Harvard University’s 367th Commencement Morning Exercises | May 24, 2018

Harvard University’s 367th Commencement Morning Exercises | May 24, 2018


[Music] [Music] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] these festival rights of Harvard commencement I’m Diana Eck and here with my colleague Dan Schrag I did it’s so good to see you again here lovely one be with you yeah here today it’s great you know we’re looking out here over this incredible stage as as the graduates are slowly filing in the faculty and the president’s procession will come in shortly but you know today is an incredible day really it’s a day about the future it is it’s yeah it’s celebrating the achievements of this past several years for all of these hard-working students and yet you can’t help but think about the incredible way that all of these young people will affect the world as they go out in the world from them promise true really true an enormous day of hope at a time when students are really eager to graduate and get on with it it is called commencement for a reason it’s the commencing of the next chapter of their lives that’s right it’s very exciting that the potential of this group is just palpable as you look out at this crowd now we have sort of the best seats in the House today and those of you who are watching either on the Jumbotrons or at home or at one of the many many stations where you can watch this you will have really very close up seats as to what’s happening so I’m glad you’re with us from that standpoint just grab a cup of coffee and settle in for what will be an extraordinary morning of festivity now as you look out over the the tur Centennial theater you’ll see the different blocks of graduates from all of the different schools this is the one event where all of Harvard really comes together all of the different schools the faculty the students it’s really an extraordinary assemblage of this brand University well as you can imagine there are some 30,000 people here this morning so you begin to see the Business School the School of Public Health the dental school all of this displayed as those graduate schools file into the tercentenary theatre and when you see the folks with the balloons those are probably from the Kennedy School announcing their intention to change the world that’s right but I think ultimately all Harvard students want to change the world and that’s what’s so special about this place and many of them will change the world now this year at commencement this is a special commencement in many ways because there’s a big transition going on at Harvard this is the last commencement for president drew Faust and the president to be Larry back out will be here as well because of course he’s been on the corporation and the corporation of course takes part in commencement as well many other transitions the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Mike Smith this will be his final commencement and and it also is the case that our being a freshman Tom Dingman is stepping down and we’re going to talk with him here in just a few minutes he’s probably known more of those students who were graduating today than just about anyone the ones who were part of the class of 2018 he greeted them when he came they came in that particular fall and here he is about to step down now you know Diana one of the amazing things about the tradition at the Harvard commencement is the is the idea that the faculty procession goes through the students and so as we see the procession beginning in just a few minutes what we’ll see is that the the faculty will actually walk through the stew aisle created by the students and actually the faculty love this you know it’s one of the most wonderful tradition staged as a faculty member walking through and seeing students who have taken your classes maybe two or three years ago but actually certain familiar faces it is a wonderful Curtin collect connection that that has created there well we have this shot let us just comment on the red ropes those are the ropes of the PhD students and they will be the first people to receive their degrees it’s kind of pride of place in the whole of the University and the empty chairs on the right those will be filled in by the class of 2018 that’s right the undergraduates will come in after the faculty have arrived so in just a minute we’re gonna talk to the Dean of freshman Tom Dingman you know in addition to the students and their parents and families who are here to celebrate them and the faculty and the administration of the university we also have the alumni here with us many of the major classes are here and and it’s nice to see some of our own faculty colleagues in those classes those classes for example Ana Don Berwick are here celebrating their 50th Don is interested in health care and Don of course was the administrator of Medicare and Medicaid in the Obama administration and ran for governor of Massachusetts and and and his wife is been long involved in environmental and an energy regulation in the state of Massachusetts and they’re both here celebrating their 50th reunion well and in that 50th class we also have Howard George I who was stepping down this year as I know he’s keeping on as professor of physics but he’s stepping down as the faculty Dean of levirate house yeah I mean and this is a really great class Harry Lewis is also in the 50th reunion for computer science so we have with us Tom Dingman what a great pleasure to have you here this morning it is really great yeah yeah yeah it is an awesome day and I imagine what I was just saying to to our colleagues here that that you probably know as many of these students who are graduating in the class of 2018 because you’ve seen them since their freshman year that’s right it is an amazing thing it’s very exciting to see how they’ve transformed over these four years we’ve created a new ceremony called convocation yeah it’s meant to bookend this wonderful day and to see their sort of youthful enthusiasm and optimism and then follow their progress is pretty special they’ve now have you seen those senior reflections book yes there’s so many thoughtful many wonderful bands yeah how Harvard has treated them and what they’ve done with this opportunity well it is and I mean among the things that you have kind of installed as a tradition here and now is a tradition to have freshmen gather in freshman convocation in the beginning of this four year journey well one thing we’ve learned is that students love ritual you know when we ask them what stands out it’s a high point through their first two terms they will talk about Harvard Yale yardfest convocation so we’re trying to invent new tradition you’ve been here a long time I mean you were here as a student you were here as what we then called the senior tutor of levirate house that’s right you’ve seen a lot what would you say is the biggest change well I was just thinking this morning about my own commencement the war was on in Vietnam so we had many fewer choices and I ended up going on to teach for a couple years which was sort of the family business and very satisfying but I don’t think we’re anywhere near as sort of scheming and intentional about setting up the postgraduate yeah lives that we were going to have if there was a lot more serendipity we’re trying to get students to recognize that that’s an important part of their their planning or non planning is that a concern for a lot of the freshmen when you talk with them yeah there’s so many students who feel at the end of their spring term embarrassed if they don’t have an internship and yet they’re going home to teach sailing let’s say and be outdoors which they love with a sport or activity they love with young people and somehow they feel sheepish because they it doesn’t feel like they’re entering that first rung on the ladder yeah we try to say keep it up and have fun it’s gonna be a lot of time for you know what you’re going to be doing in four years or certainly in ten that’s right these are the kinds of changes that are anticipated as I imagine were for you we both graduated that same year 67 we had very little political activism I don’t know what Smith was like I think we rallied around the Sycamores being cut down on the Charles and Latin diplomas but it was only in the years time before Asbury really hated on step 50th reunion class now the 60s wonderful have a great I hope you get to congratulate a lot of those freshmen you knew for years all right well thank you that’s terrific you know one of the things I look at Diana when I look out at the yard is to think about all of the different stories you know among these thousands of graduates there are each one has an individual story about how they got here what they’re doing here and what they’re planning to do and you know we get to know small fragments of them but but it’s it’s an extraordinary list and again you know colleagues of ours have family members in this class for example Larry Summers the the former Harvard president and the secretary of the Treasury and in the Clinton administration he has a daughter Ruth who’s graduating from the Graduate School of Education almost remember these girls well so extraordinary because Ruth really is an example of what I think are is best about Harvard she wants to change the world in her way through education she worked before she came back to Harvard she worked with kids one step from jail and and now her real passion is justice and opportunity for kids and I think the Graduate School of Education you know something that they really treasure there and and instill in their students a desire to change the world through their their skills as educators and it is true that among those who were honored as teachers at the Phi Beta Kappa literary exercises given Phi Beta Kappa T she tries to tame her set from the school of education really fabulous teacher and I might add our own lo le and Nobel Peace it’s the brilliant mathematician and composer it is great to see our colleagues honored for their for their teaching well you know and throughout the schools there are these type of people Jonathan woof C is Steve whoopsies son Steve is a professor in the School of Engineering Applied Sciences and in Earth and Planetary Sciences and his son Jonathan is getting an MBA today and is trying to go out and change the world in the energy sector Eric Lander who’s our colleague at runs the Broad Institute famous geneticist his son Daniel Lander is graduating from the Kennedy School he’s got some tie to these wonderful students whether as students or whether as family members that’s exactly right we have another student who is coming to give us a little bit of a a perspective on where she’s going this is Mufasa also ad who is graduating from Harvard Divinity School so tell us who’s here from your family today and that were you where you come from well I grew up in Kuwait and I have my brother here my sister-in-law and my six-year-old niece yes I mean oh wow so you do have a little bit of family watch from a distance today I’m there somewhere oh so you came to Harvard Divinity School from Kuwait yes yes I I had pursued a degree just before that but yes I came that’s great yeah and so what does your life look like as you as you head out from HDS well I’ll still be at Harvard I’ll be pursuing a PhD here at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in religion as in Islamic studies which i think is really significant these days yes and increasingly there are quite a few Muslim students at Harvard Divinity School yes there there are we have a really great community and even the the non-muslim students the non-muslim faculty are just they feel like family we’re a really tight-knit community it’s really great that’s wonderful and so what’s up for the summer this summer I am taking off I know that the PhD is going to be you know a long road so I’m going to take this time to really relax and spend time with family that is just wonderful well we wish you all the luck in the world and thank you for joining us for a few minutes enjoy the day grateful congratulations look at this day now these empty chairs you’re seeing on the stage which is near us they will eventually be occupied by deans by honorary degree recipients by members of the corporation there are 13 of them yeah and each of the honorary degree recipients has a faculty member who accompanies him or her and so they’re chosen to help be appropriate for you know the faculty member connected to their that particular field we will