Campus & Community

Commencement exercises, June 7

5 min read

Morning Exercises

To accommodate the increasing number of those wishing to attend Harvard’s Commencement Exercises, the following guidelines are proposed to facilitate admission into Tercentenary Theatre on Commencement Morning:

  • Degree candidates will receive a limited number of tickets to Commencement. Parents and guests of degree candidates must have tickets, which they will be required to show at the gates in order to enter Tercentenary Theatre. Seating capacity is limited; however, there is standing room on the Widener steps and at the rear and sides of the Theatre for viewing the exercises. Note: A ticket allows admission into the Theatre, but does not guarantee a seat. The sale of Commencement tickets is prohibited.
  • Alumni/ae attending their major reunions (25th, 35th, 50th) will receive tickets at their reunions. Alumni/ae in classes beyond the 50th may obtain tickets from the Classes and Reunions Office, 124 Mt. Auburn Street, sixth floor, Cambridge, MA.
  • For alumni/ae from nonmajor reunion years and their spouses, there is televised viewing of the Morning Exercises in the Science Center and at designated locations in most of the undergraduate Houses and professional schools. These locations provide ample seating, and tickets are not required.

Afternoon Exercises

The Harvard Alumni Association’s Annual Meeting convenes in Tercentenary Theatre on Commencement afternoon. All alumni and alumnae, faculty, students, parents, and guests are invited to attend and hear Harvard interim President Derek Bok and the Commencement Speaker deliver their addresses. Tickets for the afternoon ceremony will be available through the Harvard Alumni Association, 124 Mt. Auburn Street, sixth floor, Cambridge, MA 02138.

— Jacqueline A. O’Neill
University Marshal

Visitor tips and services

The following services will be in effect at the University on Commencement Day, June 7.

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

First aid station: First aid stations will be situated in the following locations: Weld Hall (room 11); Thayer Hall (room 106); and Sever Hall (room 112).

Water stations: Clearly marked water stations will be located along the perimeter of Tercentenary Theatre. The stations will be located on the Widener Library steps, at Weld Hall (north porch and northeast entrance), Thayer Hall (south steps), Sever Hall (main entrance), and at the College Pump.

Large-screen viewing: 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.

Televised viewing: Morning Exercises and the afternoon Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association will be televised live for guests who are unable to attend. The broadcast times are 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 1:45 to 4:30 p.m. These events will be aired on Comcast Cable (Channel 54 in Cambridge and Channel 12 in Boston).

Webcast viewing: A live Webcast of the day’s events can be viewed at the following Harvard sites:,, or

Video services: Broadcast-quality, multiple-camera DVD and VHS recordings of Commencement Morning Exercises and the afternoon Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association held in Tercentenary Theatre will be available. Class Day exercises (held the afternoon of June 6) will also be available. Recordings of the morning and afternoon Commencement Day activities will 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.

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

Parking: Parking at the University during Commencement Week is extremely limited. Please view updated information regarding Commencement parking at

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.

Key Commencement moments crib sheet

On Commencement morning the gates 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.

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 theatre.

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

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.