Commencement won’t be the same this year, and spring of 2020 has been far from a typical semester. With almost everyone working from home and strict social distancing measures in place, Harvard’s annual commencement ceremony has been officially postponed until fall.
The COVID-19 crisis marks the first time in living memory that Harvard’s entire campus has been evacuated, but historically speaking, our students are not alone. In 1721, a smallpox epidemic forced the college to hold only a small private ceremony, rather than the carnival-like hootenanny that Harvard typically threw in the 1700s. The Harvard Crimson has reported that Harvard commencement had to be cancelled eight more times during that century, due to Massachusetts becoming a battleground in the Seven Years War and the Revolutionary War and due to later smallpox outbreaks.
Since the last Thursday in May has been Harvard’s traditional commencement day since TK, we wanted to take a moment and celebrate the achievements of the undergraduates and graduate students in class of 2020.
Over 150 MCB-associated undergraduate and graduate students are among those graduating or earning their doctorates this spring. So, with contributions from faculty, postdocs, students, and staff, a few of our staff taught themselves a bit of iMovie editing and put together these four videos celebrating the graduating classes of 2020.
These videos would never replace the actual in-person commencement but are intended to celebrate all graduates from afar and to show them that we deeply care.
We hope that you take a few moments to congratulate the exceptional Class of 2020!
To our graduating students, we would like to add:
No Matter What, You Earned your Degree and Deserve to Celebrate and be Celebrated.
To request the accessible videos, please email firstname.lastname@example.org