try to call some of them out we are not supposed to announce who those honorary degree recipients are before the main event but we will recognize some of them now of course John Lewis is an unusual example he’s going to be in the honor ants class this year of course you already received especially we see drew faust here on the screen leaving the president’s procession so there is the procession at the start and you see drew faust a way back out right behind Larry Bosco is the is on the corporation button and then in the in the robe is Alan Garber he’s the provost that’s right this procession leads the entire presidents division which then ends with the members of the faculty that’s why we see that Harvard corporation they’re coming in you the woman in the light-colored hat on the left behind the man was the tall man with a hat that’s Susan Graham she’s a famous professor of computer science at UC Berkeley and now a member of the Harvard corporation so the president’s division has arrived on the stage and that is the first thing that we know they’re being met by the various marshals who are in charge of keeping order on this extraordinary day drew Faust will rise and come up to that grand chair that wouldn’t there that is almost like a throne it is it’s a very uncomfortable chair this is a Jacobi and chair that is kept in a special box in the art museum and brought out and put together only for this occasion really and this will be the last time drew sits in this chair someone had been asking me why does she wear the kind of robe than that double-breasted robe that she wears and that is worn literally only by Harvard president it is a sort of reminiscent of a Puritan clerical garment and so it has these sort of clasps that go from side to side and presumably Larry back out will be fitted for exactly that same robe that would be really great on the left you can see in a light hat that’s Shirley Tilghman former president of Princeton and she is a biologist and she is also on the Harvard corporation other corporation members are filling in now the corporation has grown significantly during the time of drew faust from a small sort of self-perpetuating group of six or eight I guess and now there are thirteen members they’ve just elected two new members new members and it but it is the oldest corporation in the United States and is sort of complemented by the honorable and reverent reverend Board of Overseers who used to be mainly the clergy of the Boston area Cambridge but now there’s Charlie listed you see John Lewis coming near stage John Lewis every civil rights leader Lewis will be speaking mr. stern and he’ll be speaking in the afternoon there is a real sense in which John Lewis was kind of a mentor of drew Faust mean she mentions him several times in her and he comes back here he’s been back here for many events that she’s run where as Harvard is confronted its history and involvement in slavery yes he was there when they put the plaque on wodsworth house that’s exactly right there had been slaves living in this Harvard residence and that is a kind of commemoration or an acknowledgment really of that piece of Harvard’s history there he is John Lewis an amazing thirty years in the legislature from Georgia and one who led as the head of snick Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee that march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma and in response to which drew literally joined the March that next week or that next time they marched you can see there Harvey Firebird sitting down Harvey Fineberg is getting an honorary degree this year and Harvey was the former Provost and also Dean of public out yes and then National Institutes of Health I think that’s what the student Madison Medicine he and his wife or both members of Lowell house when they were here it’s just a great joy to see them again really we have with us a student an actual graduating student this year Jorian wilson this Jorian it is so great to see you here this morning the press to be here congratulation thank you very much and Shrek Jory and Wilson this man Jorian has been in Lowell house but I didn’t know him to hold that well to begin with because you took some time off and would you tell us a little bit about coming from Modesto Texas and then arriving at Harford the best way I like to describe you know the cultural divide between Odessa and Harvard is football is to Odessa when academics is to Harvard and so coming to these two different quarters it was kind of tough to balance my previous life in Odessa and then becoming acclimated here at Harvard but so it took me I was saying my entire freshman year to become acclimated since if I’m only only one year that’s actually pretty good well you kind of decided you had to choose between football and Harvard did you yes ma’am so I played football my freshman year at Harvard and then after the freshman year I decided that may be better for me to focus on my academics I had no desire to play professional football or anything like that and I thought I’d take care of my body a little bit you know good for you yes sir so so so tell us about what you’ve been studying here right yes sir so I studied mechanical engineering and it’s been a great track you know the mechanical engineering school is relatively young so it’s about 10 years always had celebrated the ten-year anniversary this year so it’s still developing but I enjoy my experiences here well it’s like Syria mines is a great place just wonderful to see you know students like you coming out it’s such great great way yes sir I’m also in the school of engineering of okay also yes sir what’s next for you next I’m moving in Houston Texas is gonna be working for Chevron there oh great we’re excited to be back closer to family and it’ll be exciting and you’re also married yes sir yes ma’am I am Mary we’ll be celebrating two years July 23rd wonderful congratulations congratulations on many fronts and who’s here from your family these days we have 23 guests here family and friends all all from Odessa Texas except two so how did you get 23 people squeezed into this this this yard I think well I think it’s just a testament to say how much they value me that’s wonderful know the love that they share for that to celebrate with me you know it’s something we we don’t talk about enough which is every when we celebrate people like you behind each of our graduates is a team of people right family friends who all helped you get here if it didn’t well honor them as well yes sir indeed if you want to hear more about Jorian Wilson’s story go to the Lowell House website Lowell speeches 2018 and you can hear his wonderful five-minute speech on his personal and academic journey was wonderful and so what did you go to black commencement yes ma’am and what happened there I was not able to back you miss me we had a couple undergraduate students – who gave speeches and then we had you know the main address of the evening and so after all of that it was your typical graduation ceremony and then at the end they called our name and draped us with us though you know and celebrate yes yes yeah just celebrating our involvement in the african-american community here at Harvard it’s nice to see that community grow and prosper and ultimately integrate with with all of Harvard yes sir definitely I think when when this was conceived maybe the rest of commencement was was not necessarily the most welcoming place right right and and I hope that’s changed a little bit yes definitely changing still work to do yeah definitely there’s a lot of work to do but it’s definitely changing is evolving you’re beginning to see more and more involvement from the african-american community and more inclusive things for everybody on campus which is great which is one of the wonderful things about Harvard they take care of all their students it’s true jorian the best of luck to you forward to the relations have a great day most of all please send our congratulations to your 23 family marry I will good enjoy you wow this is so interesting oh there’s Lowell oh my gosh there’s your lawyer March with them Jorian there they’re waving at you marching in front of well turning the corner into the yard they actually are not crossing in front of the John Harvard statue this morning they’re two of our tutors carrying the standards of Lowell house so so if there’s possessing that much mean the faculty are slowly making their way into the yard they will be in their seats in a little while sort of creeping up under the stage right now that’s yeah now towards the front in the center right in front of the stage you actually see there the GSA s phd’s PhD is of course the highest degree given here at Harvard and you know among them young man and even Lazarus nephew of Richard Lazarus who teaches at our law school and he is getting a PhD in economics and going off to teach at MIT in a Sloan School but there are like hundreds of PhD graduates my own students Loren Koontz and Katie Dagon both getting PhDs in Earth and Planetary Sciences and and hundreds more who are off essentially becoming independent academics going off to faculty positions or research fellowships or a variety of other positions it’s really an amazing achievement and they’ve been here four five six sometimes even seven eight or nine years really serious commitment to their work on the stage you see Emma Dench there in blue and red I like those probably Oxford Emma is the new dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Frank Doyle they’re in his robe the Frank Doyle is the Dean of the Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the light blue robe there is Dean David Hempton of Harvard Divinity School which managed to conclude a strenuous campaign because we don’t have the richest graduates the faculty are amazingly reconstructs that great old building at the heart of the Divinity School and overhaul so there’s a there’s a lot of pride in the gray there you see Nitin Nohria reaching out Nitin is the Dean of the Harvard Business School Aaron right in the middle you see Rob Stevens Rob is a distinguished professor of environmental economics at the Kennedy School and he is marching really for like he says for the first time since he’s been at Harvard for many many years he’s actually marching and that’s partly because he has a graduate student here he has a graduate student named Todd Gordon who’s receiving a PhD here and he’s going to take up a position in environmental economics at Cornell so Rob is here marching to celebrate him on the lower left you see Mike Smith there Mike is the outgoing Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences this will be his last commencement as Dean but of course he is staying at Harvard going back to his position in computer science and School of Engineering Applied Sciences this whole place where we are today is really what used to be called the new yard well it’s not so new anymore but framed by University Hall at Bulfinch gray building that our students are passing now and and Seaver Hall on our left there are some of our lowell graduates waving their flags my undergraduate you aslam I gotta say among these undergraduates are just the most extraordinary people people you know you know people we don’t have time to interview many but they’re extraordinary I was talking to Mike van Ryan this morning Mike is the head of the emergency department at the Brigham and a professor in the School of Public Health and he runs something called the Harvard humanitarian initiative which is which is the group that trains people to go out and actually do emergency relief work all over the world and it’s an extraordinary group at Harvard and there are two students one Audrianna Court Edna Hobby daeun and then Leon al qassam Leon was a Syrian student who worked as a perfect human interion initiative intern and she founded the Syrian humanitarian league at Harvard and she’s going to start Harvard Medical School this summer and and then Adriana graduated in the Guv Department and she did a global health concentration and it’s going to begin a master’s degree at the London School of Economics again to students who really are continuing their studies to try to change the world the faculty are slowly filing in here the black with the orange stripes that is Princeton and we have a few blue robes which come from Yale and a lot of crimson on the Harvard faculty and among the things that are really significant today are the fact that there are this is really the oldest secular ritual in