Commencement for 2015 will be held on Thursday, May 28th, 2015. Gates will open on Commencement Morning at 6:45 AM. A ticket is required to gain entry into Tercentenary Theatre, the site of the Commencement Morning Exercises.
All persons, bags, and personal items are subject to inspection before entering Harvard Yard. No backpacks of any type will be admitted. No bag or item larger than 12 x 12”x 12” will be permitted inside the Yard.
All degree candidates must wear academic regalia (caps and gowns) to the Commencement Morning Exercises. Regalia may be ordered through the Harvard Coop for distribution in May. Degree candidates will receive ordering instructions from their undergraduate House or Graduate/Professional School.
Guests with Disabilities
There is a reserved and accessible seating section available for individuals with disabilities in Tercentenary Theatre on Commencement Day.
Additional information can be found here.
Restrooms for the general public are located in the following buildings:
- Weld Hall
- Thayer Hall
- Sever Hall
These restrooms are wheelchair accessible.
First Aid Stations
First Aid stations on Commencement Day are situated in the following locations:
- Weld Hall - Room 11
- Thayer Hall - Room 106
- Sever Hall - Room 112
Water stations are located along the perimeter of Tercentenary Theatre and will be clearly marked. Their locations are:
- Widener Library steps
- Weld Hall - porch north
- Weld Hall - northeast entrance
- Thayer Hall - south steps
- Sever Hall - main entrance
- College Pump - near Hollis Hall
Parking and Shuttle Services
Parking at Harvard University during Commencement Week is extremely limited.
Bus Service (Fully Accessible)
Bus service will operate on Class Day from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Commencement Day from 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Bus service will be on fixed routes for both days. Buses will operate approx. every 5 minutes from the Quad, down to the end of Garden Street (Harvard Square), around the rotary, and then back up Garden Street to the Quad.
- Designated Stops: Quad Area (Currier House), along Garden Street, Radcliffe Yard, and at the end of Garden Street (Harvard Square), back to the Quad Area.
Buses will operate approx. every 15 minutes from the Allston Campus: Soldiers Field Park Garage, down Western Avenue, onto North Harvard Street, into the Stadium Complex (Gate #8), over the Anderson Bridge, onto J.F.K. Street, into Harvard Square (Citizens Bank). After 3:00 p.m. buses will travel through the square, through the underpass and onto Quincy Street (Lamont Library Bus stop), down Bow Street to DeWolfe Street, onto Memorial Drive, over the Western Avenue Bridge and back to Soldiers Field Park.
- Designated Stops: Soldiers Field Park Garage, Along Western Avenue and North Harvard Street, Inside Stadium Complex (Gate 8), corner of J.F.K. & South Street, Harvard Square (Citizens Bank), Lamont Library (Quincy Street), along Bow & DeWolfe Streets.
Drivers will drop-off, and pick-up riders along the route whenever it is safe to do so.
The Transit Visualization System™ (ShuttleTracker) continuously displays the location of Harvard University shuttles and animates their motion against a detailed map of recognizable University buildings and landmarks.
- From your web browser: http://shuttle.harvard.edu
- From your mobile device: http://shuttle.harvard.edu/m
- Shuttle Tracker iPhone App available in the iTunes App Store
Daytime Van Service (Fully accessible)
Service will operate Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and start at 6:00 a.m. on Commencement Day.
The Daytime Van Service is designed for persons who - because of mobility impairment or medical condition - find it extremely difficult or impossible to get around the University. Transportation is door to door within the Cambridge and Allston campuses. Rides in the van are by appointment only. All riders must be authorized in advance by University Disabilities Office, @ 617-495-1859.
Please call 617-495-0400 for reservation requirements.
Evening Van Service (Fully Accessible)
Service operates nightly between 7 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. with the last phone call at 2:30 a.m. The Evening Van Service is designed to provide safe transportation for Harvard Community members throughout the Cambridge and Allston campuses where our buses do not operate. Please call 617-495-0400 for more information and service requests.
Motorist Assistance Program - M.A.P.
This service is available 24 hours a day, seven (7) days a week. Transportation Services provides free on-campus emergency road service for faculty, staff, students and visitors who need help charging a dead battery, changing a flat tire, or retrieving keys that have been locked inside a car. Please call 617-496-HELP (4357).
Fleet, Transit & Charter Operations Contacts for Commencement Week:
David Harris Jr. – Director
Carl Tempesta, Associate Director
Jonathan Werner, Supervisor
Dolly Pacheco, Staff Assistant
Carolyn Pisarczyk, Staff Assistant
Transit Services Office
Fleet Management Services
The Harvard Square stop on the MBTA's Red Line subway is directly across the street from Harvard Yard. The Harvard Commuter Choice Program website describes the various routes to Harvard Square using public transportation. Please note: Acrobat Reader is required to view and print this information.
The Commencement Morning Exercises and the afternoon Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association are televised live for guests who are unable to attend these campus events.
The broadcast times are: 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM and 1:45 PM - 4:30 PM and can be seen on Comcast Cable (channel 283) in Boston/Brookline and Cambridge/Greater Boston.
The live webcast may be viewed via computer from the following Harvard websites:
Broadcast-quality, multiple-camera DVD recordings are available of the Commencement Morning Exercises as well as the afternoon Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association. These DVDs are intended to be a permanent record of the day's events held in Tercentenary Theatre. They both include coverage of the processions with commentary leading up to the actual platform proceedings. The Undergraduate Class Day Exercises (Wednesday afternoon) are also available on DVD.
For purchase of, or information about these DVDs, contact Commencement Video at (617) 884-6000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The complete Thursday morning and afternoon exercises will be carried live on Harvard's radio station, WHRB (95.3 FM, streamed at www.whrb.org) beginning with coverage of the academic procession beginning a little before 9 am.
WHRB's Commencement broadcasts began over half a century ago, in 1957, adding in recent years the Phi Beta Kappa Literary Exercises and Baccalaureate service on Tuesday (11 am, c. 2 pm) and Class Day on Wednesday (2 pm). For more information on these broadcasts or WHRB, see their website, www.whrb.org, where there is a program guide and much more.