Berklee Virtual Commencement Concert
Friday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. EDT
A musical tribute to Berklee’s 2020 honorary degree recipients—Mikhail Baryshnikov and André De Shields (Boston Conservatory at Berklee); and Sheila E., John Legend, and Cassandra Wilson (Berklee College of Music)—will be livestreamed on Friday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. EDT. The concert will feature performances by students from the Conservatory and College’s class of 2020.
Read more about this year’s honorary degree recipients.
Boston Conservatory at Berklee Commencement
Saturday, May 9 at 2:00 p.m. EDT
Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s virtual 2020 commencement ceremony celebrating the conferral of degrees will be livestreamed on May 9, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. An email invitation will be sent to students, parents, and community members with additional details; please refer to the digital invitation for additional information.
A Letter from Berklee President Roger H. Brown and Conservatory Executive Director Cathy Young
March 31, 2020
Dear members of the Berklee community,
We hope you are doing well as we continue into our second week of remote teaching and learning. We’ve heard from you about the successes and struggles of adapting to this new environment, the creative ways you’re engaging your peers and communities, and possibly most of all, we’ve heard questions about commencement.
As a culminating event for graduating students, commencement is an incomparable milestone. It captures the spirit of our community, bringing students, their families, and their faculty together to celebrate achievement, hard work, and artistry. For both of us, it is often the most exciting and emotional time of the year. We love to see you and your families together as you mark this momentous transition, and though we are sad to see you go, we are so proud of you, and know you’ll go on to make incredible contributions in the worlds of music, dance, and theater.
After exploring possible options, we agreed that the best course forward is two-fold—first, to produce a virtual ceremony for the conferral of degrees on May 9, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. for College and Berklee Online graduates, and 2:00 p.m. for Conservatory graduates. In addition, when circumstances allow, we intend to host five in-person ceremonies and receptions on campus in the fall semester: one for each of the three College divisions, one for the Conservatory, and one for Berklee Online graduates. We will provide more information on this once we are able to return to campus and set a date. We recognize that not everyone will be able to return for these in-person events, so they will be live-streamed as well. Planned summer graduation ceremonies for master's degree students—in Boston, Valencia, and Berklee Online—remain under consideration at this time. We will continue to keep our community updated as we have further details.
For our virtual commencement celebration, we will continue the tradition of a music, theater, and dance tribute. From their remote locations around the world, students from Berklee class of 2020 will unite as a collaborative virtual ensemble to record a multigenre tribute with accompanying split-screen-style videos. The performance will air on commencement eve, Friday, May 8, on Berklee social media channels.
Given the importance of commencement for our entire community, we are, of course, disappointed that we can not hold our events the same way we have in the past. We hope you’ll remember that we are, above all, a creative community, and together, we will find ways to make these events memorable and meaningful.
Graduating students will soon hear from the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, Diversity and Inclusion with information about how they can participate in the ceremony. In addition, we have several virtual engagement opportunities that will be shared in coming weeks regarding commencement.
We are all living through a challenging moment in time, upending our day-to-day lives, and dealing with uncertainty. Many thanks to all of you for your responsiveness as we addressed this uncertainty by transitioning swiftly from learning, teaching, and working on campus to doing so remotely. These steps helped to secure the health and safety of our community, and set us up well for our new educational environment.
We are enormously proud to be members of this community of artists, innovators, and educators. We are excited for all those who will be graduating and look forward to watching you contribute to the world in myriad ways.
Roger H. Brown
Executive Director/Senior Vice President, Boston Conservatory at Berklee
Information and Resources for Graduating Students
Caps and Gowns
Caps and gowns are on their way to you now if you had completed all required forms that were sent by the Registrar's Office. They were mailed to the address you submitted for diploma delivery, unless you shared a different address with us. The last shipment will be mailed out on May 5, and we hope that delivery services throughout the world will deliver them to you in a timely fashion. In your package, you will find a letter about the significance of commencement “regalia” (caps and gowns) and inviting you to post photos of yourself on social media using the hashtags #BoCoGrad2020 and #BerkleeAnywhere.
View information about getting your diploma. Diploma covers will be mailed out in the summer.
Custom Diploma Frames
Browse and learn how to order a custom Boston Conservatory at Berklee diploma frame.
In addition to our May celebration, Boston Conservatory will host an in-person ceremony and reception on campus when we are able to do so. We will provide more information on this once we return to campus and set a date. We recognize that not everyone will be able to return for these in-person events, so they will be livestreamed as well.