To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
Live Statistics
English Articles
Improved in 24 Hours
Added in 24 Hours
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

History and traditions of Harvard commencements

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 (l-r) US Navy Secretary (and Har­vard Over­seer) George Meyer; Prof. Frank W. Taussig; Pres. Eliot (who dis­dained aca­dem­ic regal­ia);[2] Bishop (and Over­seer) William Lawrence (1911)
(l-r) US Navy Secretary (and Har­vard Over­seer) George Meyer; Prof. Frank W. Taussig; Pres. Eliot (who dis­dained aca­dem­ic regal­ia);[2] Bishop (and Over­seer) William Lawrence (1911)

What was originally called Harvard Colledge (around which Harvard University eventually grew) held its first Commence­ment in September 1642, when nine degrees were conferred.[3] Today some 1700 under­grad­uate degrees, and 5000 advanced degrees from the university's various graduate and professional schools, are conferred each Commence­ment Day.

Each degree candidate attends three ceremonies: the Morning Exercises, at which degrees are conferred verbally en masse; a smaller midday ceremony (at the candidate's professional or graduate school, or upperclass House) during which actual diplomas are given in hand; and in the afternoon the annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association's, at which Harvard's President and the day's featured speaker deliver their addresses.[4]

Several hundred[clarification needed] Harvard honorary degrees (which with few exceptions must be accepted in person) have been awarded since the first was bestowed on Benjamin Franklin in 1753.[5] In 1935 playwright George Bernard Shaw declined nomination for a Harvard honorary degree, urging instead that Harvard celebrate its three-hundredth anniversary by "burning itself to the ground ... as an example to all the other famous old corrupters of youth" such as Yale.

The ceremonies shifted from late summer to late June in the nineteenth century,[a] and are now held at the end of May.[citation needed] A number of unusual traditions have attached to them over the centuries, including the arrival of certain dignitaries on horseback, occupancy by Harvard's president of the Holyoke Chair (a "bizarre" sixteenth-century contraption prone to tipping over) and the welcoming of newly minted bachelors to "the fellowship of educated men and women."

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/5
    1 003 877
    2 261 260
    41 423
    9 980
    15 633
  • Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg Commencement Address | Harvard Commencement 2017
  • Natalie Portman Harvard Commencement Speech | Harvard Commencement 2015
  • Morning Exercises | Harvard Commencement 2016
  • Ivy Female Orator Taylor Kay Phillips | Harvard Commencement 2015
  • Harvard Commencement 2012: My Journey through Harvard Extension School


