Bacow Inauguration Set for October


Lawrence S. Bacow, Harvard’s 29th president, will be inaugurated into his new role in a ceremony filled with centuries-old traditions on Oct 5.

Bacow, who was announced as University president-elect in February, will officially assume his presidential duties on July 1. He is currently a member of the Harvard Corporation, the University's highest governing body, and was formerly the president of Tufts University.

The ceremony, which lasted two-and-a-half hours in 2007 for University President Drew G. Faust’s inauguration, features the new president receiving the University's keys, seals, and charter, and sitting—for the first time publicly—in the infamous Holyoke chair.

The specific details of the ceremony are still being planned, but if prior iterations are any indication there will be a host of academic and public figures on hand to welcome Bacow into his new role. Bacow will also deliver his own address, which is likely to outline his plans for his tenure.


At Faust’s inauguration, University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann ’71 spoke, along with then-Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick ’78 and Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, among others. The celebration involved thousands of attendees and representatives from more than 220 academic institutions.

University spokesperson Melodie L. Jackson wrote in an email that Harvard’s last eight presidential inaugurations have taken place in October, a tradition dating back to the 1869 inauguration of the University’s 21st president, Charles W. Eliot, class of 1853. This timing allows for all students and faculty members to be on campus for the event, which will take place in Tercentenary Theatre.

The festivities, which will take place in the afternoon, are open to all Harvard affiliates.

—Staff writer Jamie D. Halper can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @jamiedhalper.


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