Commencement 2023

2023 Commencement Procession
Photo Essay

In Photos: Harvard’s 372nd Commencement Exercises

Commencement returned to Harvard this week as the University celebrated the Class of 2023.

Harvard 2023 Honorary Degree Recipients

President Bacow Bids Farewell to Harvard, Confers 1,850 College Degrees at 372nd Commencement

Outgoing University President Lawrence S. Bacow told graduates that he, like the Class of 2023, is “wondering what the future holds,” as he said goodbye to Harvard during Commencement morning exercises on Thursday.

Student Performers Recap Tom Hank's Career

Tom Hanks Urges Students to ‘Embrace Liberty’ in Harvard Commencement Address

Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks urged Harvard’s Class of 2023 to “embrace liberty and freedom” during the University’s 372nd Commencement exercises on Thursday.

Michelle Williams
Op Eds

For a Bright Future, Hold Fast to a North Star

Hold fast to your North Star. Choose it consciously, and make sure it reflects your values. Let it steer what you do and how you serve. As you rise in your careers, you will encounter many different agendas and value systems.

Harvey Silverglate Courtesy
Op Eds

Advice From a Harvard Elder

Members of the Harvard graduating class of 2023, it is my hope that despite shouldering the burden of debts and the power to reform the education system for future generations, you will prosper.

Pfoho Exterior
Op Eds

Celebrating the Stories

This is an essay of appreciation for all the students whose time here has been defined by milestones that they may never share with their professors or future employers. The ones who arrived on campus burdened with sometimes difficult stories, but who then also came to realize that they didn’t have to be wholly defined by those stories — that they had the ability to become authors of new stories, stories of their own.

Humans and Machines
Op Eds

What Kind of Intelligence?

As you go forth from the protected space of Harvard, don’t be afraid of tech — use it in all the ways that enhance our current imperfect realities. But don’t forget the immense power of human collaboration in the face of staggering obstacles.

Athena Ye and Chibuike Uwakwe

A Letter from the 2023 Class Marshals

The Class Marshals for the Class of 2023 reflect on college and thank their classmates.

Scales of Justice
Op Eds

Public Service Is Its Own Reward

Whether it is in your career or as a volunteer in your community, I encourage you to do something to serve. Advance your career, yes, but also measure your success but what you do for others — students taught, victims counseled, patients healed.

Harvey Mansfield Horizontal
Op Eds

To the Class of 2023: On Self-Censorship

To express yourself fully means to fashion your own identity. And to do that, the danger of being offended in your identity becomes a vital point: You must be free both to take offense when you are disrespected and to give offense when your own identity demands it.

Ken Roth IOP Forum
Op Eds

Indifference Is the Enemy of Democracy

I have spent my professional life at Human Rights Watch taking on powerful forces. The task can seem daunting, but I have seen the enormous difference that even a handful of individuals can make. Your generation is perhaps better placed than any previous one to make itself heard.

Bacow Simmons A&M Conversation
Op Eds

Striving in Times of Strife

Our lives are frequently upended by uncontrolled and unforeseen events that shake our confidence in the future. In that event, we can either falter or become even more determined to engage in action that centers on the common good.

Student Advocacy

A Post-Covid Campus by Students, for Students

Harvard is a university drenched in history, influenced by a chain of traditions, norms, and practices stretching back centuries. The pandemic’s blip on this record has torn us away from institutional inertia, offering us near-limitless potential for what our campus could look like.

Former President of Costa Rica Carlos Alvarado Quesada Speaks to HSPH Grads
School of Public Health

Former President of Costa Rica Urges HSPH Graduates to Love What They Do

Former President of Costa Rica Carlos Alvarado Quesada addressed the Harvard School of Public Health’s Class of 2023 at their convocation Wednesday, encouraging graduates to “do what you love, love what you do.”

First Gen Affinity Celebration
Student Life

Ahead of Harvard Commencement, Graduating Students Celebrate Accomplishments with Affinity Ceremonies

Harvard student groups hosted affinity celebrations for graduating students across the University on Monday and Tuesday, bringing together students of shared identity as part of this year’s Commencement festivities.