President Faust, Board of Overseers, faculty, alumni, friends, proud parents, members of the ad board, and graduates of the greatest university in the world, I'm honored to be with you today because, let's face it, you accomplished something I never could. If I get through this speech, it'll be the first time I actually finish something at Harvard. Class of 2017, congratulations! I'm an unlikely speaker, not just because I dropped out, but because we're technically in the same generation. We walked this yard less than a decade apart, studied the same ideas and slept through the same Ec10 lectures. We may have taken different paths to get here, especially if you came all the way from the Quad, but today I want to share what I've learned about our generation and the world we're building together. But first, the last couple of days have brought back a lot of good memories. How many of you remember exactly what you were doing when you got that email telling you that you got into Harvard? I was playing Civilization and I ran downstairs, got my dad, and for some reason, his reaction was to video me opening the email. That could have been a really sad video. I swear getting into Harvard is still the thing my parents are most proud of me for. What about your first lecture at Harvard? Mine was Computer Science 121 with the incredible Harry Lewis. I was late so I threw on a t-shirt and didn't realize until afterwards it was inside out and backwards with my tag sticking out the front. I couldn't figure out why no one would talk to me -- except one guy, KX Jin, he just went with it. We ended up doing our problem sets together, and now he runs a big part of Facebook. And that, Class of 2017, is why you should be nice to people. But my best memory from Harvard was meeting Priscilla. I had just launched this prank website Facemash, and the ad board wanted to "see me". Everyone thought I was going to get kicked out. My parents came to help me pack. My friends threw me a going away party. As luck would have it, Priscilla was at that party with her friend. We met in line for the bathroom in the Pfoho Belltower, and in what must be one of the all time romantic lines, I said: "I'm going to get kicked out in three days, so we need to go on a date quickly." Actually, any of you graduating can use that line. I didn't end up getting kicked out -- I did that to myself. Priscilla and I started dating. And, you know, that movie made it seem like Facemash was so important to creating Facebook. It wasn't. But without Facemash I wouldn't have met Priscilla, and she's the most important person in my life, so you could say it was the most important thing I built in my time here. We've all started lifelong friendships here, and some of us even families. That's why I'm so grateful to this place. Thanks, Harvard. Today I want to talk about purpose. But I'm not here to give you the standard commencement about finding your purpose. We're millennials. We'll try to do that instinctively. Instead, I'm here to tell you finding your purpose isn't enough. The challenge for our generation is creating a world where everyone has a sense of purpose. One of my favorite stories is when John F Kennedy visited the NASA space center, he saw a janitor carrying a broom and he walked over and asked what he was doing. The janitor responded: "Mr. President, I'm helping put a man on the moon". Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for. Purpose is what creates true happiness. You're graduating at a time when this is especially important. When our parents graduated, purpose reliably came from your job, your church, your community. But today, technology and automation are eliminating many jobs. Membership in communities is declining. Many people feel disconnected and depressed, and are trying to fill a void. As I've traveled around, I've sat with children in juvenile detention and opioid addicts, who told me their lives could have turned out differently if they just had something to do, an after school program or somewhere to go. I've met factory workers who know their old jobs aren't coming back and are trying to find their place. To keep our society moving forward, we have a generational challenge -- to not only create new jobs, but create a renewed sense of purpose. I remember the night I launched Facebook from my little dorm in Kirkland House. I went to Noch's with my friend KX. I remember telling him I was excited to connect the Harvard community, but one day someone would connect the whole world. The thing is, it never even occurred to me that someone might be us. We were just college kids. We didn't know anything about that. There were all these big technology companies with resources. I just assumed one of them would do it. But this idea was so clear to us -- that all people want to connect. So we just kept moving forward, day by day. I know a lot of you will have your own stories just like this. A change in the world that seems so clear you're sure someone else will do it. But they won't. You will. But it's not enough to have purpose yourself. You have to create a sense of purpose for others. I found that out the hard way. You see, my hope was never to build a company, but to make an impact. And as all these people started joining us, I just assumed that's what they cared about too, so I never explained what I hoped we'd build. A couple years in, some big companies wanted to buy us. I didn't want to sell. I wanted to see if we could connect more people. We were building the first News Feed, and I thought if we could just launch this, it could change how we learn about the world. Nearly everyone else wanted to sell. Without a sense of higher purpose, this was the startup dream come true. It tore our company apart. After one tense argument, an advisor told me if I didn't agree to sell, I would regret the decision for the rest of my life. Relationships were so frayed that within a year or so every single person on the management team was gone. That was my hardest time leading Facebook. I believed in what we were doing, but I felt alone. And worse, it was my fault. I wondered if I was just wrong, an imposter, a 22 year-old kid who had no idea how the world worked. Now, years later, I understand that *is* how things work with no sense of higher purpose. It's up to us to create it so we can all keep moving forward together. Today I want to talk about three ways to create a world where everyone has a sense of purpose: by taking on big meaningful projects together, by redefining