the best-selling author and creator of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

Honorary Degree Recipients

  • Tarana J. Burke - Activist and advocate Tarana J. Burke 
  • Dr. Helen H. Hobbs - Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a professor of internal medicine and molecular genetics at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • George R.R. Martin - Alumnus George R.R. Martin, an internationally acclaimed best-selling author and creator of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” one of the world’s most popular television shows

View the recipients acceptance videos here.

For the full story and video of our 2021 speaker, Gwynne Shotwell and our Honorary Degree Recipients, click here to view on Northwestern Now.

Distinguished Secondary Teacher Awards

  • Seth Brady
    Naperville Central High School
    Naperville, Illinois
  • Carrie Marcantonio
    Winnetonka High School
    Kansas City, Missouri
  • Monica Rowley
    Brooklyn Technical High School
    New York City, New York
  • Jeff Solin
    Lane Tech College Prep
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Mark Vondracek
    Evanston Township High School
    Evanston, Illinois

View the nominations and acceptance videos here.

For Information on all of our recipients view the story on Northwestern Now