Thursday, May 25, 2017
Welcome to the 366th Harvard Commencement. Although Harvard's first Commencement in 1642 is 375 years behind us, Commencement numbering has fallen out of step as exercises were omitted for reasons ranging from war to plague. The cumulative effect is that 2016, for example marks only the 365th Harvard Commencement.
Commencement at Harvard is comprised of three components: the ceremonial Morning Exercises, during which University degrees are conferred; the mid-day luncheons and diploma-awarding ceremonies at the undergraduate Houses, Graduate and Professional Schools; and the afternoon Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association, during which Harvard’s president and the featured Commencement speaker deliver their addresses.
The Morning Exercises, which convene in the outdoor Tercentenary Theatre, are attended by approximately 32,000 degree candidates, family members, faculty, alumni/ae, and guests. Because of limited seating capacity, this is a ticketed event, and those without a ticket will not be admitted.
Note: A ticket allows admission into the Theatre, but does not guarantee a seat. Seats are on a first-come basis and cannot be reserved. The sale of Commencement tickets is strictly prohibited.