equality so everyone has the freedom to pursue purpose, and by building community across the world. First, let's take on big meaningful projects. Our generation will have to deal with tens of millions of jobs replaced by automation like self-driving cars and trucks. But we have the potential to do so much more together. Every generation has its defining works. More than 300,000 people worked to put a man on the moon \'96 including that janitor. Millions of volunteers immunized children around the world against polio. Millions of more people built the Hoover dam and other great projects. These projects didn't just provide purpose for the people doing those jobs, they gave our whole country a sense of pride that we could do great things. Now it's our turn to do great things. I know, you're probably thinking: I don't know how to build a dam, or get a million people involved in anything. But let me tell you a secret: no one does when they begin. Ideas don't come out fully formed. They only become clear as you work on them. You just have to get started. If I had to understand everything about connecting people before I began, I never would have started Facebook. Movies and pop culture get this all wrong. The idea of a single eureka moment is a dangerous lie. It makes us feel inadequate since we haven't had ours. It prevents people with seeds of good ideas from getting started. Oh, you know what else movies get wrong about innovation? No one writes math formulas on glass. That's not a thing. It's good to be idealistic. But be prepared to be misunderstood. Anyone working on a big vision will get called crazy, even if you end up right. Anyone working on a complex problem will get blamed for not fully understanding the challenge, even though it's impossible to know everything upfront. Anyone taking initiative will get criticized for moving too fast, because there's always someone who wants to slow you down. In our society, we often don't do big things because we're so afraid of making mistakes that we ignore all the things wrong today if we do nothing. The reality is, anything we do will have issues in the future. But that can't keep us from starting. So what are we waiting for? It's time for our generation-defining public works. How about stopping climate change before we destroy the planet and getting millions of people involved manufacturing and installing solar panels? How about curing all diseases and asking volunteers to track their health data and share their genomes? Today we spend 50x more treating people who are sick than we spend finding cures so people don't get sick in the first place. That makes no sense. We can fix this. How about modernizing democracy so everyone can vote online, and personalizing education so everyone can learn? These achievements are within our reach. Let's do them all in a way that gives everyone in our society a role. Let's do big things, not only to create progress, but to create purpose. So taking on big meaningful projects is the first thing we can do to create a world where everyone has a sense of purpose. The second is redefining equality to give everyone the freedom they need to pursue purpose. Many of our parents had stable jobs throughout their careers. Now we're all entrepreneurial, whether we're starting projects or finding or role. And that's great. Our culture of entrepreneurship is how we create so much progress. Now, an entrepreneurial culture thrives when it's easy to try lots of new ideas. Facebook wasn't the first thing I built. I also built games, chat systems, study tools and music players. I'm not alone. JK Rowling got rejected 12 times before publishing Harry Potter. Even Beyonce had to make hundreds of songs to get Halo. The greatest successes come from having the freedom to fail. But today, we have a level of wealth inequality that hurts everyone. When you don't have the freedom to take your idea and turn it into a historic enterprise, we all lose. Right now our society is way over-indexed on rewarding success and we don't do nearly enough to make it easy for everyone to take lots of shots. Let's face it. There is something wrong with our system when I can leave here and make billions of dollars in 10 years while millions of students can't afford to pay off their loans, let alone start a business. Look, I know a lot of entrepreneurs, and I don't know a single person who gave up on starting a business because they might not make enough money. But I know lots of people who haven't pursued dreams because they didn't have a cushion to fall back on if they failed. We all know we don't succeed just by having a good idea or working hard. We succeed by being lucky too. If I had to support my family growing up instead of having time to code, if I didn't know I'd be fine if Facebook didn't work out, I wouldn't be standing here today. If we're honest, we all know how much luck we've had. Every generation expands its definition of equality. Previous generations fought for the vote and civil rights. They had the New Deal and Great Society. Now it's our time to define a new social contract for our generation. We should have a society that measures progress not just by economic metrics like GDP, but by how many of us have a role we find meaningful. We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new things. We\'92re going to change jobs many times, so we need affordable childcare to get to work and healthcare that aren't tied to one company. We're all going to make mistakes, so we need a society that focuses less on locking us up or stigmatizing us. And as technology keeps changing, we need to focus more on continuous education throughout our lives.