One of the many things Harvard knows — and that it proves unfailingly each spring — is how to put on a show.
The weeklong buildup to Commencement Day’s ancient and scripted rites is a feast for the eyes, the ears, the palate, but mostly the heart. There are reunions and receptions, prayers offered and advice given. There are long years of toil complete and lingering fears of failure vanquished. And parents’ once hopeful pride is now openly worn.
It is indeed both graduation (the closing of a chapter, the relinquishing of a heart’s once fondest dream) and commencement (the beginning of what comes next) in the many graduates’ thousands of variations.
Harvard’s 367th Commencement Day was about last laughs, wistful goodbyes, about family, friends, and pride in work well, and finally, done.