‘Dream big and act boldly’
Having taken his last final that morning, Ben Kelly ’17 celebrates at midyear graduation. Kelly plans to stay at Harvard as an on-campus missionary for the Fellowship of Catholic University Students.
Photos by Will Halsey
Midyear graduates saluted in celebratory send-off
By Ben Aaronson Harvard Alumni Affairs & Development Communications
Date December 6, 2017 December 6, 2017
The pomp and pageantry of Commencement may still be months away, but on a crisp December afternoon less than a mile from Tercentenary Theatre, the newest graduates of Harvard College were celebrated at the Midyear Graduates Recognition Ceremony.
There was a festive mood in the Student Organization Center at Hilles as speakers took to the dais to offer wisdom and well wishes to the 138 midyear graduates — many of whom had taken time off from Harvard to pursue unexpected opportunities or face unforeseen challenges. Following the ceremony, graduates joined faculty, friends, and family at a reception to toast their Harvard journeys.
Danoff Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana encouraged the graduates to continue to embrace life’s unplanned experiences. “It is in those moments of uncertainty that we encounter serendipity,” said Khurana, himself a December graduate of Cornell University. “Your Harvard degree will open doors for you, but you will have to decide which doors to enter and which ones to pass by.”
Graduates and friends pose in front of the Mather House banner.
Margery Tong ’17 addresses her fellow midyear graduates. “We will seek different paths for ourselves,” said Tong, who took off a semester to work on a museum development project, “but may we do so in the Harvard spirit: by striving positively toward progress and by maintaining that bright-eyed, wondrous thirst for the truth.”
Jonathan L. Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, concluded his faculty address with a call to action: “I pray that you will leave this place with a vast imagination and a steely determination that whatever you lay your hands upon, you will attempt to leave it better than you found it. Imagine new possibilities, dream big, and then act boldly.”
Lowell House Faculty Dean Diana Eck chats with MJ Richardson ’17 and Connor Richardson ’19.
Ali Welch ’17 chats with friends before the ceremony. Welch, who took a semester off to intern at the nonprofits Playworks and KaBOOM!, is considering a career in education. She will start at City Year in January.
Danoff Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana poses for a selfie with midyear graduates.
Jonathan L. Walton (left) shares a laugh with Philip W. Lovejoy, executive director of the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA). Lovejoy welcomed the graduates as the newest members of the HAA: “Seek out alumni communities wherever you are — be they your friends, mentors, fellow alumni in your city, a Harvard Club, a shared-interest group. There are countless ways to stay connected.”
Currier House Faculty Dean Latanya Sweeney attends the ceremony to support graduates from her House.
Midyear graduate Corinne Bozzini ’16 (right) gets a hug after the ceremony. Bozzini plans to join the Peace Corps before pursuing a graduate degree in psychology.