\ And yes, giving everyone the freedom to pursue purpose isn't free. People like me should pay for it. Many of you will do well and you should too. That's why Priscilla and I started the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and committed our wealth to promoting equal opportunity. These are the values of our generation. It was never a question of if we were going to do this. The only question was when. Millennials are already one of the most charitable generations in history. In one year, three of four US millennials made a donation and seven out of ten raised money for charity. But it's not just about money. You can also give time. I promise you, if you take an hour or two a week -- that's all it takes to give someone a hand, to help them reach their potential. Maybe you think that's too much time. I used to. When Priscilla graduated from Harvard she became a teacher, and before she'd do education work with me, she told me I needed to teach a class. I complained: "Well, I'm kind of busy. I'm running this company." But she insisted, so I taught a middle school program on entrepreneurship at the local Boys and Girls Club. I taught them lessons on product development and marketing, and they taught me what it's like feeling targeted for your race and having a family member in prison. I shared stories from my time in school, and they shared their hope of one day going to college too. For five years now, I\'92ve been having dinner with those kids every month. One of them threw me and Priscilla our first baby shower. And next year they\'92re going to college. Every one of them. First in their families. We can all make time to give someone a hand. Let's give everyone the freedom to pursue their purpose -- not only because it's the right thing to do, but because when more people can turn their dreams into something great, we're all better for it. Purpose doesn't only come from work. The third way we can create a sense of purpose for everyone is by building community. And when our generation says "everyone", we mean everyone in the world. Quick show of hands: how many of you are from another country? Now, how many of you are friends with one of these folks? Now we're talking. We have grown up connected.\ In a survey asking millennials around the world what defines our identity, the most popular answer wasn't nationality, religion or ethnicity, it was "citizen of the world". That's a big deal. Every generation expands the circle of people we consider "one of us". For us, it now encompasses the entire world. We understand the great arc of human history bends towards people coming together in ever greater numbers -- from tribes to cities to nations -- to achieve things we couldn't on our own. We get that our greatest opportunities are now global -- we can be the generation that ends poverty, that ends disease. We get that our greatest challenges need global responses too -- no country can fight climate change alone or prevent pandemics. Progress now requires coming together not just as cities or nations, but also as a global community. But we live in an unstable time. There are people left behind by globalization across the world. It's hard to care about people in other places if we don't feel good about our lives here at home. There's pressure to turn inwards. This is the struggle of our time. The forces of freedom, openness and global community against the forces of authoritarianism, isolationism and nationalism. Forces for the flow of knowledge, trade and immigration against those who would slow them down. This is not a battle of nations, it's a battle of ideas. There are people in every country for global connection and good people against it. This isn't going to be decided at the UN either. It's going to happen at the local level, when enough of us feel a sense of purpose and stability in our own lives that we can open up and start caring about everyone. The best way to do that is to start building local communities right now. We all get meaning from our communities. Whether our communities are houses or sports teams, churches or music groups, they give us that sense we are part of something bigger, that we are not alone; they give us the strength to expand our horizons. That's why it's so striking that for decades, membership in all kinds of groups has declined as much as one-quarter. That's a lot of people who now need to find purpose somewhere else. But I know we can rebuild our communities and start new ones because many of you already are. I met Agnes Igoye, who's graduating today. Where are you, Agnes? She spent her childhood navigating conflict zones in Uganda, and now she trains thousands of law enforcement officers to keep communities safe. I met Kayla Oakley and Niha Jain, graduating today, too. Stand up. Kayla and Niha started a non-profit that connects people suffering from illnesses with people in their communities willing to help. I met David Razu Aznar, graduating from the Kennedy School today. David, stand up. He's a former city councilor who successfully led the battle to make Mexico City the first Latin American city to pass marriage equality -- even before San Francisco. This is my story too. A student in a dorm room, connecting one community at a time, and keeping at it until one day we connect the whole world. Change starts local. Even global changes start small -- with people like us. In our generation, the struggle of whether we connect more, whether we achieve our biggest opportunities, comes down to this -- your ability to build communities and create a world where every single person has a sense of purpose. Class of 2017, you are graduating into a world that needs purpose. It's up to you to create it. Now, you may be thinking: can I really do this? Remember when I told you about that class I taught at the Boys and Girls Club? One day after class I was talking to them about college, and one of my top students raised his hand and said he wasn't sure he could go because he's undocumented. He didn't know if they'd let him in. Last year I took him out to breakfast for his birthday. I wanted to get him a present, so I asked him and he started talking about students he saw struggling and said "You know, I'd really just like a book on social justice." I was blown away. Here's a young guy who has every reason to be cynical. He didn't know if the country he calls home -- the only one he's known -- would deny him his dream of going to college. But he wasn't feeling sorry for himself. He wasn't even thinking of himself. He has a greater sense of purpose, and he's going to bring people along with him. It says something about our current situation that I can't even say his name because I don't want to put him at risk. But if a high school senior who doesn't know what the future holds can do his part to move the world forward, then we owe it to the world to do our part too. Before you walk out those gates one last time, as we sit in front of Memorial Church, I am reminded of a prayer, Mi Shebeirach, that I say whenever I face a challenge, that I sing to my daughter thinking about her future when I tuck her into bed. It goes: "May the source of strength, who blessed the ones before us, help us *find the courage* to make our lives a blessing." I hope you find the courage to make your life a blessing. Congratulations, Class of '17! Good luck out there.


Daybreak rituals

 Seating for degree candidates in Tercentenary Theatre, with banners displaying arms of the various graduate and professional schools, and upperclass houses. Beyond the trees are the columns of Widener Library.
Seating for degree candidates in Tercentenary Theatre, with banners displaying arms of the various graduate and professional schools, and upperclass houses. Beyond the trees are the columns of Widener Library.

Most upperclass Houses have rituals of their own. At Lowell House, for example, a perambulating bagpiper alerts seniors at 6:15 am for a 6:30 breakfast in the House dining hall with members of the Senior Common Room, after which all process (along with members of Eliot House, who have been similarly roused) to Memorial Church for a chapel service at 7:45.[8][9]

Morning Exercises

Morning Exercises are held in the central green of Harvard Yard (known as Tercentenary Theatre),[4] the dais at the steps of Memorial Church, facing Widener Library.[b] Some 32,000 people attend the event, including university officials, civic dignitaries, faculty, honorees, alumni, family and guests. Degree candidates wear cap and gown or other academic regalia (see Academic regalia of Harvard University).[11]

Academic Parade

The first to enter are candidates for graduate and professional degrees, followed by alumni and alumnae. Candidates for under­grad­uate degrees enter next, traditionally removing headgear as they pass the John Harvard statue en route.[12][13] Finally comes the Presi­dent's Procession, as follows:[3][14]

Holyoke Chair

 The "bizarre" Holyoke Chair reserved for Harvard's president
The "bizarre" Holyoke Chair reserved for Harvard's president
At Cambridge. Is kept in the College there.
Seems but little the worse for wear.
That's remarkable when I say
It was old in President Holyoke's day.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
"Facts respecting an old arm-chair"
The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table[21]

On the dais the Presi­dent occupies the Holyoke Chair, an uncom­fort­able[7] and treach­er­ous Jacobean turned chair reserved for such ceremo­nies since at least 1770 (when it was already some two hundred years old). Called "bizarre ... with a complex frame and top-heavy superstructure", its "square framework set on the single rear post makes [it] tip over easily to either side."[22] Said the Harvard Gazette in 2007, "When the chair holds its robed occupant, onlookers cannot detect the odd geometry by which its triangular seat points toward a square back rippling with knobby dowels and finials. Perhaps by striking their own precarious balance in this strange seat of authority, the successors of Edward Holyoke [Harvard's president 1737–69] come to sense what the job is all about."[f]


 1947 honorands: J. Robert Oppen­heim­er (left), George C. Mar­shall (third left, speak­ing with Pres. James B. Conant), Omar N. Bradley (third right), T. S. Eliot (2nd right).
1947 honorands: J. Robert Oppen­heim­er (left), George C. Mar­shall (third left, speak­ing with Pres. James B. Conant), Omar N. Bradley (third right), T. S. Eliot (2nd right).

At the University Marshal's call ("Mister Sheriff, pray give us order") the Middlesex Sheriff takes to the dais, strikes it thrice with the butt of his staff, and intones, "The meeting will be in order."[7] Three student speakers (Under­grad­uate English, Under­grad­uate Latin, and Graduate English) are introduced and deliver their addresses.[clarification needed]

Then, according to the order in which the various graduate and professional schools were created,[citation needed] the dean of each school steps forward to present, en masse, that school's degree candidates. Each group stands for the President's incantation conferring their degrees, which is followed by a traditional welcome or exhortation: doctoral graduates, for example, are welcomed "to the ancient and universal company of scholars", while law graduates are reminded to "aid in the shaping and application of those wise restraints that make us free." Last to be graduated are the Bachelor's candidates, who are then welcomed to "the fellowship of educated men and women."[3]

Honorary degrees are then bestowed. Finally, all rise to sing "The Harvard Hymn",[24][25] expressing the hope (Integri sint curatores, Eruditi professores, Largiantur donatores‍—‌printed lyrics are supplied)[26] that the trustees, faculty and benefactors will manifest (respectively) integrity, wisdom, and generosity.[27] After a benediction is said, the Middlesex Sheriff declares the ceremony closed and the Presi­dent's Procession departs.

Once the dais is clear the Harvard Band strikes up and the Memorial Church bell commences to peal,[25] joined by bells throughout Cambridge for most of the following hour.[g]

 Broadside, in Latin, for July 20, 1791 exer­cises. "The Illus­tri­ous John Han­cock, Esq., LL.D., Gover­nor; Honor­able Samuel Adams, Esq., Vice-Governor ..."
Broadside, in Latin, for July 20, 1791 exer­cises. "The Illus­tri­ous John Han­cock, Esq., LL.D., Gover­nor; Honor­able Samuel Adams, Esq., Vice-Governor ..."
 Order of the Exercises (July 15, 1801) opening with "A Saluta­tory Oration in Latin"
Order of the Exercises (July 15, 1801) opening with "A Saluta­tory Oration in Latin"

Mid-day ceremonies

 Seniors entering Sanders Theatre for Class Day exercises (late 19th or early 20th century)
Seniors entering Sanders Theatre for Class Day exercises (late 19th or early 20th century)

After the Morning Exercises, each graduate or professional school, and each upperclass House, holds a smaller ceremony (with luncheon) at which its member-graduates are called forward by name to receive their diplomas in hand.

Alumni Association meeting and afternoon addresses

At the afternoon meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association, the Presi­dent and the Commence­ment Day speaker deliver their addresses.

US Secretary of State (and former Army general) George C. Marshall's 1947 address as Commence­ment Day Speaker famously outlined a plan (soon known as the Marshall Plan, and for which he would later be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize) for the economic revival of post-World War II Europe.[28]

Historical notes


 Lionel de Jersey Harvard (r) with fellow seniors, 1915
Lionel de Jersey Harvard (r) with fellow seniors, 1915
 Outside Sever Gate, 2015
Outside Sever Gate, 2015

"Our fathers ... closely associated the thirst for learning and that for beer", a 1924 Harvard history observed,[29] so that (a modern survey continued) the sheriffs' presence at Commencements "has a practical origin. Feasting, drinking, and merry­making at earlier commence­ments often got out of hand. Fights were not unheard of", and commencements in various years have featured two-headed calves, an elephant, and Indians-versus-scholars archery competitions.[7] Such goings-on were sufficiently common knowledge that in 1749, Bostonian William Douglass explained to a general readership that the siege and capture of Louisbourg had been "carried on in a tumultuary random Manner, and resembled a Cambridge Commence­ment."[29]

Thus in 1781,

For the preservation of Disorders on Commence­ment day, [the Corporation] voted that the Honble Henry Gardner Esq: and the Honble Abraham Fuller Esq: Justices of the Peace thro' the State, and Loammi Baldwin Esq: Sheriff of the County of Middlesex, be requested to give their attendance on that day ...[17]

Earlier measures had included the 1693 banning of plum cake‍—‌the enjoyment of which, officials asserted, was unknown at other universities, "dishonourable to ye Colledge, not gratefull to Wise men, and chargable to [i.e. the fault of] ye Parents". This was one of many efforts by Increase Mather (Harvard's president from 1692 to 1701) toward "Reformation of those excesses ... [of] Commence­ment day and weeke at the Colledge, [sic] so that I might [prevent] disorder and profaneness"[3]‍—‌for Harvard officials a recurring headache.[h]

Sartorial regulations

To curb unseemly sartorial displays of wealth and social status[clarification needed] the 1807 Laws of Harvard College provided that, on Commence­ment day,

[E]very Candidate for a first degree shall be clothed in a black gown, or in a coat of blue grey, a dark blue, or a black color; and no one shall wear any silk nightgown, on said day, nor any gold or silver lace, cord, or edging upon his hat, waistcoat, or any other part of his clothing, in the College, or town of Cambridge.[27]

George Bernard Shaw

Responding to the prospect of being nominated for an honorary degree on the occasion of Harvard's Tercentenary celebration in 1936, George Bernard Shaw wrote:

Dear Sir, I have to thank you for your proposal to present me as a candidate for an honorary degree of D.L.[clarification needed] of Harvard University at its tri-centenary celebration. But I cannot pretend that it would be fair for me to accept university degrees when every public reference of mine to our educational system, and especially to the influence of the universities on it, is fiercely hostile. If Harvard would celebrate its three hundredth anniversary by burning itself to the ground and sowing its site with salt, the ceremony would give me the greatest satisfaction as an example to all the other famous old corrupters of youth, including Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, the Sorbonne, etc. Under these circumstances I should let you down very heavily if you undertook to sponsor me.

A handwritten postscript read: "I appreciate the friendliness of your attitude."[30]

See also


  1. ^ [6][3] "The first Commencement took place in 1642," noted Harvard's Commencement director in 2007. "The difference between 365 years and 356 commencements is accounted for by wars and plagues that cancelled the event."[7]
  2. ^ [10] Degree-granting exercises were held in Sanders Theatre from the late nineteenth century through the early twentieth centuries, and prior to that in a succession of locations.[clarification needed][citation needed]
  3. ^ a b The governor and sheriffs are among several public officials, not otherwise affiliated with Harvard, who have long taken part in the ceremonies.[clarification needed][17] By tradition the Middlesex Sheriff closes the ceremony by crying, "The meeting is adjourned," though in 1997 Sheriff James DiPaola, "in his first Harvard Commence­ment and clearly enjoying his role, wanted more lines. At the end he boomed, 'Marshal! As the sheriff of Middlesex County, I have news! The meeting is adjourned!'"[18]

    Not all outside participants have been wholeheartedly enthusiastic. In the 1930s Governor Paul Dever,[when?] to the chagrin of Harvard officials and alumni, shunned the pre­scribed morning coat for a regular tuxedo and straw hat, and Governor James Michael Curley[when?] appeared in silk stockings, knee britches, powdered wig, and a tricorn hat with plume. (When challenged by Harvard officials‍—‌"the story goes", according to the Harvard Crimson‍—‌Curley produced the Massachusetts Bay Colony's statutes covering Harvard Commence­ment dress, and on the basis of its authority claimed to be the only person present who was properly attired.)