the United States it’s a it’s secular it has some religious dimensions but it has that sort of tripartite right of described by anthropologists of rites of separation separating oneself from your old life your old status rites of transition and then rites of incorporation and you see all of those today there’s a lot of separation as these students left their college houses for the last time as undergraduates and will return as graduates of Harvard College and that transitional moment takes place when the president pronounces through what Rorty called a speech act the the fact that they are now admitted to the company of educated men and women that is bestowed by the president and they did never get diplomas and really until the mid 19th century and even then they had to pay for them but these days the diplomas are awarded in the separate schools or in the houses that students belong to but the actual moment of the conferring of the degree is done by the President and her speech from that to the family coming in there Stewart’s cheaper also a long time low alien and a very dedicated member of our senior common room this is really an amazing group of people they love sort of talking with one another as they mill around those area lower-left Jim is another computer science he’s professor of practice no he’s walking on just now and and Margo Seltzer is coming on with her blue and gold robe from UC Berkeley Margo Seltzer is a professor of computer science and unfortunately this is her last year of Harvard she’s decided to move to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and will miss her but she’s been a very special part of our computer science in the crimson for today I just skimmed through it but their portraits in both the Gazette and the crimson of graduates from across the schools some of them people that I’ve known really one of them for example profiled in the crimson in The Gazette is Benjamin Grimm a marvelous student whom I’ve seen since his freshman year who even by that time had learned Swedish and studied Islamic studies and wrote a remarkable hoops prize-winning thesis done after 2 years of fieldwork on the Muslim communities of so-called secular Sweden and this is one of those that president Faust called out in her baccalaureate address yesterday when she talked about the amazing achievements of this class they are amazing they’re a little bit like the achievements of many classes but each and every one such such a background such a story and such a hope for what comes next here the faculty are slowly taking their places we see Barco gill there she has been the interim marshal there’s Marshall Ganz Marshall – coming ours and Eric Lander Eric Landers the as I said the head of the Broad Institute which is joint between Harvard MIT he was also head of the President’s Council of Advisors on science and technology in the Obama administration I had the privilege to serve on that Council Marshall Ganz deserves a little bit of a call out Marshall is a Harvard undergraduate who left to go be involved in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and in Cesar Chavez and then ultimately after his after work with Martin Luther King went off to work with Cesar Chavez I’ve done some courses with Marshall Ganz because he is really an extraordinary teacher of what he calls public narrative how we talk about what we do in a way that is forceful and powerful in the public sphere here we are back to pictures of undergraduates I want to just call out one more student uh an ESP P student in environmental science and public policy undergraduates named Oulu de Morin she is an extraordinary young woman who is a combination of a scholar and artist and an activist and she won the award for the top environmental science and public policy thesis this year and she really she’s a member of the Harvard Kuumba singers and co-chair of the Black Arts Festival really extraordinary all of our undergraduates they’ve so many hidden talents you know when we see them in our classrooms we often don’t realize the other dimensions of their lives they do people often ask from the outside who’s speaking at Harvard commencement and of course we know the main speaker is really in the afternoon that will be John Lewis and then we’ll have two student speakers and a Latin orator this morning they are the people who speak in these festival rights of commencement but on class day there are different speakers across the university and the class day speaker for undergraduates was just marvelous at an author Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie really was so powerful in talking about courage and creativity to the class they assembled yesterday and then at the Kennedy School class day there was John Kasich who was the Governor of Ohio at the law school Jeff Flake senator from Arizona and at the Metis medical school Neil Baer who is not not only an MD but a screenwriter I think he wrote wrote a lot for ER and then the Phi Beta Kappa literary exercises yesterday morning really kicked it all off and a couple of extraordinary speeches there in addition to the poet who who read at Phi Beta Kappa here are the faculty still filing in it takes a little while a long procession we can see the end of the faculty procession coming soon and then that block of chairs reserves to the undergraduates will slowly fill up and it will take some time I mean the coordination of this event is a massive job and is now this year for the only the second year under the direction of Stephen macro who is in the wodsworth house one of the oldest buildings in the university and is running that this amazing commencement there we see drew faust talking to Larry back out he’s sort of playing a somewhat larger role this year than normal as not just a member of the corporation but as the president-elect yes he is familiar in a way with these vegetable rights because he has been here and you see Larry Summers there as well so three former presidents Peter bowl is standing right next to him Peter is of course the professor of East Asian Studies that Chinese history and also also a member of the vice provost for education so where do you go from here after after these morning rights conclude so after the morning rights I will join the honorary degree recipients and and members of some of the alumni for lunch and Widener wieder a good place and then I have to go back this afternoon because in four o’clock the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has a hooding ceremony for all of the PhD students you get to go to Lowell stone my students to Lowell Lowell as you know has been thrown up in the air and we blended in various places where are you gonna do this after wells Lamont library will be for the afternoon transformed into law House and the Lowell house courtyard there will be tabled set up for the spread with the graduates and their families we should you were Serra degrees yes that’s that that the students today we’re not gonna get called out by name that would be here until next week if they were so at this morning’s commencement the deans will each individually get up and ask the President to bestow the degrees on large blocks of undergraduates when the swin the undergraduates large blocks of graduates in whatever degree they’re getting when the undergraduates come up the president does ask the summa laude graduates the student the undergraduates the students who have the highest honors to actually draw near and so we will see a bunch of them come close to the stage but no individual names in the houses as they go off in the afternoon houses are the places where they actually get the paper and get their names called out and some other word about them what they majored in etc so this allows you to process several thousand students all in the process of just a few hours but I think if this is all the more exciting because it is not the tedium of watching thousands of people get their degrees or even hundreds which takes place at many universities is it’s omitted here that’s just really what they call these festival rites and this has been an amazing academic festival with lots of hoopla and songs and the band and the choir for today which actually is very interesting it used to be on the steps of university hall and now is on this hillside almost across from us on the other side of the stage so people can actually see the choir and it is conducted by Edie Jones and it’s filled with choir members and graduates who have come back to sing so we see the houses now slowly coming in Winthrop is taking their seats I should say there are a few very short speeches at today’s commencement there are two undergraduates and one graduate student there’s a Latin address this year given by Phoebe Lacan and she will give an address of course the crowd will have the translation and so they will understand her there will also be a senior English address this year given by Christopher Boone a day eggie I hope I pronounced that right and then also a graduate English to address this year given by Pete Davis from the Harvard Law School and I might say that there is a stiff competition to give these addresses there’s a committee to now headed by Richard Tarrant of the classics department and a committee of faculty and others who have them write an address out and try it out and you know gradually they select three students whom they feel will give not only a wonderful but a powerful address in front of 32,000 people memorize I mean this could be a bit of a terrifying thing for some students that’s right they always manage to do it with aplomb it is really spectacular and among the other undergraduates there are many other awards and prizes that we don’t recognize here of course there’s the hoops prize which is given to dozens of undergraduates for extraordinary achievement on their senior theses or on other writing but but among them there’s also the Jonathan Fay prize which is awarded to just three students each year for the best senior theses in all of Harvard and this year one of them is actually at from Earth and Planetary Science that’s wonderful she’s an extraordinary undergraduate named Hannah Byrne and she’s very interesting she actually came to Harvard from Zimbabwe from a white family in Zimbabwe and and that’s actually if you know the history of Zimbabwe right now a very difficult thing our family is is not well off and she’s managed to struggle with a variety of serious health difficulties when she first got here and yet here she is managing not only to graduate but to do extraordinary work and win one of the fae prizes it’s great there also as a prize given for the student with the highest GPA grade average and that usually is awarded at the final faculty member a faculty meeting of gia fo the Faculty of Arts and Sciences this year there were 16 students who had a perfect 4.0 GPA a really astonishing perhaps testament to either to grade inflation or to student inflation I’m a little bit about a little bit of both but usually there was just one or two in that category but this is a time when we really take stock of our own role in the faculty and of how important and what a privilege it is to be here now I’ve loved my time in the faculty and teaching both in South Asian Studies and in religion but I also have really found the role of being faculty Dean of Lowell house one of the happiest in in my long career here well you really do get to nurture students from their sophomore year all the way through those you see them in so many different respects and of course the house system is really the place where inevitably people encounter one another from across the spectrum of ethnicity and socio-economic background race culture and religion so that is that is tomorrow that is today diana you’ve announced that you and your partner are going to step down we’re going to see the house through this two-year transition which we’ve been warned against going through a renovation like each of our renovation top to bottom and we’ve been involved with the architects over the last couple of years it has been votes of illumining and exhausting process I gotta tell you mid 80s my sister was a student in Lowell house she now is a professor with both the dana-farber our medical school but when she was in Lowell house I used to come up and stay with her yeah and I can tell you Lowell house needed a renovation that’s right well now it has a renovation but we have decided that we will see the students and the Faculty of the senior common room through this period