Campus & Community

Commencement Guide

4 min read


The following services will be in effect at the University on Commencement Day, June 8.


Restrooms for the general public are located in Weld, Thayer, and Sever halls. These restrooms are wheelchair accessible.

First aid stations

First aid stations are situated in the following locations: Weld Hall (room 11), Thayer Hall (room 106), and Sever Hall (room 112).

Water stations

Water stations are located along the perimeter of Tercentenary Theatre and are clearly marked. Stations are located on the Widener Library steps, at Weld Hall (north porch and northeast entrance), Thayer Hall (south steps), Sever Hall (main entrance), and College Pump, near Hilles Library.

Televised viewing

The Commencement Morning Exercises and the Afternoon Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) are televised live for guests who are unable to attend these campus events. The broadcast times are 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:45 to 4:30 p.m., and broadcasts can be seen on Comcast Cable (Channel 54 in Cambridge; Channel 12 in Boston/Brookline).

Webcast viewing

The live Webcast may be viewed at the following Harvard sites:; http://; or at

Video services

Broadcast-quality, multiple-camera DVD and VHS recordings of the Commencement Morning Exercises and the Afternoon Annual Meeting of HAA held in Tercentenary Theatre are available. Class Day exercises (held June 7) are also available on DVD and VHS. Recordings of Morning and Afternoon Commencement Day include commentary during the processions. Single-camera recordings are made of the diploma ceremonies at all of the Houses and some of the graduate/professional Schools.

For purchase of or information about videos, contact Commencement Video at (617) 884-6000; for audio only, call the Media Production Center at (617) 495-9440.

In case of rain

The Morning Exercises will be held rain or shine. In the event of heavy rain, the “Rain Program” will be declared. Police and marshal’s aides will be present at the gates and at the caller’s stands to inform guests that the Rain Program is in effect and to direct them to alternate viewing locations.

Seniors and advanced-degree candidates will sit in Tercentenary Theatre as usual, unless they wish to return to their respective Houses or graduate and professional Schools.

Limited indoor seating with large-screen televised viewing of the Morning Exercises will be available for ticketed guests at the Science Center, the undergraduate Houses, and the graduate and professional Schools.

On Commencement morning (June 8) the gates to Harvard Yard will open at 6:45 a.m. Parents and guests of degree candidates who have tickets to attend the Morning Exercises should plan their arrival accordingly. All guests will be required to show their tickets at the gates in order to enter Tercentenary Theatre. All guests should be seated by 8:30 a.m. for the start of the Academic Procession, which begins at 8:50 a.m.

What time is that thing happening?

8 a.m. Senior chapel in the Memorial Church begins.

8:05 a.m. Formation of advanced-degree candidates in the Sever Quadrangle.

8:15 a.m. Senior chapel ends. Formation of seniors in the Old Yard.

8:30 a.m. Alumni Procession begins.

8:35 a.m. Procession of advanced-degree candidates begins.

8:50 a.m. Academic Procession begins. President’s Division begins processing through the open ranks of seniors. All alumni are ending their procession and have taken their seats in the theater.

9:25 a.m. President’s Division ends its procession into the theater.

9:45 a.m. Commencement ceremony begins.

11:30 a.m. Commencement ceremony ends.

Noon Luncheons and diploma-awarding ceremonies at the undergraduate Houses, and graduate and professional Schools.

1:30 p.m. Formation of the alumni procession in the Old Yard.

1:45 p.m. Alumni Procession begins.

2:30 p.m. The annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association in Tercentenary Theatre begins.

4:15 p.m. The annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association ends.