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John Harvard's Journal

Humor, Too

July-August 2018

Phoebe Lakin
Photograph by Jim Harrison


Phoebe Lakin
Photograph by Jim Harrison

Commencement oratory and the conferring of degrees are not all spinach. Phoebe Lakin ’18, the Latin Salutatorian, had the wit to draw upon one of the great Harvard graduation moments: J.K. Rowling’s afternoon speech 10 years ago (read Lakin’s full text here). For those, um, rusty in Latin, she said:

Harvard University, as many of you have no doubt already observed, is not so different from the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Were we not just as astounded as Harry when we received our acceptance letters, delivered not by owl but—incredibly—upon the wings of email? Have we not spent our nights brewing potions in the Science Center, as though in the Dungeons? Did we not often greet the dawn among the bookshelves of the Restricted Section—that is to say, Lamont Library?…

Wherever we go next, by broomstick or by automobile, the gates of the Yard will always be open for us.…Now farewell, my classmates, and let us go and work our magic! 

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