of diaspora as we call it and then the new faculty Dean’s will take the class into the house I think that that makes perfect sense you know they they will need to sort of own and take charge of this community event or do it overnight so Harvard is can be such a big place you look at it today and it’s ocular but it’s also overwhelming yeah and it and the houses take this huge community and break it into smaller chunks we have about 450 students a very active senior common room of faculty and staff and graduates and others and it is a multi-generational and wonderful community but you know it is it’s that place where Harvard comes together for many undergraduates they love their big class as well and they get that in their freshman year but now starting their sophomore year they have a smaller community to identify with look at them all they’re finally filling up those seats and to the band playing 10,000 men of Harvard which they have heard for many many years I want to say one small thing which is on yesterday I addressed out spoke with discussed with the 70th reunion class who graduated in 1948 and if you can imagine I asked our own graduates imagine what you will be like 70 years from now it is a lifecycle transition and one that a transition that Harvard has seen tremendous change I mean almost everything except you know 10,000 men of Harvard has changed since 1948 the student body the demography men and women and you know it was a tremendous pleasure to spend a bit of the morning with them that was a class that included Robert Kennedy that included Tony Lewis that included the first African American football player to play below the mason-dixon line Chester Pierce and change of history we see it all here in the yard today some of the best seats here are actually all the way in the back on the steps of Widener Library we have got a much better view in a day like today they will not be broiling but they they could be on other days that are there’s Henry Lewis chance walking along that’s skip gates who is accompanying John Lewis it’s quite an emotional thing to see these students in the morning our breakfast at Lowell house was at 6:30 the whole of our interim dining hall which is what was the former Inn at Harvard filled with students clapping a bit of champagne with their orange juice and getting ready for a day that for them will be enormous ly emotional I gotta say for me one of the most fun parts is the just gathering in the yard we all gather faculty gather around 8 o’clock or yeah 8:15 for the procession that starts at 9:00 of course I had to run off to come here you start the broadcast with you but but you know the faculty from all over the university gathering there in front of mass hall yeah talking to each other it’s a wonderful time is for the whole University and the caller so to speak who tries to keep order there is this year Don Feaster who was formerly the master in those days of Kirkland house and knows quite a lot about Harvard over the years he’s had many physicians and interim positions but the thing I love most about Feaster is that he knows the names of every single tree in Harvard Yard well he was of course the director of the herbarium so yes these are trees that have specific names and characteristics and are beloved and only the way that we used to call it botany I don’t know if it’s still called but I think you probably recall the commencement a few years ago after Don Feaster had come in as as the interim dean of the girl it’s just for one year but he created such an incredible rapport with the undergraduate yes and when his name called out he really had the most the undergraduates shouted out in in praise of him like I’ve never seen before well now of course we have a lot of transition in the various Dean ships and we’ll kind of make some notes of that as we go along I mean Dean Ryan of the School of Education is leaving to be president of the University of Virginia for example which is quite a distinguished position a graduate he was a graduate a DVA as as many some of our listeners may understand the deans at Harvard are absolutely essential to the management they really control all of the activities within the school and and play a very important role in creating the environment for our students in Palestine well now they call us faculty deeds of the houses I think we joined rather a cacophonous brood of Dean’s at that point not sure it was the right move but it was an important move at the time I think and it is true that Dean’s and associate Dean’s and whatnot have helped to manage this really this mob that is marvered and that includes so many schools and yet at the same time all of the structure of the administration what’s also wonderful about Harvard is the extraordinary freedom that we have the faculty and even the students you know I often tell students you know if something doesn’t look possible ask someone else try it absolutely and usually there’s a way around not that there aren’t rules that are important but that but that the kind of academic freedom that students and faculty enjoy here is really special and and the role of the deans is really to foster that that creativity and that freedom and that dialogue that that is the back and forth that is the essential part of this university and I think it’s it’s that continuing conversation there’s really the essence of what we do here at Harvard it is true to that the the energy involved in that conversation as as Dean karana is often quoted as saying that dialogue is not just the sort of exchange of positions it’s not debate it really involves a kind of mutual listening and discussion which is what we need more than anything as we develop a broader understanding of who the we is in both the United States and and Harvard we are very different and more diverse people that we have being in the past and appropriating that is really really significant one of the things that we’ll see today is that the person who will open the ceremonies with an invocation is Khalid Abdul Rashid who is the new Imam you might say he is the the Muslim chaplain of Harvard appointed by drew Faust and that happened just a year ago really you see Jonathan Walton there who is the only other appointee of the presidents of the president’s office we saw tuk-tuk Elmendorf there very briefly doug is the relatively new Dean of the Harvard Kennedy School Kennedy talked before that was the head of a Congressional Budget Office which is very important position in Washington and Doug oversees the Kennedy School in a difficult time where we live in such a partisan world and the Kennedy School really strives to rise above that and ask how can public service better our society independent of the view of one political party or another okay the undergraduates I’m mostly foiled in and we are I think about to start with our ceremony the procession this morning has been led by and included the sheriff of Middlesex County who will call the meeting to order that will elicit quite an uproar from everyone that the meeting will be in order we see let’s go in there very briefly stepping question up and down as the Dean of Radcliffe and Radcliffe day is tomorrow and they have quite a distinguished speaker coming to address Radcliffe day and that is Hillary Clinton who has also been speaking at the graduation of her own alma mater Wellesley now okay I think we’re about to start the ceremony now so we’ll quiet down and listen as the sheriff of Middlesex County begins our host Alan Garber will be pretty much in charge of the flow of events this morning [Music] [Applause] mr. sheriff pray bring us order as the High Sheriff of Middlesex County I declare that the meeting will be in order [Applause] please rise for the national anthem and remain standing for the chaplain of the day who will open the exercises with prayer [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] let us pray in the name of our lord the lord of mercy the giver of mercy Oh Lord all praise belongs to you and all thanks is due to you we are humbled and honored to be gathered here today under your blessed gaze enveloped in your compassionate love and well pleased with what you have destined for us we seek your help in upholding the Covenant and trust you have placed on us our Lord we seek only your countenance and what we beseech of you today grant these graduates through what they have learned blessed purpose to do what is meaningful in life and what is meaningful to your way grant them hearts that know you eyes that perceive peace and solutions ears that hear the call to service tongues that speak truth to power limbs that work productively minds that are free from the absence of enlightenment and souls that are revived through the remembrance of the divine in us all our Lord make the work of these graduates that of vocations and callings not of laboring in the servitude only of legal tender for we know that we are indebted to answering the higher calls left by those that came before us who gave their life liberty and happiness so that we may build on their foundations to enhance this place help these graduates to shoulder the burden of standing on the shoulders of giants fill us with the might to tread new paths make us producers of justice consumers of equality architects of character pursuers of curiosity let us love the stranger and estranged those who reject love fill us with joy guidance hope sincerity in a beauty compassion and light bless us all now and tomorrow forever amen [Music] [Applause] [Music] takes all we go cd8 mom [Applause] [Music] latin latin thank you latin salutatory experiencia transformative ax candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Arts Phoebe Madeleine lakin [Applause] [Music] prices faust priced auntie Sima de Connie dignity me profesores proba Samir familiar feed is my the skip ollie doc Kissimmee saw waiter omnis magnum he orneriest food was Tarrant an REO in Teatro hike where bah would promote your own race Costas who Hortis Arnie bhisma lazy me de kimi Akhtar we who knew where’s the TARDIS hardy on I horn hello premise [Applause] de 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said etiam an immoral a colonist no score over a wearin Proctor we’d harm Scholastica Morris our Pristina star two young different tan tomorrow tempura mooted horrible Zusi Sonam Kokoro Amos ray keeper a posthumous where B’s tandem non weirdest sententious Nostra’s Camuto errant dialogue I come profesora bows at ceremonies Conkle Aggies compared from hub and Harris Ronaldo’s hair my own a choir Theory nose posts adoptee horas Tom and Alma Magna arrests Annenberg come a Mickey’s con Oquendo qualms in studious verse ando would predict amassed oracular jahannum karana d co-op would honk universe at atoms to Dara ray where are asked Experian Tia transform archaea alumna tandem bhakti sumus qualm conquedor moon Pettis hasta lectins da Toma kill your omnibus constitu it quite kumoi on Amalia in rest of us Guerra most lay honest he scares well are pros total universe at us Domus Nostra who it at eret Rubicon well well Scopus well auto ride is post hoc iva-mos poor time who is comfy Sam pear pad hey bones which Dixit script or EPSA was Domo mod when yentas Sam pair equipment porky Baruch I young while later Conde Schiphol email at Maggie on Nostrum a Vicky a moose [Applause] senior English address tree of dreams candidate for the degree of Bachelor of Arts Christopher a boon a day eggie [Applause] in 1951 in a poem titled Harlem Langston Hughes asked a question I continue to ask myself today what happens to a dream deferred does it dry up like A Raisin in the Sun when my mother was a little girl growing up in the 19th Elizabeth oh so her and her four siblings we get super excited whenever one of them would accomplish something no worthy why well it meant that her dad would do the tree thing that’s when the smile was fresh across his face as he climbed a tall tree branch by branch all the way to the very top his children down below would look up at him eyes why sparkling and full of joy as he yelled out higher higher and higher though proud he was also never satisfied he had a dream that his children and his children children would strive for even greater things a big part of that dream was the pursuit of an education you see while in some families bedtime stories are of dragons princesses and castles in Nigerian families our stories consists of law school med school and Harvard and I’m only kinda joking after all educational opportunity is what drove my parents to check