Commencement 2016

A collection of stories covering Harvard University’s 365th Commencement.

All from this series

  • Going forward, a look back

    The University in 2015-16 saw milestones related to diversity, scientific advances, and the renaming of the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

  • Janet Yellen to receive Radcliffe Medal

    Janet L. Yellen, chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, will receive the Radcliffe Medal during Radcliffe Day on May 27.

  • A sunny day and even brighter futures

    On a perfect sunny day in Harvard Yard, the University held its 365th Commencement in Tercentenary Theatre, with an emphasis on congratulations, rituals, and, most of all, celebrations.

  • Dual investigator

    After switching careers from defense manufacturing to police work, Christos Hatzopoulos embarked on a third challenge: earning a master’s degree in history from the Harvard Extension School.

  • Unlimited resolve

    Doaa Abu Elyounes is a blind Arab-Israeli student who is graduating from HLS with an LL.M. degree.

  • 7,738 degrees, certificates awarded at Harvard’s 365th Commencement

    Today the University awarded a total of 7,727 degrees and 11 certificates. A breakdown of degrees and programs is listed below. Harvard College granted a total of 1,661 degrees. Degrees…

  • A sun-bright future in Allston

    With its development plans approved by the city of Boston, Harvard is moving ahead on its plans to create state-of-the-art facilities for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and other centers of innovation.

  • Nine to receive honorary degrees

    Nine to receive honorary degrees at Harvard’s 365th Commencement.

  • Advice for ‘the opposite of underdogs’

    Between the laughs, actress and writer Rashida Jones ’97 counsels the Class of 2016 to break some rules, speak up, and choose love during the annual Class Day.

  • Inspired to serve, and lead

    Twelve Harvard seniors were formally recognized as officers in the armed forces at the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps commissioning ceremony.

  • GSAS presents Centennial Medals

    On May 25, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences awarded the Centennial Medal to four alumni who have made extraordinary contributions to society. The medal, GSAS’s highest honor, was first awarded in 1989 on the 100th anniversary of the School’s founding.

  • Tradition rings in the 365th Commencement

    In celebration of the city of Cambridge and of the country’s oldest university, a number of neighboring churches and institutions ring their bells at the conclusion of Harvard’s 365th Commencement Exercises, for the 28th consecutive year.

  • ‘Then, I wanted to run’

    Navy SEAL veteran Dan Cnossen, severely wounded in Afghanistan, rebounded to graduate from the Kennedy School, and is bound for the Divinity School.

  • A goal of ‘telling your own story’

    Graduating Harvard seniors gathered in the Memorial Church for a personal farewell and words of wisdom from President Drew Faust during the Baccalaureate Service.

  • From words to action

    Stephen Greenblatt and Robyn Schiff were the featured speakers at the 2016 Phi Beta Kappa Literary Exercises.

  • Appetite for change

    Tommy Tobin, set to graduate with degrees from the Law School and the Kennedy School, hopes to work on food policy.

  • HAA recognizes outstanding alums

    The Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) announced that Thomas G. Everett, Roger W. Ferguson Jr. ’73, A.M. ’78, J.D. ’79, Ph.D. ’81, John H. McArthur, M.B.A. ’59, D.B.A. ’63, and Betsey Bradley Urschel, Ed.M. ’63, will receive the 2016 Harvard Medal on May 26, during the Afternoon Program at Commencement.

  • The joys (and benefits) of movement

    Erica Tukiainen used exercise to transform herself from a chubby kid to a collegiate basketball player. She wants to use lessons learned at the Harvard Chan School to help others add much-needed exercise to their lives.

  • Speaking from experience

    Back in 1642, at Harvard’s first Commencement, the graduates — all nine of them — each had to deliver orations, defending their theses, in Latin, Greek, or Hebrew. Today, just…

  • The arts in review

    A look at the arts scene at Harvard during the 2015-16 academic year.

  • The military-humanities connection

    Recent graduates and students discuss how a revived ROTC program enriched their Harvard College experience and taught them more than they could have imagined.

  • Researching roots, aiming to teach

    Soon to become a Fulbright scholar, Kapena Baptista ’16 finds histories in his heritage, and plans to teach.

  • Books of their youth

    The Gazette asked a group of Harvard professors to talk about a book from their student days that has since gained in resonance or meaning.

  • Wrapping her mind around the past

    Rivka B. Hyland ’16, an Islamic Studies concentrator who is proficient in eight languages, will continue her education at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar this fall.

  • A mother and son at trails’ end

    Harvard’s Commencement on May 26 will be twice as meaningful for Jane Brown when she shares the milestone with her son Harry Stone.

  • From around the world and across Harvard

    The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study has named 50 fellows for the 2016-17 academic year. Eleven of the incoming class are Harvard faculty.

  • Unlocking doors

    Dominique Donette, who is graduating from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, beat long odds in her quest to help empower the powerless.

  • Float like a butterfly, work like a bee

    To give back, extracurricular whirlwind Jesus Moran ’16 will teach in an urban school next fall.

  • She followed her star

    Moiya McTier ’16 blends her loves of space science and writing in a double concentration in astronomy and folklore and mythology, leading to a science fiction senior thesis.

  • A monk with one foot in the world

    Buddhist monk Tajay Bongsa wants to unite social and economic progress with dual master’s degrees in theology and business.