Honoring the Class of 2020

All from this series

  • A passion for stories

    Harvard senior Lauren Spohn heads to the University of Oxford after graduation to keep exploring the ways in which stories can connect us all.

    Lauren Spohn.
  • Flying high, then returning home

    Blythe George is the first member of the Yurok Tribe of Northern California to earn a doctoral degree from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

    Blythe George
  • Echoes of El Salvador in Egypt

    The son of Latin American immigrants, Hainer Sibrian, M.P.P. ’20, is set to launch a career as a U.S. diplomat, inspired by study abroad during Arab Spring.

    Rex Tillerson with Hainer Sibrian.
  • Making a place for herself

    Harvard College 2020 graduate Mahlet Shiferaw talks about briefly feeling lost and then regaining her confidence as a woman of color studying astrophysics.

    Mahlet Shiferaw.
  • Spreading the word on sustainable development

    Hadiza Hamma has a plan for the construction of a road that will dramatically improve the quality of life in Afaka, a town in her home country of Nigeria.

    Hazida Hamma.
  • Blocking fear

    When neuroscience concentrator Sope Adeleye ’20 suffered a severe concussion during volleyball practice her junior year, she knew better than most the risks she was facing.

    Sopa Adeleye on the volleyball court.
  • Explain your thesis in 3 minutes

    A contest has College seniors who spent months researching and writing their theses distill those hours of work and hundreds of pages of analysis into a 3-minute pitch.

    Hakeem Angulu makes his award-winning pitch.
  • Sibling on a mission

    Harvard grad Nathan Grant ’20 helps advocate for people with disabilities, and the people who support them.

    Nathan and Nik Grant.
  • Returning to fight for disabled workers rights

    Kennedy School graduate Ariella Barker returns to her job as an attorney for the city of New York, where she’ll resume advocacy for disabled workers.

    Ariella Barker with international disability rights activist Judith Heumann.
  • Helping African teens thrive

    When Tom Osborn arrived at Harvard from Kenya, he was already an internationally recognized entrepreneur. Four years later, he’s launched a nonprofit that is boosting the grades and well-being of high-schoolers back home.

    Tom Osborn.
  • A look at Radcliffe past and present

    Radcliffe Day included a discussion between current dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Tomiko Brown-Nagin and former dean Drew Faust, who addressed the history and future of the institute.

    Byerly Hall in Radcliffe Yard.
  • A season of surprises

    Texas teacher Shanna Peeples got more than a degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. “… it gave me this integration of so many things and it let me write myself into more authenticity,” she says.

    Shanna Peeples.
  • Conan arrives, and the crowd goes wild! (Not really)

    Comedian Conan O’Brien ’85 addressed the Class of 2020 Thursday as part of an afternoon of virtual ceremonies that captured the joy, poignancy, and humor of the day.

    Conan O'Brien.
  • The danger of ‘misinformation, disinformation, delusions, and deceit’

    Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron warned of the dangers of “misinformation, disinformation, delusions and deceit” as he joined an online celebration that sent the graduating Class of 2020 into an uncertain world.

    Martin Baron.
  • Harvard awards 8,227 degrees and certificates

    Harvard University awarded a total of 8,174 degrees and certificates over the 2019–20 academic year.

    Harvard flags.
  • Back where she began, but much changed

    Economist Talia Gillis held her own commencement ceremony while quarantined in her childhood home in Jerusalem, along with her husband and three children.

    Talia Gillis and family.
  • Providing insight and inspiration

    Michael Phillips will deliver the Senior English Address and Sana Raoof the Graduate English Address at Harvard’s Honoring the Class of 2020 on May 28.

    Veritas flags displayed at Memorial Church.
  • Harvard readies for a different kind of celebration

    Harvard’s graduation will look much different this year, but the University is preparing to take it in stride with a virtual celebration.

    Harvard area.
  • Reflecting on 2019-20

    A compilation of memories from Harvard’s 2019-20 academic year.

    Charles River.
  • A captain for our planet

    Throughout her academic career — from Princeton University to University of Cambridge, and finally Harvard — Christina Chang, Ph.D. ’20, has worked toward a more sustainable world one invention at a time.

    Christina Chang in a canoe.
  • A letter to the Class of 2020

    Harvard Alumni Association President Alice Hill ’81, Ph.D. ’91, reminds the Class of 2020 that they are “part of a community … that reaches to all parts of the world,” encouraging them maintain the connection.

    Alice Hill, '81, Ph.D. '91.
  • Sounds of silence

    Despite COVID-19, the sound of the Lowell House bells can still be heard from a distance

    Lowell House bells.
  • Clearing the air

    Alicia Nelson, M.P.H. ’20, is boosting Alaskans’ health by promoting dialogue between public health officials and the community. Now with COVID-19, Nelson said that her Harvard Chan School training in risk communication is proving invaluable

    Alicia Nelson, M.P.H. ’20 in front of woodpile.
  • ‘He was fearless’

    In a deeply competitive business not known for magnanimity, top editors, publishers, and media critics explain why The Washington Post’s Martin Baron is such an admired newsroom leader.

    The Washington Post newsroom.
  • Martin Baron, on his life, his calling, and the importance of shedding light

    In a question-and-answer session, Martin Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post and this year’s graduation speaker, talks about his life and times.

    Baron talking to staff at Post.
  • A new mission in Haiti

    When Christophe Millien finishes his graduate studies at Harvard Medical School this month, he will return to Haiti to address the medical problem caused by uterine fibroids suffered by Haitian women.

    Christophe Millien, an OB/GYN from Haiti.
  • Hitting full stride in emergency medicine

    Kirstin Woody Scott, Ph.D. ’15, M.D. ’20, was looking forward to running her 10th consecutive Boston Marathon before the pandemic put it on hold. Like any obstacle Scott has faced, she found a positive solution.

    Kirstin Woody Scott on dirt road.
  • An enduring bond

    Four sets of roommates from the Class of 2020 gave the Gazette a glimpse of life inside the dorms back in 2017. Where are they now?

    Roommates Tatiana Patino and Walburga Khumalo are pictured as first-year students and then as seniors before they move off campus.
  • Thesis focus surfaces in West Virginia

    D.C. attorney Bradley Ashton Thomas came to Harvard Extension School, discovering a small town in West Virginia along the way.

    Bradley Ashton Thomas.
  • ‘My need to serve — that itch that I had — wasn’t being scratched’

    Salvador Peña has spent the past three years at Harvard Divinity School earning his master of divinity degree and satisfying that itch to serve others.

    Salvador Pena.