Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898 | SUBSCRIBE

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Harvard Squared

Harvard Commencement 2018

Harvard Commencement and reunion guide

May-June 2018

Photograph by Jim Harrison

Photograph by Jim Harrison

COMMENCEMENT WEEK includes addresses by President Drew Gilpin Faust and Congressman John Lewis, LL.D. ’12. For details and updates on event speakers, visit

* * *

Tuesday, May 22

Phi Beta Kappa Exercises, at 11, with poet Kevin Young ’92, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library and poetry editor at The New Yorker, and orator Neil Shubin, Ph.D. ’87, a paleontologist who is Bensley professor of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago and author of Your Inner Fish. Sanders Theatre.

Baccalaureate Service for the Class of 2018, at 2, Memorial Church, followed by class photo, Widener steps.

Class of 2018 Family Reception, at 5. Tickets required. Science Center plaza.

Harvard Extension School Annual Commencement Banquet, at 6. Tickets required. Annenberg Hall.


Wednesday, May 23

ROTC Commissioning Ceremony, at 10:30, with President Faust and a guest speaker. Tercentenary Theatre.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Convocation at 11, with Mary Robinson, LL.M. ’68, LL.D. ’98, former president of the Republic of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. HMS Quad.

Senior Class Day Picnic, at noon. Tickets required. The Old Yard.

Senior Class Day Exercises, at 2, with the Harvard and Ivy Orations, remarks by incoming Harvard Alumni Association president Margaret Wang ’09, and an address by novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the guest speaker. Tickets required. Tercentenary Theatre.

Harvard Kennedy School Commencement Address, at 2, by Ohio governor John R. Kasich. JFK Memorial Park.

Law School Class Day, 2:30, with Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona as guest speaker. Holmes Field.

Business School Class Day Ceremony, 2:30, with guest speaker Carla Harris ’84, M.B.A. ’87, managing director, investment management at Morgan Stanley. Baker Lawn.

Harvard Graduate School of Education Convocation, 3:30-5, featuring an address by John Silvanus Wilson Jr., M.T.S. ’81, Ed. M. ’82, Ed.D. ’85. The former president of Morehouse College and member of the Harvard Board of Overseers was recently named senior advisor and strategist to the president of Harvard University. Radcliffe Yard.

Graduate School of Design Class Day, at 4, with Paola Antonelli, author, editor, and senior curator of the department of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art. Piper Auditorium, Gund Hall.

Divinity School Multireligious Commencement Service for the Class of 2018 at 4. Memorial Church.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dudley House Faculty Dean’s Reception, 4-6.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Award Presentation and Celebration, 4-7. Kresge Courtyard.

Faculty Deans’ Receptions for seniors and guests, at 5. The Undergraduate Houses.

Harvard University Band, Harvard Glee Club, and Radcliffe Choral Society Concert, at 8. Tercentenary Theatre.


Thursday, May 24

Commencement Day. Gates open at 6:45.

Academic Procession, 8:50. The Old Yard.

The 367th Commencement Exercises, 9:45 (concluding at 11:45). Tickets required. Tercentenary Theatre.

All Alumni Spread, 11:30. Tickets required. The Old Yard.

The Tree Spread, for the College classes through 1967, 11:30. Tickets required. Holden Quadrangle.

Graduate Schools Diploma Ceremonies, from 11:30 (time varies by school).

GSAS Luncheon and Reception, 12 to 3. Tickets required. Behind Perkins Hall.

College Diploma Presentation Ceremonies and Luncheons, at noon. The Undergraduate Houses.

Alumni Procession, 1:45. The Old Yard.

The Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA): The Commencement Afternoon Program,  2:30, includes remarks by HAA president Susan Morris Novick ’85, President Faust, and Commencement speaker John Lewis; Overseer and HAA director election results; and Harvard Medal presentations. Tercentenary Theatre.

Medical and Dental Schools Class Day Ceremony. Ticketed luncheon at noon, followed by a speech, at 2, by Neal Baer, Ed.M. ’79, A.M. ’82, M.D. ’96, pediatrician, television producer and writer, and HMS lecturer on global health and medicine. HMS Quad.


Friday, May 25

Radcliffe Day  opens with a morning panel discussion, “Toward a New Global Architecture? America’s Role in a Changing World,” moderated by Nicholas Burns, Goodman Family professor of the practice of diplomacy and international relations. The panelists are foreign-policy experts Michèle Flournoy ’83, a former undersecretary of defense; Washington Post columnist David Ignatius ’72; Kirkpatrick professor of the practice of international affairs Meghan O’Sullivan; and political scientist Anne-Marie Slaughter, J.D. ’85, who served in the State Department under Hillary Clinton.

During the luncheon that follows (12:30-2), former Secretary of State Clinton is to receive the 2018 Radcliffe Medal. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (the 2001 Radcliffe Medalist) will deliver a personal tribute to Clinton, and a three-way conversation with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey ’92 will follow. Tickets are required, and the events will be webcast live at

For updates on Commencement week and related activities, visit or

Harvard Squared

A guide to the arts and culture, history, cuisine, and natural beauty of Cambridge, Boston, and beyond

You Might Also Like: