Campus & Community

Harvard Rituals: Class Day

2 min read

CNN’s international correspondent Christiane Amanpour addresses graduating seniors

There were fond farewells, a few chuckles, and best wishes for the future at the annual Class Day ceremonies in Harvard Yard on Wednesday (May 26), the day before Commencement Exercises lay the pomp and circumstance on thickly.

Featuring CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour as the main speaker, Class Day brought graduating seniors together in Harvard Yard’s Tercentenary Theatre, the tree-shaded space between the Memorial Church and Widener Library, for an afternoon ceremony and a speaker selected by class members.

Traditionally less formal than the morning and afternoon Commencement Exercises on Thursday (May 27), Class Day features several student speakers, delivering the Ivy and Harvard orations. It provides a chance for Dean of Harvard College Evelynn Hammonds to address the class, which the tight pacing of the Commencement Day program doesn’t allow.

Students left Class Day ceremonies to attend House masters’ receptions for seniors and their guests, and then returned to the Yard for an evening concert by the Radcliffe Choral Society, the Harvard Glee Club, and the Harvard University Band.