With a communal warmth much more welcoming than the 90-degree heat, Harvard College’s Class of 2022 filled Tercentenary Theatre on Monday afternoon for First-Year Convocation to listen to lessons on fellowship and friendship, responsibility and reward that can last well beyond the school year.
Welcoming his “fellow members of the Class of 2022,” new President Larry Bacow emphasized the collaborative nature of the College experience during his convocation address. Urging the first-years to commit to becoming citizens of the world as well as of Harvard, he called on them to “discover what matters to you most and determine how you can make the world a better place.”
The first-years — attired in a mix of summertime finery and academic regalia — had filed into the tree-shaded theater to “Fanfare for the Class of 2022,” composed and conducted by Joanna Tao ’19 and performed by the Harvard University Band.
“The camaraderie is really amazing,” said Audrey Foster, as she filmed her son Daniel enter with his mates from Canaday Hall. “The last couple of days, he’s really become part of the Harvard community.”
The Rev. Jonathan L. Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church, opened the addresses with an invocation suggesting the first-years “privilege integrity over achievement, intellectual curiosity over accomplishments, and moral character over accolades.” Urging students to express “grace and gratitude toward one another,” he encouraged them to respect not only deans but dining-hall staff, not only classmates but custodians, to “prioritize human fellowship.”