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For general information about Commencement activities, details about tickets, events schedules, and locations, visit commencement.harvard.edu.
May 23 - 27, 2016
Events for all Graduates
Tuesday, May 24
Wednesday, May 25
Thursday, May 26*
*Times for Commencement Day are approximate.
Friday, May 27
Program Receptions(Events open only to students & families in specified program)
Monday, May 23
Tuesday, May 24
Wednesday, May 25
Please note that this schedule is subject to change. Check back for further updates and added events.
Commencement Day is a long-honored tradition at Harvard. The program on Harvard's Commencement Day involves three major segments:
The Morning Exercises in Tercentenary Theatre are mostly ceremonial, and all graduates of the University participate. Graduates from each school sit together, and at the appropriate moment, they rise and are presented by the school's Dean to the President of the University. The President confers the degrees en masse. Individual diplomas are not given at this time.
Seating for guests is very limited and cannot be guaranteed. Graduates receive two guest tickets for the morning exercises. (Joint students will receive their tickets from the school whose diploma ceremony they are attending.) There is no exception to the number of tickets students receive. Seating is limited, and a ticket is required for all guests.
Some families and friends may prefer to avoid the large crowd and view this segment on the television monitors at the Forum, various Houses and GraduateSchools, or enjoy the large-screen viewing at the ScienceCenterand Sanders Theatre. It is important to note that diplomas are not awarded at the Morning Exercises in Tercentenary Theatre.
Diplomas for HKS graduates are individually awarded in the presence of family and friends during the HKS Diploma Ceremony held immediately following the morning session. This ceremony is located in the JFK Memorial Park, which is next to the LittauerBuildingand overlooks Memorial Drive. The Diploma Ceremony is followed by an informal luncheon. The luncheon is also held in the JFK Memorial Park under tents.
The Afternoon Exercises in Tercentenary Theatre feature talks by the President of the University and a distinguished Commencement Speaker. The Afternoon Exercises are generally less crowded, and your attendance is encouraged. Similar to the Morning Exercises, all graduates receive two guest tickets to the Afternoon Exercises.
Harvard Yard gates open at 6:45 a.m.
All guests will be required to show the ticket to security personnel at the gate and must be seated by 8:30 a.m.
All persons, upon entering, will be screened with hand wand magnetometers by security.
No backpacks, strollers, duffle bags, or pouches will be allowed into the yard. Handbags and pocketbooks will be searched by security.
There is a reserved and accessible seating section available for individuals with disabilities in Tercentenary Theatre on Commencement Day. Seating in this section is by confirmed reservation and ticket only. For more information, please visit the Harvard Commencement Office.
The Harvard Squarestop on the MBTA's Red Line subway is directly across the street from Harvard Yard. The Harvard CommuterChoice Program describes the various routes to Harvard Squareusing public transportation.
Parking at HarvardUniversityduring Commencement Week is extremely limited. All questions regarding Parking at HarvardUniversityshould be directed to:
46 Blackstone Street
2016 HKS Commencement Week Activities will be webcast live at:
For more information on this service, please email Media Services or call 617-495-0493
Tuesday, May 24 - JFK Jr. Forum
1:00 - 4:00 p.m. - HKS Class Day Awards
Wednesday, May 25 - JFK Jr. Forum
2:00 p.m. - HKS Commencement Speaker, To be announced
Thursday, May 26
9:00 a.m. – Harvard Yard Morning Exercises
(also available on Comcast Cable – Cambridge/Greater Boston and Boston/Brookline channel 283)
12:15 p.m. – HKS Degree Ceremony, JFK Memorial Park
2:30 p.m. – Harvard Yard Afternoon Exercises
(also available on Comcast Cable – Cambridge and Boston/Brookline channel 283)
NOTE: there will be a short break in streaming between each of these events.
Students will have the opportunity to purchase a DVD of both Class Day Awards and HKS Commencement. Class Day Awards is recorded in the Forum and Commencement is a multi-camera recording of the Kennedy School Ceremony combined with footage from the morning Harvard yard Ceremony.
A professional photographer from GradImages will be at the Harvard Kennedy School Ceremony to take candid photos of you at your special moment of recognition. Students will have the opportunity to purchase individual and group photos for family and friends. More information to follow.
Students have the opportunity through the Office of Communications and Public Affairs to request an announcement about graduation to their hometown newspapers.
If you require further information, please email HKS Commencement for assistance.