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Commencement Day

May 24, 2018

Commencement Day Schedule

Commencement Day Schedule

  • 6:30 AM - Sunrise Breakfast

    Degree candidates and their guests are invited to a continental breakfast before the day’s events. Tickets are not required.

  • 7:20 AM - Class March with Dean to Tercentenary Theatre

    • Law School degree candidates will meet in front of Harkness Commons’ main entrance to join Dean Manning and the Class Marshals in a procession to the 1885 Gate at Quincy Street. Then, degree candidates will assemble on Quincy Street outside the entrance to Sever Quad for the Academic Procession.
    • For those who miss the march, all degree candidates must be assembled at the Sever Quad by 8:00 AM.
    • All degree candidates must be in academic regalia, wearing their Harvard ID. Students in regalia DO NOT need a ticket to enter (their ticket is their HUID displayed in their lanyard).
  • 9:45 AM - University Ceremony

    The University Ceremony is scheduled in Tercentenary Theatre, rain or shine. At this ceremony, President Faust confers degrees to graduates by school.

    • Tickets are required. Degree candidates receive 2 guest tickets (degree candidates do not need a ticket, their ticket is their HUID displayed in their lanyard). Note: A ticket allows admission into Tercentenary Theatre; however, seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. University gates open at 6:45 AM. Guests of degree candidates should plan their arrival accordingly.
    • All guests should be seated for the start of the academic procession which begins at 8:30 AM.
    • The morning ceremony has an audience of approximately 33,000 people. Additional information about the University’s Commencement ceremony can be found at the University’s Official Commencement site.
    • Maps of Harvard Yard and Tercentenary Theatre can be found at Harvard University Maps.
  • 11:45 AM - Law School Diploma Ceremony

    At this ceremony in front of Langdell Library, degrees are presented individually by Dean Manning.

    • The Law School’s Diploma Ceremony is scheduled to begin after the University Ceremony (approximately 11:45 AM) and lasts approximately two hours.
    • The ceremony is held on Holmes Field (in front of Langdell Library) and involves 5,000 people in a theater/audience style setup (Please note: this is an adjustment from the initial plan mentioned in the Commencement Info Book). Chairs are not reserved and seating is first-come, first-served.
    • Lunch is offered during the Diploma Ceremony for graduates and guests with lunch tickets.
    • Tickets are not necessary to attend the ceremony, but are necessary for lunch. The graduating student receives 1 complimentary lunch ticket. Lunch tickets must be purchased in advance.
  • 2:30 PM - University Afternoon Exercises

    • President Drew Faust and the Commencement Speaker, Congressman John Lewis, (D-Georgia), will deliver remarks.
    • Tickets are required for this ceremony. Degree candidates will receive 2 guest tickets for this event and may sit with their guests (the degree candidate does not need a ticket, their ticket is their HUID displayed in their lanyard). Attendance at this event ranges from 15,000-30,000 people.