Bacow Confers 1,292 College Degrees in Harvard’s Second Virtual Graduation; Speaker Ruth Simmons Urges Grads to ‘Be a Force for Inclusion’
Harvard awarded 2,440 degrees across the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at its second consecutive virtual Commencement ceremony Thursday, including 1,292 degrees to the College’s Class of 2021.
Professional basketball player Jeremy Lin ’10 encouraged the graduating Class of 2021 to seek community and embrace their identities in the pursuit of success during Harvard College’s virtual Class Day Wednesday.
For members of the Class of 2021, virtual thesis submission is the latest in a string of quintessential experiences at the College that have been blighted by Covid-19. Though the College invited seniors to live on campus in the spring, not all opted to do so, and large social gatherings remain prohibited.
This year’s senior class is graduating into a job market that looks radically different from what it did a year ago. In interviews, several members of the Class of 2021 described a range of experiences throughout this recruiting season: some reported it went smoothly, while others asserted the pandemic had created new bumps in the process. All reported a new sense of uncertainty.
Harvard’s decision Friday to postpone its in-person Commencement Exercises in favor of a May virtual ceremony for the second year in a row was met with dismay but expectation from some seniors.
Harvard will expand the number of undergraduates invited to live on campus next semester, including College seniors and juniors who enrolled this fall, as classes continue online.
The marshals, who collectively comprise the Senior Class Committee, are tasked with organizing class-wide events up until Commencement in May. They also coordinate the Senior Gift fund and plan post-graduation reunion events.
In Harvard’s first online commencement ceremony, University President Lawrence S. Bacow conferred 1,542 bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees to the Class of 2020.
Each year, the Faculty of Arts and Sciences awards Hoopes Prizes to honor College seniors by “recognizing, promoting, honoring, and rewarding excellence in the work of undergraduates and their capabilities and skills in any subject.”
Comedian and television host Conan O’Brien ’85 will speak at the Class of 2020’s virtual Commencement celebration on May 28, Harvard wrote in an email to College seniors Tuesday afternoon.
For seniors set to graduate, the coronavirus has rapidly changed where and how they expected to live, work, and build a career. In a matter of months, the global health crisis has flummoxed both members of the class of 2020 and the Harvard officials tasked with guiding them.