Commencement Events

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Harvard Black Graduation Ceremony

11 am–2 pm, Radcliffe Yard, Harvard Graduate School of Education

The Harvard Black Graduation will honor the academic achievements of Black Harvard graduating students and their families. All students are welcome to invite family members and guests.

Harvard Latinx Graduation Ceremony

5–9 pm, Radcliffe Yard, Harvard Graduate School of Education

The Latinx Graduation is a stole ceremony that focuses not only on the achievements of students but also on those who helped students get to and graduate from Harvard.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Harambee at HDS Service

10 am–noon, Braun Room

Join Harambee at HDS as they celebrate the accomplishments of their graduating members with their families, fellow students, faculty, and guests.

Multireligious Commencement Service for the Class of 2019

3:30 pm in Memorial Church (Harvard Yard)

The Divinity School's Multireligious Commencement Service for the Class of 2019 will take place on Wednesday, May 29, at 3:30 pm in the Memorial Church, Harvard Yard. Family and friends are welcome. Tickets are not required. Any graduating student interested in helping to plan this service should email Kerry Maloney in February 2019.

The service will be livestreamed on the Harvard Divinity School website and be available for viewing in the days following the event.

Class of 2019 Photo

5 pm on the front steps of Memorial Church (Harvard Yard)

Following the Multireligious Commencement Service for the Class of 2019, a class photograph will be taken on the steps of the Memorial Church or, if it is raining, at the front of the building by the chancel. Information on how to purchase a copy of this photo will be sent to you by GradImages. You may also contact them at 800.424.3686.

Commencement Reception

5–6:30 pm, Tent, HDS Campus Green

Following the class photo, refreshments will be served from 5 to 6:30 pm under the tent on the HDS Campus Green, located between Andover-Harvard Theological Library and Andover Hall, for graduating students and their families and for HDS faculty and staff. All are welcome to attend; tickets are not required.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Commencement Day

Dean's Breakfast for Graduating Students

HDS graduates should come to the tent on the HDS Campus Green Tent (or, in case of rain, the Braun Room) no later than 7 am on Commencement morning.

6:45 am: Dean's Breakfast for Graduating Students (under the tent on the HDS Campus Green; if it is raining, we meet in the Braun Room in Andover Hall)
Graduates MUST arrive by 7:00am​
7:15 am: Procession forms
7:20 am: Procession departs​
Please do not go directly to the Sever Quadrangle individually. From Sever, graduates will proceed to the Tercentenary Theatre for the Morning Exercises.

Please bring your Harvard ID, which will be required for you to gain access to Harvard Yard. Graduating students are strongly encouraged not to bring any bags, coats, or other items, or to leave them with one of their guests, as storage space will not be available at HDS, Tercentenary Theatre, or Memorial Church during Commencement activities.

Morning Exercises

9:45 am: Tercentenary Theatre, Harvard Yard

President Lawrence Bacow will confer degrees at the 9:45 am Morning Exercises.

All degree candidates must wear academic regalia (cap and gown) to the Commencement Morning Exercises.

The Morning Exercises, which convene in the outdoor Tercentenary Theatre, are attended by approximately 32,000 degree candidates, family members, faculty, alumni, and guests. Because of limited seating capacity, this is a ticketed event, and those without a ticket will not be admitted.

Each graduating student will receive two tickets for guests which will grant entry to both the Morning Exercises and the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association in the afternoon. Guests will need to retain their tickets for the duration of the day.

The gates to enter Tercentenary Theatre will open at 6:45 am on Commencement morning. Parents and guests of degree candidates who have tickets to attend the Morning Exercises should plan their arrival accordingly. The lines in front of the Harvard Yard gates start forming as early as 5 am on Commencement Day. All guests will be required to show their tickets at the gates in order to enter Tercentenary Theatre. Guests should be seated by 8:30 am for the start of the academic procession, which begins at 8:50 am. Tickets to the Morning Exercises do not guarantee seating; please plan to arrive early, because there will be tens of thousands of people trying to get the best seats, or even just a chair to sit in!

For more about tickets, see the Ticket Information page.

The Morning exercises are also simulcast to the Sperry Room in Andover Hall at 45 Francis Avenue, and world-wide through the Harvard Commencement website.

PLEASE NOTE: 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.

Diploma Awarding Ceremony

12:30 pm, HDS Campus Green

The Harvard Divinity School Diploma Awarding Ceremony will begin at 12:30 pm under the tent on the HDS Campus Green following the Morning Exercises. Graduates will be seated in alphabetical order and by degree program. The student speaker will be announced at a later date. Dress for the ceremony is academic robe, headgear, and hood. Seating for guests is open, and tickets are not required.

Commencement Luncheon

Immediately following the Diploma Ceremony, Andover Lawn

The Commencement Luncheon is held from 1:30 to 3 pm on Andover Lawn, located on Francis Ave directly in front of Andover Hall. Tickets are required for the Commencement Luncheon. Please be sure to pick up your luncheon before 3 pm on Commencement Day.

The luncheon ordering website will be open from mid-April to Friday, May 17, 2019, 5 pm.

Every graduating student will receive one complimentary luncheon selection for themselves via a separate website. The link will be emailed to the graduating student in April/May.

Please pick up your pre-ordered lunch tickets from the Registrar's Office (for students and guests) or the Dean's Office (if you are a member of the faculty or staff) by Wednesday, May 29, 2019.

Should you prefer to have lunch at a restaurant in Harvard Square or Cambridge, please make your reservations as early as possible! Every restaurant in the vicinity of Harvard Square will be completely booked with long lines on that day. Read more about restaurants in Harvard Square.

Afternoon Exercises

2:30–4 pm, Harvard Yard

Following the luncheon, graduates and guests are invited to return to Harvard Yard for the Alumni Association program, from 2:30 to 4 pm, during which Harvard's President and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is the featured Commencement speaker for 2019, deliver their addresses. Tickets are required for the Afternoon Exercises. Each graduating student will receive two tickets for guests which will grant entry to both the Morning Exercises and the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association in the afternoon. Guests will need to retain their ticket for the duration of the day. Graduating students will need to present their Harvard University ID for entry. Tickets do not guarantee seating.

Commencement Tea

4–6 pm, Common Room, Center for the Study of World Religions

Faculty, fellows, staff, graduating students, and their families are invited to attend the Commencement Tea hosted by Professor Charles Stang, Professor of Early Christian Thought and Director of the Center for the Study of World Religions, and the CSWR staff, in the courtyard of the Center for the Study of World Religions, 42 Francis Avenue, from 4 to 6 pm. Tickets are not required.