across the Atlantic from Nigeria to Toronto Canada before I was born and so throughout my high school education I like many of you strove for excellence with hours of study meetings and practice all to fulfill the goal of one day attending Harvard and on December 13th 2013 that dream came true I along with 2,000 other high school seniors was fortunate enough to receive an acceptance letter from Harvard University and my first thought after reading that letter was that my grandfather in that tree and I knew it was time to aim higher but I wasn’t quite sure yet we’re doing eight months later I was preparing for my freshman year at Harvard little did I know events happening over 700 miles southwest of my home in Toronto Canada which transformed my dream and my life forever these events would shatter the sheltered comfort of the life my parents had created for me because on August 9th 2014 just over a week before I would arrive at Harvard for the first time Michael Brown was shot and killed by the police in his hometown of Ferguson Missouri through his death I saw what happens to those whose dreams are deferred and ultimately denied they are left to dry up abandoned like his dead murdered body which lay on the streets of Ferguson under the hot Missouri Sun for 8 hours 8 hours just like me Michael was black just like me Michael was 18 just like me Michael was about to go to college unlike me however he would never get the chance to see that dream realized and it was at that moment it hit me after years of believing that my grandfather’s dream meant educational attainment the emulation of accolades or even acceptance to Harvard Michael Brown’s death woke me up and made me realize the dream was about much more than how high we can climb in that tree as individuals it was about how we can encourage and enable those like Michael Brown whose dreams are deferred and denied to climb with us and while education is the essential part of achieving that dream we often forget it is an incomplete answer we forget that textbooks don’t do much to teach us about compassion and that problem says don’t necessarily teach us about the unconditional and unfaltering love of others we forget that whether you are a banker a teacher or an activist the dream should be about creating the conditions for life liberty and the pursuit of happiness for everyone who walks his planet and so while we strive to achieve our dreams with the privileges that this Harvard education affords us we can’t forget just how many dreams have been deferred denied and left to drive like A Raisin in the Sun you see I never met my grandfather except through history of dreams but today I stand before you as a proud grandson of a Nigerian carpenter the child of two Nigerian immigrants and a graduate of one of the greatest institutions in the world [Applause] proof that while we all have dreams some of us have to travel farther to achieve them both figuratively and literally my wish is that with our help more dreams can be converted into realities that is a calling that the class of 2018 must answer a dual mandate to do well and to do good to wake up look around and help those whose climb is stifled by the burdens of oppression your future and my future in the future of our society depends on us creating supporting and investing in the dreams that the next generation can live up to and build upon it depends on us looking one another in the eye and telling one another to continue to strive for more to keep growing and to never ever stop climbing because the next generation is watching looking up at us eyes wide sparkling and full of joy as we yellow higher higher and higher [Applause] graduate English address a counterculture of commitment candidate for the degree of Juris Doctor Pete Davis [Applause] I’m sure many of you have had this experience it’s late at night and you start browsing Netflix looking for something to watch you scroll through different titles you even read a few reviews but you just can’t commit to watching any given movie suddenly it’s been 30 minutes and you’re still stuck in infinite browsing mode so you just give up you’re too tired to watch anything now so you cut your losses and fall asleep I’ve come to believe that this is the defining characteristic of our generation let’s call it keeping our options open there’s this philosopher zygmunt bauman he calls it liquid modernity we never want to commit to any one identity or place or community so we remain like liquid in a state that can adapt to fit any future shape liquid modernity is infinite browsing mode but for everything in our lives I’ve been thinking about this recently because leaving home and coming here is a lot like entering a long hallway you walk out of the room in which you grew up and into this place with thousands of different doors to infinitely browse and throughout my time here I’ve I’ve seen all the good that can come from having so many new options I’ve seen the joy a person feels when they find a room more fitting for their authentic self I’ve seen big decisions become less painful because you can always quit you can always move you can always break up in the hallway will always be there and mostly I’ve seen all the fun folks have had experiencing more novelty than any generation in history ever experienced but as I’ve grown older here I’ve also started seeing the downsides of having so many open doors nobody wants to be stuck behind a locked door but nobody wants to live in a hallway either it’s great to have options when you lose interest in something but I’ve learned here that the more times I do this the less satisfied I am with any given option and lately the experiences I crave are less the rushes of novelty and more of those perfect Tuesday nights when you eat dinner with the friends who you have known for a long time who you’ve made a commitment to and who won’t quit you because they found someone better I’ve discovered in my time here that the people who inspire me the most are those who have left the hallway shut the door behind and settled in I think of Fred Rogers recording episode 895 of Mister Rogers neighborhood because he was committed to advancing a humane model of moral education I think of Dorothy day sitting with the same outcast folks night after night after night because it was important that someone is committed to them I think of Martin Luther King but not just the Martin Luther King who confronted the fire hoses in 1963 but the Martin Luther King who hosted his thousandth tedious planning meeting in 1967 when Hollywood tells tales of courage they usually take the form of slaying the dragon it’s all about the big brave moments but I’ve been learning from these heroes that the most menacing dragons that stand in the way of reforming the system or repairing the breach are the everyday boredom and distraction and uncertainty that can erode our ability to commit to anything for the long haul it’s why I love that the word dedicate has two meanings first it means to make something holy second it means to stick at something for a long time I don’t think this is a coincidence we do something holy when we choose to commit to something and in the most dedicated people I have met I have witnessed how that pursuit of holiness comes with a side effect of immense joy we may have come here to help keep our options open but I leave believing that the most radical act we can take is to make a commitment to a particular thing to a place to a profession to a cause to a community to a person to show our love for something by working at it for a long time and to closed doors and forgo options for its sake we often assume that some acute and looming threat be it a foreign invader or a domestic demagogue will be our downfall but if we were to end that end is just as likely to come from something far less dramatic our failure to sustain the work it is not only the bomb or the bully that should keep us up at night it is also the garden untilled and the newcomer unwelcomed the neighbor unhoused and the prisoner unheard the voice of the public unheeded and the long simmering calamity on halted and the dream of equal justice unrealized but we need not be afraid for we have in our possession the antidote to our dread our time free to be dedicated to the slow but necessary work of turning visions into projects values into practices and strangers into neighbors that is why in this age of liquid modernity we should rebel and join up with a counterculture of commitment consisting of solid people that is why in this age of infinite browsing mode we should pick a damn movie and see it all the way through [Applause] before we fall asleep let’s get to work [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] these addresses by selected candidates for ordinary degrees being ended the deans of the several departments will now present to the president and fellows and to the Board of Overseers in the favoring presence of the friends here assembled the candidates on whom the various academic distinctions are with due ceremony to be conferred with gratitude for his 11 years of distinguished leadership the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences mr. president in the name of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and by its authority I have the honour to report on four groups of candidates who will be presented to you today first the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will present candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and then the degree of Master of Arts next the Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences will present candidates for the degrees of Master of Science and of engineering third the Dean of continuing education and University Extension will present candidates for the degrees of Associate in Arts Bachelor of Liberal Arts and master of Liberal Arts and extension studies finally near the close of these exercises the seniors in Harvard College who are candidates for the first degree in arts or in science will stand proudly before you the candidates in each of these groups have a vote of the faculty fulfill the requirements for the degrees for which they are severally recommended I salute all these individuals trusting that they will forever wisely enjoy the freedoms that their education has given to them while bearing the responsibilities that they’re learning demands of them each of these groups will now be introduced to you by the deans responsible for the programs in which they have been enrolled candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy will rise but Dean the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences mr. president as thene of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences I have the honor to present to you these scholars all of whom have devoted themselves to their rigorous pursuit of Advanced Study have attained high distinction and have made original contributions to knowledge in their several fields of scholarship thority delegated to me and recognizing your high academic achievements I confer on you the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and welcome you to the ancient and universal company of scholars and entrust to you the free inquiry of future generations congratulations [Applause] candidates from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for the degree of Master of Arts will rise the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Madam President that is the Harvard College mr. president members of the Board of Overseers as dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences I have the honor to present to you these candidates all of whom have completed a commendable step of Advanced Study in their respective disciplines by virtue of authority delegated to me I confer on you the degree of Master of Arts and certify that you have surmounted with distinction the first stage of graduate study congratulations [Applause] candidates from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences for the degrees of Master of Science and master of engineering will rise the Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences as Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences it is my honor to present these degree candidates who have completed the first step of Advanced Study in Engineering and Applied Sciences they stand ready to address societal challenges through foundational science with translational impact by virtue of authority delegated to me I confer on you the degree of Master of Science or