Commencement

Latest update: February 26, 2021

On February 26, 2021, Harvard President Bacow announced Harvard University’s plans for our May 27, 2021, Commencement exercises. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Harvard has decided that commencement ceremonies will once again be online. Harvard Divinity School will participate in Harvard’s online ceremonies, and hold our own ceremonies and diploma awarding online as well.

As David Holland, HDS Acting Dean and Bartlett Professor of New England Church History, wrote to the community: "We realize this is not how any of us imagined such an important day in the lives of our graduating students, their families, and the wider HDS community. However, our ultimate obligation is to assure the health and safety of our community in the face of an ongoing worldwide health emergency. In the coming months our faculty, staff, and students will be working on a plan to mark this celebration as best we all can in the face of this difficult reality. In the meantime, we wish you success in your ongoing studies this semester and look forward to joining you online for Commencement Day."

We will continue to update this page over the coming months as 2021 HDS commencement activities and celebrations are planned.

Honoring the Class of 2020

On Thursday, May 28, all HDS community members and their families, loved ones, and guests were invited to the HDS Virtual Diploma Awarding Ceremony to celebrate the HDS Class of 2020. This online event features remarks from Dean David Hempton, the HDS Class of 2020 Student Speaker Ashley Lipscomb, a reading of the graduates names, and the sharing of well wishes, treasured memories, and more.

In lieu of the annual HDS Multireligious Commencement Service, traditionally held on the eve of graduation, several graduates offer blessings, prayers, and hopes from their respective traditions and cultures for their classmates.

Our new alumni will enter a world very different from the one they imagined just a few months ago, and we look forward with great anticipation to a time when it is safe for us to acknowledge in person their accomplishments, their creativity, their kindness, and their knowledge.