    In 1970 Middlesex Sheriff John J. Buckley objected to the traditional costume he would be required to wear. After Suffolk Sheriff Thomas S. Eisenstadt was asked to open and close in Buckley's stead, Cambridge mayor Alfred Vellucci mused, "Now I see they're going to have Tom Eisenstadt march with the sword. Where is he going to get a sword unless he borrows one from the Don Juan Drum and Bugle Corps?"[19]

  4. ^ "[Morris Hicky Morgan] was the first regular University Marshal, with the title of Marshal of Commence­ment from 1896 to 1908 and of University Marshal until his death in March 1910. A Chief Marshal had been appointed for the Bicentennial Celebration in 1836 and for the 250th Celebration in 1886. It has not been discovered who ran ordinary academic exercises before 1896; probably an ad hoc Marshal was appointed," wrote Mason Hammond in the Harvard Library bulletin.[16]
  5. ^ "As recently as Francis Sargent's 1970 attendance, the Governor of Massachusetts traditionally arrived at Commence­ment with 17th-century mounted, scarlet-coated guard, which escorted him from the State House to the Johnston Gate. The guard bore pikes, somewhat less useful today than when Governor Thomas Dudley rode to the first Commence­ment despite warnings of possible ambush by Indians."[3]
  6. ^ [21] Measuring 46.5 in (118 cm) high and 32.5 in (83 cm) wide, its seat about 20 inches (51 cm) from the floor and about as deep, the Holyoke Chair is thought to have been made in England or Wales between 1550 and 1600.[22] "[A] display of virtuoso turning," it was bought for Harvard by Holyoke, who saw it as "suitable to the authority of the presi­dent and establishing an iconographic link between Harvard College and its late-medieval English prototypes, Oxford and Cambridge," in the words of Jonathan Fairbanks and Robert Trent. Although the "thronelike quality [lends] an official air, [chairs of this design] were undoubtedly domestic chairs originally",[22] and indeed (according to a 1903 New York Times article) its use by Holyoke was at first "merely as a serviceable piece of every-day furniture."[23]

    Even after its first recorded ceremonial use (at the 1770 installation of Presi­dent Samuel Locke) the Presi­dent's Chair "used to stand in the Harvard library [Gore Hall], where, according to tradition, it gave a student the right to kiss any young woman whom he was showing through the college and who throughtlessly sat down on it. Whether or not the privilege was often or ever taken advantage of the present generation has no means of knowing."[23] The Fogg Museum now has custody between ceremonial uses.[21]

  7. ^ The other participating bells are those of Lowell House, the Harvard Business School's Baker Hall, Christ Church Cambridge, the Harvard Divinity School's Andover Hall, the Church of the New Jerusalem, First Church Congregational, First Parish Unitarian Universalist, St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, St.  Peter's Roman Catholic Church, University Lutheran Church, Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church, North Prospect United Church of Christ, and St. Anthony's Church.[15]
  8. ^ In 1721, "For the preventing Extravagencies at Commencemts. [The Corporation voted] 1. That the Order ... phibiting any Scholar to have Plum-cake &c in his Study or Chamber [at] Commence­ment be strictly observed. 2. That all mix'd drink make with distill'd Spts be also phibited ... 3. That the Presidt and Fellows be desired to exhort & direct the Scholars to be more moderate and frugall in the Entertainmts. 4. And that the publick dinner usual on the day after Commencmt be lessen'd or laid aside, as the Presidt and Fellows of the House [i.e. the Tutors][clarification needed] shall think most convenient."

    In 1722, the Corporation "took more stringent action still": "Whereas the Countrey in general and the College in Particular have bin under Such Circumstances, as call aloud for Humiliation, and all due manifestations of it; and that a Suitable retrenchmt of every thing that has the face of Exorbitance or [extravegence] in Expences, especially at Commencmt out to be endeavrd. And Whereas the preparations & pvisions that have bin wont to be made at those ties have bin the Occasion of no Small disorders; It is Agreed, and Voted, That henceforth no preparation nor Provision either of Plumb-Cake or rosted, boiled or baked Meats & Pyes of any kind shalbe made by any Commencer, nore shal any such have any distilled Liquors, or any Composition made therewth."