master of engineering and certify that you have surmounted with distinction the first stage of graduate study congratulations candidates for the degrees of Associate in Arts Bachelor of Liberal Arts and master of Liberal Arts in extension studies will rise [Applause] the Dean of continuing education and University Extension members of overseers as dean of continuing at and University Extension I have the honor to present to you these global lifelong learners who through their academic ability curiosity and drive while learning part-time have succeeded in becoming candidates for the degrees of Associate in Arts Bachelor of Liberal Arts and master of Liberal Arts in extension studies by virtue of authority delegated to me I confer on you the degree of Associate in Arts Bachelor of Liberal Arts or master of Liberal Arts in extension Studies and admit you to the Fellowship of educated persons [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Madam President we thank you for your years of distinguished service we thank you for your wise issue Madame president Fellows of Harvard College mr. president members of the Board of Overseers on behalf of the Faculty of Medicine and by its authority it’s my honor to report today the two groups of candidates in the fields of medicine and dental medicine who have dedicated their careers to the enhancement of human health and well-being have fulfilled the requirements of the Faculty for the degrees for which they are recommended they will be introduced to you by the deans responsible for the programs in which they are enrolled candidates for the degrees of Doctor of Dental Medicine doctor of Medical Sciences and master of Medical Sciences will rise the Dean of the School of Dental Medicine as Dean of the School of Dental Medicine I have the honor to present to you these degree candidates each of whom has devoted four years to the study of dental medicine or at least three years to post doctoral studies aimed at improving health and the quality of life by virtue of authority delegated to me I confer on you the degree of Doctor of Dental Medicine doctor of Medical Sciences or master of Medical Sciences and declare that you are qualified for practice and research in a demanding branch of medicine congratulations candidates for the degrees of Doctor of Medicine and master of medical science will rise [Applause] the Dean for medical education Fellows of Harvard College mr. president members of the Board of Overseers esteemed for medical education I have the honor to present to you these degree candidates who have dedicated themselves to the relief of human suffering and prepared themselves well for a life of learning and service in medicine by virtue of authority delegated to me I confer on you the degree of Doctor of Medicine or master of medical science and declare that as physicians you are ready to engage in an honorable and merciful calling congratulations candidates for the degree of master of theological studies Master of Divinity master of theology and doctor of theology will rise [Applause] [Music] the Dean of the Faculty of divinity [Applause] Madam President members of Harvard College mr. president as Dean of the Faculty of divinity I have the honor to present to you these degree candidates each of whom has devoted to three or more years to religious and theological studies in preparation for careers as leadership in scholarship and vocations of service delegated to me I confer on you the degree of master of theological studies Master of Divinity master of theology or doctor of theology and declare that you are well-prepared to foster the health and vitality of communities of faith to further scholarship in religious studies and to help in shaping the shared values of the broader society congratulations [Applause] candidates for the degrees of Doctor of Law Master of Laws and doctor of juridical science will rise the Dean of the Faculty of Law Madame president Fellows of Harvard College mr. president members of the Board of Overseers as Dean of the Faculty of Law it is my honor to present to you these students each of whom has completed a degree in legal studies toward the end of advancing justice and promoting the rule of law by virtue of authority delegated to me I confer on you the degree of Doctor of Law Master of Laws or doctor of juridical science and declare that you are ready to aid in shaping and applying the wise restraints that make us free [Applause] candidates for the degrees of Master in Business Administration and doctor of Business Administration the rise the Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration our most extraordinary mr. president as Dean of the Faculty of the business school it is my great honor to present to you these degree candidates who have mastered the study of Business Administration and prepared themselves to become leaders who will make a difference in the world by virtue of authority delegated to me I confer on you the degree of Master in Business Administration or doctor of Business Administration and testify that you are ready to lead people and organizations in enterprises that will serve society congratulations [Applause] [Music] candidates for the several degrees in architecture Landscape Architecture urban planning and design will rise the Dean of the Faculty of design Madame president Fellows of Harvard College mr. president and members of the Board of Overseers as Dean of the Faculty of design I have the honor to present to you these students each of whom has qualified for a master’s degree in architecture Landscape Architecture urban design urban planning or design studies or a master’s degree in design engineering conferred in collaboration with the School of Engineering or the degree of Doctor of design by virtue of authority delegated to me I confer on you the degree for which you have qualified and declare your competence to lead in shaping the spaces in which we live congratulations [Applause] candidates for the several degrees in public health will rise [Applause] the Dean of the Faculty of Public Health [Music] [Applause] Fellows of Harvard College mr. president members of the Board of Overseers I have the distinguished honor to present to you these students each of whom has qualified for a master’s degree or a doctor’s degree to provide leadership advanced knowledge and improve the health of populations of authority delegated to me I confer on you the degrees in public health for which your studies have qualified you and declare that you are well-prepared to generate and utilize knowledge to improve health throughout the world congratulations [Applause] candidates for the degrees of Doctor of Education [Applause] doctor of education leadership and Master of Education will rise [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] with appreciation with appreciation for his distinguished service to Harvard and best wishes for his coming leadership of the University of Virginia the Dean of the Faculty of Education [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] mr. president members of the as Dean of the Faculty of Education I have the honor to present to you these degree candidates who will change the world through education by virtue of authority delegated to me I confer on you the masters or doctor’s degree in education and declare that you are well-prepared to guide and serve the learning needs of contemporary society congratulations [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] candidates for the degrees of master in public administration master master and public administration and International Development and Master in public policy this nobodies still sitting please rise the Dean of the Faculty of Government Madame president Fellows of Harvard College mr. president members of the Board of Overseers as the Dean of the Faculty of Government I have the honor to present to you these degree candidates each of whom has qualified to provide leadership in public service by virtue of authority delegated to me I confer on you the degree for which your studies have qualified you and testify that you are well prepared to offer leadership in the quest for enlightened public policy an effective public service throughout the world congratulations [Applause] [Music] [Applause] for each other that’s boredom morning star rises and sings to the universe who we are know for each other that’s morning star rises [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] undergraduates of ecology candidates for the degrees of Bachelor of Arts or science will rise and there we see the entire more than 1,600 standing and the summa laude graduates the highest honors will draw near to the stage when president Faust steps up and confers their degree Silicon Valley has to be awarded by the departments and confirmed by the great average of the students and there are approximately 70 of them this year there are chosen representatives together with candidates for those degrees summa laude will draw near chosen representatives are the marshals that have been elected by the class to leave them in commencement and past commence a Dean of Harvard College Rakesh Khurana Madame president Fellows of Harvard College mr. president and members of the Board of Overseers as Dean of Harvard College I have the honor to present to you these students each of whom has fulfilled the Faculty’s requirements for the first degree in arts or in science each candidate stands ready to advance knowledge to promote understanding and to serve society by virtue of the authority delegated to me I confer on you the first degree in arts or in science and admit you to the fellowship of educated persons congratulations we walk down and congratulate personally some of these students this must be a special moment for drew faust in her final commencement Lee Davis for sound and a very special moment for these students not easy to gain summa laude at Harvard College and the role of marshals and leaders if their class is also one that is considerably time-consuming in their senior year and they are admitted to the company of educated persons it used to be educated women and men or men and women and now with the profusion of genders its educated persons making their way by shaking John Lewis of course one of the special honorary degree recipients also Harvey Fineberg former Provost they’ll go back to their seats and then we’ll proceed with the honorary degrees eight this year this is an extraordinary opportunity I’ve not seen this before where they do shake hands with several of the honor ins one by one and that I think especially this year is just a real honor means chez John us to shake John Lewis’s hand after so many years of his leadership in civil rights ongoing leadership I would say as well and leadership in issues like daca and some of the things that our students have been really concerned about over these last year’s [Music] a few more we want to make sure they get enough and then they’ll be done [Music] [Music] one of the things that’s unusual about graduating in Margaret is that they do have a chapel service that is sort of like unto the daily morning prayers for what is supposed to be 15 minutes before the onset of the processions and so all these seniors far beyond fire Cove capacity are crowded into the aisles and queues of the memorial germs or that to attract the ire of the fire marshal but it retains something of the origins of Harvard as a school to educate ministers long history since then but a sense that these are rituals that have a religious origin the first people who are called adventurers our first guest has said after that they’re all tourists I don’t want to be a tourist I want to be someone who discovers something this spirit has infused his career that’s one of the world’s most adventuresome and admired filmmakers warned in Shanghai he moved with his family to Hong Kong at age 5 just before the Cultural Revolution with few family and friends there at first he and his mother spent countless afternoons going to the movies many from the West he read voraciously he took up photography he studied graphic design done pursued screenwriting and when a famous Hong Kong actor suggested that he tried directing he said yes his films display his fascination with vibrant visual images and their expressive power they are driven more by character than by conventional plot lines they feature Swift camera movements and nonlinear narratives they tell tales about love and longing about time and memory about the deep human fear