Claremont Graduate University’s
94th Commencement Ceremony

Saturday, May 15, 2021, at 2:00 pm (Pacific Time)

CGU celebrates its graduates! Student success is the number one goal of the administration, faculty, and staff at Claremont Graduate University.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, our annual in-person commencement celebration will once again be held virtually. Please join President Len Jessup and Provost Patricia Easton as they host a livestream commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 15, 2021, at 2:00 pm (Pacific Time). Family, friends, and the CGU community are invited to join in this virtual event as we celebrate our students’ achievements.

Following the commencement celebration, graduates and their guests are encouraged to join their school’s conferral ceremony and reception. Return here on May 15 at 2:00 pm (PT) for access to the livestream commencement celebration and for instructions on joining the school conferrals and receptions.

Once we can be together safely, Claremont Graduate University intends to host a celebratory event where doctoral and MFA graduates will be hooded, and we can laud every graduate in person.

2021 Commencement Ceremony


Speaker Lineup
Tim Kirley, chair, CGU Board of Trustees
Len Jessup, president
Patricia Easton, provost
Arline Votruba, Graduate Student Council acting president
Nicole Dawson, MBA, student speaker
Patricia Easton
Roberta Jenkins, Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa
Len Jessup


Celebrate the Classes of 2020 & 2021!

Welcome to the 2021 CGU Commencement Digital Toolbox!

  • Want a lawn sign to brag about your graduate? Download it here!
  • Looking for social media GIFs to share and celebrate commencement? We got you covered!
  • Need a background to spice up your presence at the conferral ceremony? This is the place!

Download Digital Toolbox (ZIP - 28 MB)

2021 Commencement Honorees & Speakers

Honorary Degree Recipient

Roberta Jenkins
Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa

Roberta JenkinsA passionate advocate of educational equity and access, Roberta Jenkins believes in the power of education to give hope not only to today’s young minds but to future generations as well. To underscore this commitment, she and her late husband founded The Matthew and Roberta Jenkins Family Foundation, which provides scholarships to students, colleges, and institutions.

The oldest of seven children, Jenkins was born and raised on her family’s dairy farm in North Augusta, South Carolina. She attended Tuskegee University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in institutional management. It was also there that she met Matthew, her future husband. Jenkins finished her graduate studies at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital and completed the California State University, Long Beach meeting planners certificate program. In 1974, she and her husband created SDD Enterprises, a real estate investment and property management firm with businesses in eight states.

A long-time resident of Long Beach, Jenkins serves on numerous organizations’ boards and committees, including Teachers for Urban Schools and the Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She is the recipient of awards from organizations including the Tuskegee University Alumni Association, the NAACP, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, the United Negro College Fund, and many others.

Jenkins and her husband have enjoyed a long relationship with CGU, including his service as a former member of the Board of Trustees and hers as a member of the School of Educational Studies’ Board of Advisors. They endowed a fellowship to support black students in any discipline. Their service to the university was honored with the creation of the Jenkins Courtyard, located in front of the Drucker School of Management.

Commencement Student Speaker

Nicole A. Dawson, Master of Business Administration

Nicole DawsonNicole A. Dawson is receiving her MBA today with concentrations in supply chain management and marketing. She received a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Spelman College, a member of the nation’s historically black colleges and universities.

Dawson started an IT career at General Electric Healthcare as a project manager in several of the company’s organizations, including Global Supply Chain (for which she received the Above and Beyond Award for her leadership in process improvement). This summer, she joins Apple as a new product introductions operations program manager as part of the company’s Beats team.

At CGU, Dawson has served as a Toyota Supply Chain Fellow, a graduate student ambassador, current president of the Claremont Colleges student chapter of INFORMS, past president of the Venture Capital Club, and a member of the Supply Chain Management Association. With the Graduate Student Council, she has chaired both the Student Affairs and the Elections committees and is an elected representative to the Drucker School of Management. She is also a member of the committee responsible for selection of the 2022 honorary degree recipient.

Dawson is a proud member of an extended CGU family: Her mother, Juanita (MS, ’95), is an alumna and current doctoral student in the Center for Information Systems & Technology; and her brother, Quincy (MA, ’20), is an alumnus of the School of Educational Studies.


Alternative Commencement Student Speaker

Emily Beglarian, Master of Public Health

Emily BeglarianEmily Beglarian is a 2021 graduate from Claremont Graduate University’s School of Community and Global Health (SCGH), with a Master of Public Health with an emphasis in Applied Biostatistics and Epidemiology. Beglarian graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, in 2018.

