The journey was a long one, indeed.

The Class of 2013 arrived in 2009 eager, wild-eyed, and excited — and four years later, they would leave just the same way. There was Commencement speaker Oprah — Oprah! — ushering them into a new chapter, urging Harvard’s latest graduates to “max out” their humanity. There were friends and families cheering and snapping pictures from their seats in Tercentenary Theatre. There were cries, certainly, but cries of joy. With new degrees in hand, it was all over, and it was all worth it.

1 The Class of 2013 lines up to process into the Memorial Church for Baccalaureate Service. Restricted to members of the graduating class, the service is intended as a farewell to seniors from the president and clergy, in a less formal setting than that on Commencement Day. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
2 Workers from the William Blanchard Co. in Wakefield, Mass., raise the tent for Commencement inside Tercentenary Theatre. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
3 Outside Harvard Hall, the procession to the Phi Beta Kappa Literary Exercises heads toward Sanders Theatre. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
4 Colin Dickinson (from left), Christian Yoo, Gavin Pascarella, Brian Furey, and Courtney Diekema are pictured before the ROTC Commissioning Ceremony inside Boylston Hall. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
5 Victor Flores Jr. walks to accept the Ames Award during Class Day festivities. The Ames Award honors an unsung hero of the graduating class. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer
6 Views of Class Day inside Tercentenary Theatre. Former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien was the day’s main speaker. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
7 A lone bagpiper stands before Eliot House in the minutes leading up to Harvard’s 362nd Commencement. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer
8 Extension School graduate Abate Kenna rides the Red Line into Harvard on Commencement morning. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer
9 Students pass by the Pusey Room after enjoying Morning Services at the Memorial Church during Commencement. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
10 Commencement speaker Oprah Winfrey signs the guest book in Massachusetts Hall. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
11 Honorands pose for a photo outside Massachusetts Hall. Among them is, of course, Oprah Winfrey — and to her right, Thomas M. Menino, Boston’s longest-serving mayor. On the back row (from left) is C. Dixon Spangler Jr., Donald R. Hopkins, Lord May of Oxford, Sir Partha Dasgupta, JoAnne Stubbe, and Elaine Pagels. On the front row (from left) is Maestro Jose Antonio Abreu, Provost Alan M. Garber, President Drew Faust, Winfrey, and Menino. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
12 Provost Alan M. Garber, Oprah Winfrey, and President Drew Faust share a light moment during their photo op outside Massachusetts Hall. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer
13 George Barner ’29 is in lively spirits, despite the day’s blistering heat. At 104 years old, he’s the alumnus from the oldest class year. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer
14 Shalini Pammal (left) and Alexandra Marie Garcia share a hug at the announcement of their degrees. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer
15 Nadia Farjood (from left), Jose Villanueva, Everton Blair, and Margot Leger take a “selfie” to remember Commencement forever. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
16 Camille Owens sends a text during Commencement. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
17 Proud family members photograph their daughters and sons — their new Harvard graduates! Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
18 Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer
19 The lady herself! Crimson suits her, no? Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer
20 A sea of crimson robes and Commencement caps. Congratulations Class of 2013! Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer
Part of Gazette Topic: Commencement 2013