of being rejected from Chungking Express – in the mood for love – the Grandmaster they have inspired and influenced a generation of filmmakers worldwide the first Hong Kong director to win the Best Director prize at the Cannes Film Festival he is also the first Asian filmmaker recognized with the prestigious Lumiere award for lifetime achievement in cinema winning high praise from critics and audiences from east to west his films have been honored from Taipei to Stockholm to New York from Beijing to – IRAs to Berlin we honor an auteur whose ever-present sunglasses can’t hide the brilliance of his vision Wong kar-wai a a cosmopolitan grandmaster of kinetic Flair whose tales of Tears and ashes forsaken spouses and fallen angels transfix the senses transcend conventions and evoke dark shades of longing and love wong kar-wai doctor of Arts someone who’s very well known by our undergraduates and by others as well our next guest has parlayed her passion for plankton into a career as one of the world’s great experts on ocean life and the environment she grew up in Michigan and learned to love the life aquatic through summertime swimming in Lake Superior she first saw the ocean at age 14 on a family trip to the Jersey Shore in college and graduate school she became intrigued by marine biology by 1976 she landed a faculty position at an obscure Institute of Technology here in Cambridge then perhaps best known for its world champion intercollegiate tiddlywinks team she became the lone biologist in mi t–‘s civil engineering department and her ambitious research took her from Woods Hole to the Caribbean to the Sargasso Sea in 1986 she and colleagues reported the landmark discovery of the tiny phytoplankton known as prochlorococcus over decades her work has shown this miniscule microbe to be one of the most abundant diverse and resilient life forms in the ocean a marvel of photosynthesis and an essential source of the world’s oxygen her investigations have revealed how indispensable these microbes are to the planet’s well-being and what they can teach us about other complex biological systems from the genome to the global scale as one colleague put it her work is a defining example of the value of thinking both big and small to make sense of the complex interplay of life and the environment while continually making waves in oceanography she has been a champion of the advancement of women and science [Music] and she has opened young eyes to the wonders of science through the award-winning children’s books known as the sunlight series we welcome an esteemed Institute professor at MIT penny Chisholm penny Chisholm a colleague of ours and MIT extraordinary biological oceanographer well deserving of an honorary degree this year I love the phrase of her passion for plankton enthralled by the invisible pasture of the sea intrigued by the interplay of ocean and air she sunshine sunlight on multitudes of minut marine microbes and fathoms large lessons about life on Earth Sally Watson Chisholm doctor of science [Applause] composure musicologist trombonist multimedia installation artist software designer historian educator daring innovator at the vanguard of contemporary music our next guest is all these things and more one of the foremost scholars theorists and practitioners of the art of improvisation and experimental music born and raised in Chicago he attended college in the lowlands of southern Connecticut at a university better known as the home of the blue and has a hotbed for the blues while only nineteen on leave from Yale he launched his decades-long affiliation with the renowned Association for the Advancement of creative musicians about which he later wrote the definitive history honored with the American Book Award he rose to become a leading jazz trombonist playing alongside the likes of Count Basie and Anthony Braxton he has been a bold pioneer in computer music including his invention a Voyager a software program that interacts and improvises in real-time with human players he has composed scores of pieces for ensembles and orchestras some not exclusively human as well as a recent opera and he is one of America’s eminent musicologists author of dozens of articles professor and past head of Jazz Studies at Columbia and co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of critical improvisation studies as one colleague has put it he has always been lightyears ahead of the pack eloquently articulating issues about the relationships between art and society and realizing his humanistic vision through his brilliant works we honor the Edwin H case professor of American music at Columbia George Lewis I wonder if he’ll bring his trombone out at some point today Bold Voyager on sonic rivers scholar and sage of the improv is Ettore arts whose tone bursts and Tambor’s riffs and rambles spring forth where rhythms and algorithms meet George Emmanuel Lewis doctor of music described last night by drew as the avatar of the avant-garde where rhythms and algorithms meet improvisational studies we next honor a Chilean statesman and scholar renowned as a champion of democracy born in Santiago he studied for his PhD in economics at Duke he served on the faculty of the University of Chile rising to become its secretary-general but when a coup brought the military dictator Augusto Pinochet to power in 1973 he fled to Argentina where he led the latin-american faculty of social sciences by 1978 he returned to Chile as a senior official of the UN a staunch opponent of the ruling regime he was jailed for nearly three weeks in 1986 the next year he founded Chile’s party for democracy and in a dramatic television interview in 1988 he boldly defied Pinochet who had agreed to a plebiscite and urged the Chilean people to vote the dictator out of office after democracy was restored he served as Minister of Education then as Minister of Public Works guiding vital reforms in both domains and then from 2000 to 2006 he served as the president of Chile he affirmed human rights and the rule of law he worked to expand the economy spur trade and improve the plight of Chile’s poor he pushed for investments in health care housing and education and he emerged as one of Latin America’s most admired leaders since leaving office he has remained a devoted public servant founder of the foundation for democracy and development special UN envoy for climate change and past head of the club of Madrid an energy an international group of leaders dedicated to strengthening democracy we honor the Honorable Ricardo Lagos Claire Lagos is in the Chile amazing in some ways is said to a brought down penal train an amazing career and some money truly worthy of our owner courageous in the face of dictatorship devout in defense of democracy a learnedly der armed with a burning patience intent on light justice and dignity for all Ricardo Lagos Doctor of Laws yes her parents borrowed her name from Twila Thornburg Thornburg the pig princess at the 89th annual Muncie fair in Indiana but they spelled it Twila with a why not an eye because her mother he’d like to say it would look better on a marquee in the years since countless marquees have borne out her mother’s prediction she started piano before she was two growing up in Indiana and then in California she moved on to lessons in bel a baton flamenco drums elocution painting Yola violin acrobatics German and French not to mention shorthand she landed in New York at Barnard College and entered the orbit of some of dances iconic figures Martha Graham Merce Cunningham Paul Taylor rather than settle in with one of their companies she set out to create her own and so she did more than 50 years ago launching a career as one of the most innovative and influential choreographers of our age her works are performed around the world they draw on a vast span of musical sources from Bach to Billy Joel from Hyden to Sinatra to Jelly Roll Morton they fused ballet with modern dance and stretched the boundaries of both they sparkle with invention and celebrate the infinite expressiveness of the human body her more than 150 choreographed works include not only dances but also full-length ballets Broadway shows Hollywood movies even figure skating routines famously committed to collaboration she has joined forces with the lights of Baryshnikov and Bob Dylan Jerome Robbins and Elvis Costello always looking forward she has said nothing is more terrifying to me than the status quo we honor an artist a remarkable imagination and grace Twyla Tharp while a dancer choreographer extraordinary artist I know there is a member of the 50th reunion class laura shapiro who’s been a dance critic and writer in New York for many years and stayed for the ceremonies today because Twyla talk would be only a vibrantly inventive figure in the Upper Room of Dance whose ceaseless creativity flows from never standing still step by nimble step lined by fluid line from the supple human form she crafts poetry in motion Twyla Tharp doctor of Arts I’d like to see her a little a place I don’t think I have there’s big round glasses her tennis shoes yay just wonderful to see here well our next guest is known near and far as Harvey his real given name might well have been Harvard raised in Pittsburgh he arrived in Cambridge as an undergraduate in 1963 he lived in wiglesworth then in wool house he got his first Harvard degree in 1967 from the college then his MD from the Medical School then a master’s in public policy from the Kennedy School and then a PhD in public policy he joined the Harvard faculty and became one of Harvard’s youngest Dean’s in modern times for 13 years through a crucial time in its evolution he served as the admired leader of our School of Public Health then in 1997 he was named to what many regard as the single most exalted academic leadership position in all of higher education I refer of course to the role of Harvard University Provost in that August office he was a guiding force in spurring new collaborations across the university’s diverse people and parts in bringing Harvard into the information age and in the founding of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study after nearly 40 years a wash in crimson he moved to Washington to become president of the Institute of Medicine known today as the National Academy of Medicine there over more than a decade of extraordinary change in biomedicine and health care he was a major national and international voice on issues at the crossroads of health science and policy today following a stint as presidential chair at UCSF he is president of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation devoted to advancing science protecting the environment and improving health because four degrees just don’t seem enough to recognize all he has been and done for the university we are proud to bestow an honorary fifth degree on our Harvard colleague and fine friend Harvey Fineberg very much beloved at Harvard and such a happy moment to see him here that’s right a regular attendee even when he was in Washington at the Institute of Medicine he would come doctor Harvard commencement wonderful to see him honored here today dexterous herder of crimson cats superlative exponent of human health caring leader with a common touch his given name is Harvey but to us he’s wholly Harvard Harvey Vernon Feinberg Doctor of Laws this is wonderful a graduate of Lowell house he also became a very faithful member of the Lowell House senior common real and it was such a dork joy to see him and his wife here again in her commencement address at the University of Virginia in 2016 she wished the graduates lives full of lyric moments moments that sing moments when emotions bubble up so thickly they cannot be captured with logic or framed in a snapshot countless readers have discovered such lyric moments through the experience of reading her own exquisite poems winner of the Pulitzer Prize at age 34 and then the youngest ever poet laureate of the United States she is one of the nation’s most luminous literary lights she is renowned for poems that as one critic put it distill the essence of life’s small happenings with an economy and exactness of language that detonate a gentle shock of recognition in her readers I prefer to explore the more intimate moments she herself has said the smaller crystallized details we all hinge our life on her poems are known for their lyricism and musicality for their concise language and precise perspicacity for their distinctive way of marrying the personal with the historical the everyday with