Commencement 2019

A collection of stories covering Harvard University’s 368th Commencement.

All from this series

  • Colonial North America at Harvard Library

    A digitized collection from 14 repositories around Harvard University contains almost 650,000 images of handmade materials from the 17th and 18th centuries. Here’s a peek.

    Ebenezer Storer Pocket Globe.
  • Dolores Huerta receives Radcliffe Medal

    Dolores Huerta, labor organizer and civil rights activist who has devoted her life to lifting up others, was awarded Radcliffe’s highest honor Friday.

    Dolores Huerta (center) is given a standing ovation from the audience.
  • Shining Commencement moments, captured

    Not lost amid Harvard’s definitive ritual of revelry and accomplishment were the 6,665 graduates and their families, whose years of labor and sacrifice led them to the day.

    Angela Merkel speaks from podium.
  • What’s next for graduates?

    The Gazette asked graduating seniors about their post-Commencement plans and got back a range of answers.

    Janae Strickland outside Kirkland House
  • Merkel advises graduates: Break the walls that hem you in

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Harvard’s 2019 Commencement speaker, advises the new graduates to “break down the walls” that may hem them in.

    Angela Merkel speaks at Harvard.
  • Overseers, Alumni Association directors elected

    Seven alumni have been elected as new members of Harvard University’s Board of Overseers and six as directors of the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA).

    Margaret Wang
  • Bloomberg extols ‘moral leadership’ at Business School

    Former New York City mayor and philanthropist Michael Bloomberg invokes integrity in the service of country and capitalism during Class Day at Harvard’s 368th Commencement.

    Michael R. Bloomberg speaks at Class Day at Harvard Business School
  • Gathering of the Crimson clan

    Commencement at Harvard is a day of formal ceremonies and poignant moments. Included are snippets of the latter, along with some context from celebrations past.

    A birds eye view of a sea of Business School Graduates in red robes during Commencement morning exercises
  • Looking back at 2018-19

    From the beginning of last summer to Commencement Day, Harvard University has been in constant motion. Here is a selection of events and milestones marking the academic year.

    A kid looking back at students
  • Enduring cymbal

    Cymbalist Latonya Wright has played 22 consecutive Commencements. This year will be her 23rd.

  • After a helping hand up, reaching back to help others

    Christine Santiago couples her background in an economically struggling household with her medical and public health training to plot a course that aims to help others.

    Santiago between two columns
  • Harvard awards 6,665 degrees and certificates

    Harvard University awarded a total of 6,665 degrees and certificates over the 2018–19 academic year.

    Widener Library decorated with Harvard banners
  • Sprinting to the finish

    Gabby Thomas, who concentrated in neurobiology, has a contract with New Balance and is aiming to compete in the 2020 Olympics.

    Thomas running
  • Harvard awards nine honorary degrees

    Harvard University will award nine honorary degrees at its 368th Commencement on May 30.

    2018 Commencement feature photograph
  • Gore decries attacks on facts, science, reason

    Former Vice President Al Gore warned about threats to American democracy and issued a call to arms to Harvard’s graduating seniors during a pre-graduation Class Day speech.

    Al Gore speaks onstage
  • Arriving self-sufficient, leaving prepared

    Adele Woodmansee arrived self-sufficient and leaves prepared to share her talents — from bow to biology — and grow even more.

    Adele Woodmansee in front of a tree
  • ROTC students receive their commissions

    Seven graduating Harvard seniors received their first military assignments during a joint ROTC commissioning service in Tercentenary Theatre.

    Seven Harvard undergrads received their military assignments during the ROTC commissioning ceremony at Tercentenary Theatre today.
  • ‘My ancestors’ wildest dreams’

    Simi Shah has explored and showcased South Asian American pioneers and is working to add to the accomplishments of her cultural heritage.

    Shah talking into a microphone
  • Generation Merkel at Harvard

    The Gazette speaks with members of Harvard’s Generation Merkel in advance of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s commencement speech.

    A group of German students talking
  • Flying right

    Mary Salcedo, who successfully defended her thesis on insect wings, talks about her love of bugs and mentoring and her strategy for a successful doctoral program at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

  • Fearless advocates, trusted leaders

    The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences presented the Centennial Medal to five distinguished alumni — Carroll Bogert, Lael Branard, Roger Ferguson, Jane Lubchenco, and Joseph Nye — who have made fundamental and lasting contributions to knowledge, to their disciplines, to their colleagues, and to society.

    A veritas shield decorates Lowell Lecture Hall at Harvard
  • The sound of celebration

    Bells around Harvard and the City of Cambridge will ring for 15 minutes starting at the 11:45 conclusion of the University’s 368th Commencement.

    Bells in Lowell House
  • ‘Spaces beyond words’

    Luke Martinez brought people together around a personal passion: music.

    Martinez lying evocatively on a couch
  • Bacow to seniors: Live to the fullest

    Harvard President Larry Bacow addressed the Class of 2019 during the Baccalaureate Service, an annual tradition leading to Thursday’s Commencement. He suggests they live their lives to the fullest.

    Larry Bacow and Jonathan Walton walk down the aisle of Memorial Church for the 2019 Baccalaureate Service.
  • Phi Beta Kappa ceremony honors 168 students

    Eric Lander, president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, and poet Dan Chiasson, poetry critic for The New Yorker and a professor at Wellesley College, spoke before honored students and faculty at the 229th Phi Beta Kappa literary exercises at Sanders Theatre on Tuesday morning.

    Students in a processional during Phi Beta Kappa Literary Exercises.
  • Angela Merkel, the scientist who became a world leader

    In advance of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s arrival at Harvard as its Commencement speaker, those who know her describe her rise to global prominence.

    Angela Merkel.
  • Three students tell it like it was (and will be)

    Students will share their memories of Harvard, lessons learned, and hopes for the future in three traditional addresses on Commencement Day.

    Kabir Gandhi talking outside
  • Changing trajectory

    After Harvard wait-listed him, Dylan Wile had made plans to attend another university. A call from an admissions officer changed everything.

    Dylan Wile portrait
  • Ready for takeoff

    Air Force major and new parent Bradley DeWees completed his doctorate at Harvard’s Kennedy School in just three years.

    Bradley DeWees in Memorial Church.
  • Future M.D.’s passion to help comes in many forms

    Cynthia Luo, who’s concentrating in both molecular and cellular biology and English, was inspired by her time in Uganda to become a physician and improve global health.

    Cynthia Luo in front of stairs