    "These regulations proving ineffectual," in 1726 the Corporation, "having now had some Discourse about the great Disorders & Immoralities yt have attended ye Publick Commence­ments; it is agreed yt ye Several Members of ye Corporation will Jndeavour to think of wt may be a proper method for ye preventing of such Disorders & Immoralities ..."[17]


  1. ^ "Honorary degrees awarded". Harvard Gazette. May 27, 2010. 
  2. ^ Boatner, E.B. "Pumps and Circumstance: A Guide to Academic Garb". Harvard University. Retrieved November 25, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Hightower, Marvin. "The Spirit & Spectacle of Harvard Commence­ment". Harvard University.  open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ a b "Morning Exercises". Harvard University Commence­ment Office. 2013.  open access publication – free to read
  5. ^ "Honorary Degrees". Harvard University. Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  6. ^ Matthews, Albert (1917). "Harvard Commencement Days 1642–1916". Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts: 309–84.  open access publication – free to read
  7. ^ a b c d e Cromie, William J. (May 31, 2007). "Commencement feasting, customs, color date to medieval Europe". Harvard Gazette.  open access publication – free to read
  8. ^ "Yard Ceremony". Lowell House. 
  9. ^ Ireland, Corydon; Koch, Katie; Walsh, Colleen (May 26, 2011). "Moments that make Commence­ment". Harvard Gazette. 
  10. ^ "2013 Commencement Seating, Tercentenary Theater, Morning Exercises". Harvard University Commence­ment Office. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Graduate and Professional Schools". Harvard University Commence­ment Office. 
  12. ^ Callan, Richard L. (April 28, 1984). "100 Dears of Solitude: John Harvard Finishes His First Century". Harvard Crimson. 
  13. ^ Rose, Cynthia (May 1999). "Reading the Regalia: A guide to deciphering the academic dress code". Harvard Magazine. 
  14. ^ "Locations, Maps and Directions". Harvard University Commence­ment Office. 2013.  open access publication – free to read
  15. ^ a b Sweeney, Sarah (May 26, 2010). "Commencement wonderment". Harvard Gazette.  open access publication – free to read
  16. ^ Hammond, Mason (Summer 1987). "Official Terms in Latin and English for Harvard College or University". Harvard Library bulletin. XXXV (3). Harvard University. pp. 294–310. 
  17. ^ a b c Matthews, Albert (1917). Harvard Commence­ment Days 1642–1916. Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. XVIII. Transactions 1915–1916. pp. 309–384. 
  18. ^ "John Harvard's Journal: Commence­ment Confetti". Harvard Magazine. July–August 1997. 
  19. ^ Epps, Garrett (June 10, 1970). "Sheriff Cops out on Commence­ment". Harvard Crimson. 
  20. ^ "The Charter of the Presi­dent and Fellows of Harvard College" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-12. 
  21. ^ a b c Hightower, Marvin (September 24, 2007). "The Presi­dent's Chair". Harvard Gazette.  open access publication – free to read
  22. ^ a b c Fairbanks, Jonathan L; Trent, Robert (1982). New England Begins: The Seven­teenth Century. 3. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Department of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture. p. 512. 
  23. ^ a b "Harvard's Old Colonial Chair – Thirteen Presi­dents Have Used It in Turn". New York Times. February 22, 1903.  open access publication – free to read
  24. ^ James Bradstreet Greenough; John Knowles Paine. "The Harvard Hymn". [better source needed]
  25. ^ a b Rossano, Cynthia W. (May–June 2000). "Grace Notes". Harvard Magazine. 
  26. ^ "John Harvard's Journal: Center of Attention". Harvard Magazine. July–August 2011. 
  27. ^ a b Rossano, Cynthia (May 1997). "These Festival Rites". Harvard Magazine.  open access publication – free to read
  28. ^ Bethell, John T. (May 1997). "The Ultimate Commence­ment Address: The Making of George C. Marshall's "routine" speech"". Harvard Magazine. 
  29. ^ a b Batchelder, Samuel F. (June 1921). "'The Student in Arms'‍—‌Old Style". The Harvard Graduates' Magazine. XXIX (cxvi): 549–571,​551. 
  30. ^ Bethell, John T. (1998). Harvard Observed: An Illustrated History of the University in the Twentieth Century. Harvard University Press. p. 127. ISBN 9780674377332. 
This page was last edited on 4 November 2017, at 19:14.
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.