the transcendent not only an eminent poet she is a passionate public advocate for the literary arts and one of the very few Americans to receive the highest honours awarded by both the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts in her commencement address at the University of Virginia where she has long been the Commonwealth professor of English she wished the graduates not only lyric moments but also a lifetime of hunger the hunger to know more do more feel more for her own life time crafting poems that invite us to know more inspire us to do more and induce us to feel more we honor Rita Dove read it down poet an inspiring artist she has said poetry is the purest love it’s interesting how with words that dance across the page with lyric concision and vivid precision she draws meaning and music from everyday moments a dove whose grace notes stir the soul Rita Dove doctor of letters a beautiful honor it’s interesting Diana how three of our degree recipients out of eight this year are in the arts the authority delegated to me by the two governing boards I confer these honorary degrees and in the name of this society of scholars I declare that these persons are entitled to the rights and privileges pertaining to their several degrees and that their names are to be forever borne on its role of honorary members we are now proud to recognize and welcome John Lewis who received the honorary Doctor of Laws degree on this stage in 2012 and who has returned today to serve as our principal commencement speaker this afternoon John Lewis has led a life of singular and relentless devotion to freedom justice equality and public service as one of the most courageous leaders of the civil rights movement and now for more than 30 years as a member of the United States Congress 55 years ago this August he was the youngest person at age 23 to speak at the march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom this afternoon it will be our great privilege to hear him speak from this stage and we look forward to introducing him more fully then but for now in his honor and inspired by his example a group of Harvard students and recent alumni will perform an original composition by Joshua Campbell Harvard college class Harvard College class of 2016 college class Harvard College class of 2016 sing out March on [Applause] [Music] [Music] well I’m marched to the star and I’m marched through the way and I’m marched through some sickness and some party campaign and I laid on the ground and I looked up at the sky and I prayed to the Lord and asked why but oh no I’m not tired I’m not – marching yet another March until I die children this you can bet so we say [Music] [Music] I’m gonna gonna put one foot in front of the other [Applause] [Music] I got to keep both [Music] well Mike when mom from March and my granddad never thought it’d be some Archie from us I got a mission and I’ll be damned if my children have too much for me I’ve been leaving the power of raising my voice but had not believed in the power of making some noise if I die I can’t sing and if I can’t see how that should sing for one another now let’s give it a try so we say [Music] oh I got to keep [Music] [Applause] [Music] whoa [Music] [Music] gotcha John Lewis an extraordinary honor for both the students and John Lewis himself what a beautiful beautiful tribute to him I was only 18 when I heard him at the march on Washington on my way to college that was an amazing thing and now to see him having stretched all these 50 and more years through public service well here from this well hear from him this afternoon around 305 before we conclude I note that this sermon this ceremony marks true-false eleventh and final appearance on the stage to preside over the morning commencement exercises words cannot adequately express our gratitude for her extraordinary leadership please join me in hoping that our applause will the entire tercentenary theatre on its feet and applauding what a great honor for drew Faust for eleven years of stewarding this whole university has not been easy she has done such a remarkable job as Margaret’s president from the moment she said I’m not Harvard’s woman president I am Harvard’s president and yet she has made groundbreaking advances in the Equality of women and men you see there Larry back now the new Harvard president actually tearing up in honor of of drew Faust from his seat on the corporation he appreciates just what Drew has done she’s applauding him and he heard now some announcements the degree candidates and their guests and all alumni are warmly invited to attend the afternoon commencement day exercises under the direction of the Harvard Alumni Association the Alumni procession will begin at 1:45 p.m. and the exercises will begin at 2:30 the commencement speakers will be representative John Lewis and the president of Harvard University now the commencement choir director will lead us in the singing of the commencement him following the hymn the Pusey Minister will pronounce the benediction the commencement exercises then being ended the sheriff of Middlesex County will declare the meeting adjourned the audience is requested to remain seated until the President and fellows and their guests have withdrawn from the platform thank you commencement him Harvard him in Latin for those of you who don’t have a program as they use all new Freya to [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] life is short time is filled with trip swift transition it’s a class of 2018 we don’t have time to get weary in our well doing so whenever we attempt it to fall asleep to the lullabies of our own entitlement I want you to remember the words of dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays known as the schoolmaster of the civil rights movement who would tell young activists like John Lewis and others we have only but a minute just 60 seconds in it forced upon us didn’t choose it didn’t seek it can’t refuse it so it’s up to us to use it we must give an account if we abuse it this is why we cannot lose it what’s only just a minute but since it’s God’s minute there is an eternity within it get busy class of 2018 may God be with you [Applause] he comes the sheriff of Middlesex County officially going to end these warning exercises as the High Sheriff of Middlesex County hide you Claire that the meeting will be a joke then we hear the bell of the Memorial Church and we will hear the other bells of Cambridge ringing as well we’re a little early they will start ringing I think about 10 minutes from now but that Kanab ulation of bells across Cambridge will include just about all the bells except the great bells Lowell house which are now silenced for two years those great they want to bet they will ring again and we have one of the ceremonial bells with us in interim Lowell house and now we see the president’s party in the honorary degree recipients begin their procession back through the crowds president president-elect Larry back out there Susan Graham and Shirley Tilghman all of the other members of the Harvard corporation extraordinary to hear the stupid speakers this year asking the class as did black orator – let’s go and work our magic on the world sort of drawing upon the harry potter themes we really are going to see these students go out and change the world they’re really not students anymore they’re officially no longer students except that we hope they’ve been instilled with a second lifelong learning but that we say certainly will when we heard that wonderful undergraduate orator who spoke of himself as the grandson of a Nigerian carpenter asking everyone to climb higher and climb higher but it’s not just about yourself it’s about taking others with you and that sense of community is certainly one that this class will share absolutely see the procession got through with a recent phd’s on the left and the undergraduates on the right out of mana I close colleague John Shaw and his son Cameron Shaw is there somewhere hundreds and hundreds of other now graduates essentially hopefully inspired by the words they heard today and so many people and they’ll see John Lewis this afternoon and who could not be inspired tomorrow let me just recall that third that third speaker the graduate or dress of a mothball from the law school really I think hitting a deep note in saying we have to get off the infinite browsing mode and make commitments long-term commitments that’s two people that’s the relationships that’s to what it is that we decide to do we we need at times to forego options and that doesn’t mean that we won’t change along the way because we certainly will I see Jeremy blocks them they’re walking out jeremy Bloxom has been dean of science for the last 12 years and he is going to be leaving his position this summer he’s provided incredible service in the Natural Sciences in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and it’s a real tribute to him today that his final commencement as well [Music] and down all of the undergraduates will go back to their houses except for Lowell house of course you will gather elsewhere but gather in our interim house that’s right and they will then individually get their diplomas and there will be a celebration and lunch with their families whereas the other graduates will assemble at the various schools and celebrate individually as well you can imagine the amount consumed as the spreads as their fall the spreads that literally feed 32,000 people across the university under tents and and if you could also imagine the way in which this crowd manages to disperse this is extraordinary playing all of the festive part the the climate was perfect today as a climate scientist they take credit for this perfect weather not too hot not too cold just just glorious and it’s really wonderful you know one of the most extraordinary things here today is after the ceremony seeing the graduates with their parents seeing that that wonderful connection and all the support that our students have received and they will somehow make it out of this tercentenary theatre through the gates of Harvard Yard to the various destinations and I remember the wonderful new hymn that we had today that was we are our grandmother’s prayers we are our grandfather’s dreamings we are the breath of our ancestors we are seekers of truth keepers of faith makers of peace and the wisdom of Ages may that be so for all of these wonderful graduates today Diana it’s been a pleasure doing this again with you a total pleasure again dan and and I see one another at least once a year and let’s make it more awful let’s make it more often but you know in celebration of everyone who gets left today congratulations to you and congrats to you and we look forward to doing this again together dude okay signing off from the tercentenary theatre Diana Eck and Dan track have a wonderful afternoon [Music] [Applause] [Music] you [Music]

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15 thoughts on “Harvard University’s 367th Commencement Morning Exercises | May 24, 2018

  1. Hello from Zimbabwe… Congratulations to my Niece, Hannah Byrne. So proud of you, and all your classmates. Makorokoto…

  2. wouw great congratulation
    I dream that I,m learning in Harvard university
    congratulation
    nice ,nice nice

  3. What a beautiful and inspiring graduation ceremony… the student orators were incredible… unforgettable

  4. Vile. Aiding, abetting or funding terroist/muslims/ilsamlist (moderate are the grass, extremist are the snakes)…is a federal crime of the extant 1952 Maccarin Walters Act. You lose all federal funding. Anyone who donates or funds you is in treason to the USA and can be punished commiserate with treason. Minute men and malitia will make arrest forthcoming. You know who you are.

  5. Our whole row and section sat down for vile “chaplin” anti American, anti Harvard…unacceptable Taqiyya. Faust you are either an enemy of the state, or so dumb you don’t know you are in treason. Arrests forthcoming. #MHGA #MakeHarvardGreatAgain #2018

  6. Can't imaging myself being a student of this Great and Noble Community of Knowledge someday. Congratulations to you all.

  7. Congratulations to my daughter and her classmates for all the sacrifices they did in order to be here today.congrats Sammy ,thank you for all the pride of be your parents.

  8. These are the brightest minds in the world. I fell so ashamed for studying in such a small university. My life is so worthless.

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