A half-hour before the procession stepped off, faculty, delegates of other institutions, and other participants in the installation ceremony gathered in the courtyard between Boylston Hall, Memorial Church, and Weld Hall. Academic robes of many colors were handed out inside Boylston Hall, with crimson and black predominant, but broken by blues, greens, purple, and even orange.
As participants waited, the dark, damp weather became downright wet, the skies opening just before the procession began. Led by Harvard’s faculty, the procession began its short but slow march into Tercentenary Theatre, faculty popping umbrellas open as the rain picked up. Indeed, the theater seemed suddenly ceilinged with umbrellas, as visitors and guests, donned in plastic robes of their own, protected themselves from the ill-timed downpours.
The learned and distinguished procession then passed between Widener Library and Weld Hall to the steps of the Memorial Church, where a large tent had been erected to cloister the ceremony participants. The rain served to fill up the stage more quickly than in years past, as platform guests hurried (in a dignified fashion, of course) for shelter.