Founder of Khan Academy Salman Khan to speak at virtual commencement

by The Dartmouth Senior Staff | 5/22/20 12:19pm

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by Michael Lin / The Dartmouth Senior Staff

Updated May 22, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.

This year’s virtual commencement speaker will be Salman Khan, founder of the free online education platform Khan Academy, Dartmouth announced on Thursday. The College selected Khan as commencement speaker before the switch to remote learning.

Although the College announced April 9 that this year’s in-person ceremony will be postponed until June 2021, the Class of 2020 will partake in a virtual commencement ceremony on June 14, the original commencement date, during which Khan will speak.

Khan started Khan Academy — a non-profit organization that provides free lessons in math, sciences and humanities to anyone online — in 2008. Khan, a former engineer and hedge fund analyst, created Khan Academy with the mission of a “free world-class education for anyone, anywhere.” The organization has more than 100 million registered users across 190 countries, and content is available in more than 40 languages. 

Diplomas for the Class of 2020 will be mailed to graduates this summer, along with commemorative programs.

A video at the end of the ceremony with names and photos of members of the undergraduate Class of 2020 will commemorate the graduates. Additionally, the College is inviting families and friends to submit photos for a congratulatory video that will run before the ceremony’s start.

The ceremony, titled “Celebrating the Moment,” will also include speeches from College President Phil Hanlon and one of the undergraduate valedictorians, the Native and Indigenous welcome and an invocation from Rabbi Daveen Litwin. There will also be performances from the Dartmouth College Glee Club and Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble. All addresses and performances, including Khan’s, will be pre-recorded.

In addition to the undergraduate conferral of degrees ceremony on June 14, the Geisel School of Medicine Class Day will be held on June 6, and Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, chair of neurologic surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Florida, will give the keynote speech. The Guarini School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, Thayer School of Engineering and Tuck School of Business investitures will be held in separate virtual ceremonies on June 13.