2013 Harvard Commencement: Through Class Day

This collection shows events leading up Harvard University's 362nd Commencement on Thursday, May 30, 2013. Join in the conversation via #Harvard13 on Twitter and Instagram.

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  1. While the University has been around for 376 years, only 362 Commencements have taken place. Why the discrepancy? To begin with, it took Harvard's first class six years to graduate: the first Commencement was held in 1642. Since then, Commencement numbering has fallen out of step as exercises were omitted for reasons ranging from war to plague.
  2. This year's theme is One Harvard. One Harvard is a compilation of stories illustrating the enhanced value and powerful outcomes that result from multi-School collaborations across the University, and cross-disciplinary approaches to teaching, learning, and research.
  3. Celebrating the a long history of Commencement ceremonies:
  4. The Class of 1963 will celebrate their 50th reunion. Here's a look back at photographs from the collections of the Harvard University archives from 1959-1963.
  5. Professor Jonathan L. Walton's sermon on Senior Sunday, the Last Sunday of Spring Term, on May 26, 2013, in the Memorial Church. This sermon was written especially for the Harvard Class of 2013 graduating seniors.
  6. Tuesday: Phi Beta Kappa Literary Exercises

  7. Commencement week activities began Tuesday morning with the Phi Beta Kappa Literary Exercises at Sanders Theatre, which honored top-ranked seniors. A traditional part of Harvard Commencement since the eighteenth century, the Exercises celebrate the humane learning and passion for intellectual exchange that are the ideal and hallmark of the Chapter. 
  8. In her Baccalaureate address, Harvard President Drew Faust urged graduating seniors on Tuesday to “run toward” challenges, passions, and places in life where their help is needed, despite the risks that might entail.
  9. Read the 2013 Baccalaureate Service speech from
  10. Class of 2013 photos after the Baccalaureate address:
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