Although Beglarian began her studies with a general interest in public health, she found a passion for and has devoted much of her master’s work to addressing and dismantling inequity. As the SCGH Student Association Board president, she moderated talks in the Racism in Public Health talk series, which discussed racism and racial inequity in various sectors of public health. Emily also served on the SCGH Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and worked on multiple projects to further equity within SCGH and beyond.

Beglarian is a Randall Lewis Fellow and has held an internship at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) in the Active Transportation department. During her time at SCAG, Beglarian worked with the organization’s Equity Working Group and collaborated with other employees on SCAG’s equity initiatives.

Beglarian is also passionate about teaching and educating others about public health. While earning her master’s at CGU, she served as a Teaching Assistant for two courses and completed a college teaching certificate through the Preparing Future Faculty program. Beglarian plans to begin a doctorate program in Epidemiology this fall and hopes to work at a university in the future.

Beglarian will be a featured speaker at the SCGH conferral ceremony.


2021 Dream and Believe Fellowship Recipient

Adrineh Gregorian, School of Arts & Humanities

Adrineh GregorianThe recipient of the 2021 Dream and Believe Fellowship is Adrineh Gregorian, a doctoral candidate in the Cultural Studies Department who is currently working on her dissertation, titled “Gender and Peace Building.”

Gregorian entered the Cultural Studies doctoral program at CGU with a master’s degree in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and a bachelor’s degree in Development Economics and International Development from UCLA.

Before joining CGU, Gregorian pursued a multi-faceted career as an activist, journalist, and documentary filmmaker focusing on women’s issues in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Her first film Bavakan (2013), examines the pressure faced by women in Armenia to have sex-selection abortions and catalyzed public discussions in Armenia about this taboo topic and other gender-related issues and challenges.

Born in the U.S., Gregorian has often traveled to her family’s native country of Armenia and, over the last decade, has become deeply involved in women’s issues through the NGO Sose’s Women, serving as its creative director. The organization focuses on strengthening communities by empowering women, running training courses, and conducting health education outreach in Armenia and elsewhere around the world.

Gregorian’s doctoral dissertation examines women’s leadership in humanitarian aid and inclusion in peacebuilding processes in Armenia and Azerbaijan. The seed of her project grew from a series of workshops that she organized with Armenian and Azerbaijani women activists in Tbilisi, Georgia. Working with a film crew, Gregorian planned to document the workshops, conduct interviews, and collect oral histories. Still, these plans were interrupted when war broke out between Azerbaijan and Armenia, a devastating conflict that disproportionately affected women and children and was exacerbated by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Through her NGO, Gregorian has found ways to house displaced women, the elderly, people with disabilities, pregnant women, and children in the region. Mobilizing an international network, she has raised funds to supply refugees with essentials like medicine and winter clothes as well as electricity and heat. Currently, Gregorian’s humanitarian work continues along with her graduate studies and providing film work to CGU. In recognition of her inspiring work, the Dream and Believe Fellowship will supply Gregorian with the essential funding to finish her degree and continue to expand the work she does to improve the lives of others.


2021 President’s Art Award

Before We Were Distant

Before We Were Distant
Oil on canvas
48” x 120” x 1.5”
Julie Weaver Loffer, artist

“I have been evolving as an artist for my entire life,” says Julie Weaver Loffer (MFA, ’21). “It has been since my time at CGU that I have learned to, and begun developing, my work as an art practice.”

Weaver Loffer has been chosen for the 2021 President’s Art Award for Before We Were Distant, an oil painting on two panels that depicts a San Manuel Band of Mission Indians pow-wow held in 2019 in the San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino. The work of art will be displayed outside the Office of the President in CGU’s Harper Hall, along with several photos of the pow-wow taken by Weaver Loffer.

A studio art major at CGU, Weaver Loffer enjoys experimenting with paints to create new textures and forms on canvas. Her artwork mainly comprises pieces that represent Native American culture and life. She develops her paintings first through candid photography before painting them and transitioning the subjects and atmosphere into her work. In addition to her MFA, Weaver Loffer holds a bachelor’s degree in studio art from the University of Redlands.

Weaver Loffer is a member of Minnesota’s Ojibwe Anishinaabeg tribe. Her other professional efforts supporting indigenous communities include serving as assistant producer of the California Pow-wow (series) for FNX (First Nations Experience) TV. Learn more about Julie Weaver Loffer at CGU and enjoy examples of her work.


Information for Graduates

For information about participation, regalia, deadlines, and more, visit the Graduates Commencement page.



For more information about 2021 Commencement, please email