All Harvard alumni and members of the Harvard community are invited to attend the Alumni Spread Luncheon and the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association (a.k.a. the Afternoon Program). The Afternoon Program will take place on Thursday, May 25, 2017, at Tercentenary Theatre in Harvard Yard. Tickets are available now.
The Afternoon Program takes place from 2:30 p.m. until 4:15 p.m. at Tercentenary Theatre in Harvard Yard. The Afternoon Program will include welcoming remarks and acknowledgments by Martin J. Grasso Jr. AB '78, president of the Harvard Alumni Association (HAA); an announcement of Overseer and HAA Board elections; the presentation of the Harvard Medals; remarks by Harvard University President and Lincoln Professor of History Drew Gilpin Faust; and an address by the Commencement speaker.
During its first 10 years, the HAA participated in Commencement (in those years, it was a two-day celebration with Commencement Exercises on Wednesday) and shared the Thursday meeting with the Phi Beta Kappa Society and the Boylston Prize orations. It was not until 1867 that the HAA began to share Commencement Day with the new graduates. Then, in 1869, the alumni were charged with management of the Commencement Afternoon Exercises, over which the president of the HAA has presided ever since. (Renny Little, Reflections on Our Past, 1840–2005)
Happy Observance of Commencement Committee
The Happy Committee alumni volunteers, first charged with oversight of the Commencement Afternoon Program in 1869, are recognized by their unmistakable regalia. Top hats and tails for men. All black outfits adorned with crimson rosettes for women. And the noteworthy batons that came into use in the 1980s. Today, a group of more than 70 committee members, assisted by hundreds of alumni marshals and alumni aids, escort alumni, guests, dignitaries, and students in and out of Tercentenary Theatre; assist with the alumni spreads; and marshal the annual alumni procession that commences the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association. For more insight into the Happy Committee, read the recent story "Make Someone Happy."
Harvard welcomes individuals with disabilities to participate in Commencement activities. Please visit the University Disability Services’ Commencement webpage for available services.