As usual, we expect that GSD graduates will each receive up to two guest tickets to the Harvard yard morning ceremony, and up to three guest tickets to the GSD diploma ceremony. We will also maintain a wait list for both of these Commencement Day ceremonies. Additional options will include live webcasts in Gund Hall during both events, and standing-room-only access to the GSD diploma ceremony. Lunch for graduates and guests following the GSD diploma ceremony will require pre-registration.
At present, we do not anticipate requiring advance registration or tickets for events on Class Day.
Key events, including the GSD’s Diploma Ceremony, the GSD’s Awards Ceremony and Class Day Address, and the Harvard Yard university-wide ceremony, will also be available by live public webcast for anyone unable to attend in person.
The GSD’s webcasts will include live English captions and simultaneous automated translated captions will be available on separate links in multiple languages. These can be viewed on cell phones by those attending in person, as well as being available for remote viewers of the livestreams. Planned languages will include Chinese – Traditional, Chinese – Simplified, Greek, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Persian, and Spanish; additional languages may be added with advance request.
The GSD’s Class Day and Commencement ceremonies will be held in the Gund back yard (Gund Garden).
- The ceremonies will take place outdoors, primarily on grassy terrain, under the cover of a tent.
- Guest seating is general admission, aside from seats reserved for those with accessibility needs.
- Ceremony speakers will use microphones and speak from a podium.
- Live webcasts with captioning, including translations, will be available to view on personal devices.
- Restrooms are available inside Gund Hall prior to tent entry, and within the ticketed tent area in the form of portable bathrooms, including a wheelchair accessible unit.
Graduates will have the opportunity to request modified arrangements for guests who are elderly, disabled, attending with babies, or have other specific access needs to fully participate in the events. Guests who need modified arrangements should discuss their needs with their graduate. The GSD’s Commencement team also coordinates any accessibility arrangements needed for our graduates or their guests at the Harvard Yard ceremony on the morning of May 25.
Some of the accessibility arrangements for GSD events that are available on advance request can include:
- Reserved accessible seating for candidates or guests (location determined by the individual’s needs)
- Accessible parking
- American Sign Language interpreters
- Assisted Listening Devices (ALDs)
- Modified format programs (such as large print or pdf)
- Sighted guide or escort to reserved accessible seating
Hotels and bed-and-breakfasts in the Cambridge area will become fully booked well in advance of Commencement. Because there are many other colleges and universities in the Greater Boston area with their own graduation festivities at the same time of year, it can become challenging to locate places to stay as the date gets closer. We recommend making reservations for guest lodging as soon as possible. If possible, we advise making reservations that can be cancelled later on, when booking early.
Check not only hotels right in Harvard Square (which may already be booked or have high prices due to the high demand) but also surrounding locations. Guests may want to consider hotels that are located on the MBTA public transit system, which opens up areas of Boston and other nearby communities, such as Somerville, Medford, Arlington, and Watertown. Harvard is easily accessible on the MBTA red line subway and by several major bus routes. Public transportation options also include various taxicab and ride-share services.
The university Commencement office has created a list of some nearby hotels, which may be helpful in your planning.