May 28, 2020

Dear Graduating Students, UC Santa Barbara Families and Friends,
and Members of Our Campus Community,

Each year during this time, I so enjoy walking around our campus – like every one of you – appreciating its spectacular beauty in full bloom and watching our graduates pose in cap and gown for photos to capture moments that will last a lifetime. I am missing this excitement and anticipation, just as I will miss next month’s graduation ceremonies on our Commencement Green overlooking the lagoon. Personally congratulating and shaking the hand of each of our graduates is my favorite campus tradition and one I look forward to sharing with you together in person in the future, when we can welcome you and your families and friends back to campus to share the Commencement stage.

Even though we cannot be together in person this June to honor your achievements, we want to take time to recognize all you have accomplished at UC Santa Barbara. As a class and as individuals, you have met our high educational standards and overcome many extraordinary challenges during your time here. You are leaving our university a better place.

We have been working closely with our students and our deans to create our UC Santa Barbara Class of 2020 Virtual Celebration. Our Virtual Celebration will be available for viewing starting Saturday, June 13, 2020, at 9 a.m. Pacific Time at

In addition to personalized graduate slides, and remarks from our academic leadership and student speaker, our Virtual Celebration will feature a song for our graduating students from award-winning musician, filmmaker, environmental and sustainability champion, humanitarian, and UC Santa Barbara distinguished alumnus Jack Johnson.

Please know that my wife, Dilling, and I keep you and your loved ones in our thoughts, and we cannot wait to welcome you back to campus to celebrate together in person.

Congratulations and best wishes, 

Henry T. Yang