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Photos and Videos: 2020-2021 Ph.D. Celebration

Smith family
Ph.D. graduate Taylor Smith celebrates with
his family, including a brother who joined the
festivities remotely.

The Graduate School celebrated its 2020-2021 Ph.D. graduates on Friday, May 7, with a drive-through event at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. About 130 Ph.D. graduates participated in the celebration, where they picked up graduation gifts and paused for photos.

The school also held an online ceremony on May 8 to individually recognize each of its 2020-2021 Ph.D. graduates. George Wright (Ph.D.'77 History), the 2021 recipient of The Graduate School's Distinguished Alumni Award, offered advice and encouragement to the graduates, reminding them that "our degrees are not just for us alone. It's for us to make sure that other people have opportunities."

The drive-through celebration and virtual recognition ceremony were held in place of The Graduate School's traditional Ph.D. hooding ceremony, which was not possible this year due to pandemic-related restrictions.

In all, 376 Ph.D. students completed their degrees during the 2020-2021 academic year. Their names, photos, and dissertation information can be found at

Photos from the Drive-Through Celebration

If you can't see the gallery below, view the pictures on our photo site.


Video of the 2020-2021 Ph.D. Virtual Recognition Ceremony


Recognizing 2019-2020 Ph.D. Graduates

In addition to celebrating its 2020-2021 graduates, the school also took time out on May 8 to virtually recognize its 2019-2020 Ph.D. graduates.