Commencement 2018

A collection of stories covering Harvard University’s 367th Commencement.

All from this series

  • The ending as beginning: Commencement ’18

    Harvard’s annual Commencement is both a conclusion and a start for those graduating. But the day also is a gathering of the far-flung Crimson clan under tents and trees in…

    Harvard graduates wave books.
  • Looking back on 2017–18

    The Harvard Gazette takes a look back on 2017–18.

  • Reflections on Inequality in America Initiative’s first year

    In its first nine months, Harvard’s Inequality Initiative pursued a three-pronged effort, beginning with a public symposium last fall.

    Scales made up of colorful human figures.
  • Harvard awards 8,042 degrees and certificates

    Harvard University awarded a total of 8,042 degrees and certificates over the 2017–18 academic year.

  • Orators speak to inspire at Commencement

    Three student orators — Pete Davis, Christopher Egi, and Phoebe Lakin — will deliver speeches in both English and Latin during Morning Exercises in Tercentenary Theatre.

  • Seven receive honorary degrees

    Sallie (Penny) Chisholm, Rita Dove, Harvey Fineberg, Ricardo Lagos Escobar, George Lewis received honorary degrees from Harvard at its 367th Commencement Day ceremony.

    2018 honrands.
  • Adichie: ‘Protect and value the truth’

    Nigerian novelist Ngozi Adichie, Harvard’s Class Day speaker, urges graduating seniors to ‘protect and value the truth’ in their own lives.

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
  • Purpose in service

    The ROTC commissioning ceremony honored new officers in the armed forces.

  • GSAS recognizes four with its highest honor

    The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences presented the Centennial Medal to four distinguished alumni who have made fundamental and lasting contributions to knowledge, to their disciplines, to their colleagues, and to society.

  • Finding a link to the human in algorithms setting justice

    Priscilla Guo ’18 found 49 of the 50 states use predictive algorithms in bail, pretrial, and sentencing hearings. Her thesis uncovers their flaws.

  • Discovering a ‘richness’ in Harvard’s diversity

    Harvard College senior Jacob Scherba’s own health and his sister’s affliction with a rare disorder influenced his merging engineering and medicine.

  • Spirit of transformation animates Faust, students

    In her final Baccalaureate Address as Harvard’s president, transformation was a theme Drew Faust returned to repeatedly.

    Drew Faust leads baccalaureate procession to Memorial Church.
  • The poet and the paleontologist

    Poet Kevin Young ’92 had something of a homecoming as he returned to speak before the honored students and faculty at Harvard’s annual Phi Beta Kappa Literary Exercises.

  • Two leaders, one Harvard

    Harvard’s incoming and outgoing presidents sit down with Gazette to talk about the value of humility in decision-making and the biggest challenges facing higher education.

  • Leveling the medical playing field

    Harvard Medical School graduate Mary Tate wants to reduce the inequities that exist in Americans’ health by reaching out to disadvantaged communities and working to improve their patient care.

  • From playing a DA on TV to running for Congress

    Former model and “Law & Order: SVU” actress Diane Neal is using what she learned at Harvard to fuel a run for office.

  • The right footprints

    Gabrielle Scrimshaw ’18 is a Gleitsman Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. The first in her family to attend college, she plans to start an investment firm for tribal businesses and indigenous entrepreneurs.

    Gabrielle Scrimshaw, Gleitsman Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School
  • Paramedic to Prague to Harvard

    Oren Varnai, graduating from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s mid-career master of public health program, is a Foreign Service officer in Prague.

  • Bear away the bell

    For the 30th consecutive year, neighboring churches and institutions will ring their bells at the conclusion of Harvard’s 367th Commencement Exercises.

  • Alumni presented with Harvard Medal on Commencement

    At the annual meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association on Commencement Day, President Drew Faust will present the 2018 Harvard Medal to Robert Coles ’50, Robert N. Shapiro ’72, J.D. ’78, and Alice “Acey” Welch ’53 in recognition of their service to the University.

  • From heart-sick and road-weary to Harvard

    After James Venable graduates in May with his bachelor’s degree, he heads to Yale Divinity School to work on a master’s degree in divinity, with plans to return to Harvard for a master’s in theological studies, and go on to Princeton for a doctorate in African-American religion.

    James Venable
  • Engaging alumni globally and personally

    As Susan Morris Novick ’85 concludes her tenure as Harvard Alumni Association (HAA) president, she is optimistic about the future of the HAA as she prepares to hand the reins to her successor, Margaret Wang ’09.

    Margaret Wang ’09 (left) will succeed Susan Morris Novick ’85
  • A master’s degree that’s more than something to sing about

    Already the master of 10 instruments and four languages, Jeniris González-Alverio, 29, wanted to earn a degree from the Graduate School of Education that she could use to help children and adults recover from injuries and overcome disabilities.

  • The doctor gets a doctorate

    Neither Wirun Limsawart’s knowledge as a doctor nor his work as a hospital manager could help him solve Thailand’s national crisis over health care malpractice.

  • Time off from Harvard helped her thrive

    Jee always knew she would take time off from her studies. What she didn’t know was how her time away from Cambridge would help her “fall back in love with Harvard,” and define her future path.

  • A revolution, 50 years in the making

    The return of members of the Harvard and Radcliffe Class of 1968 for the 50th anniversary of their graduation proves cause to revisit an era of sweeping change.

    Case from "Harvard, 1968" exhibit.
  • An opportunist looking to learn

    Occasionem discere a quovis — “every moment a learning opportunity” — is what Theodore Delwiche ’18 discovered through the Radcliffe Institute Research Partnership Program.

    Theodore Delwiche ’18
  • Her app for a socio-medical goal: Anthropology without borders

    Margot Mai ’18 came to Harvard to pursue biology and pre-med, only to discover anthropology and change her concentration in her sophomore year.

  • Working with low-income children rewrites her story

    After an internship with the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools changed her life, Nicole Powell changed her trajectory and headed for Harvard Divinity School.

  • Exploring religion, building a life of service

    Using her head and her hands, Haley Curtin ’18 has built the foundation of a meaningful life. Meaningful first of all to her.