If asked today, EC students weighed down by class projects would probably voice doubts that next June’s Class Day will ever take place.
But the SA Senate’s Operations Committee is working behind the scenes to make sure that the June 5 event is unforgettable.
Committee co-chair Kyra Danilchick (OF) said at the Senate meeting last Wednesday that the physical setup for the day will be much like this year’s, with a stage erected across Baker Beach facing back towards the library, leaving unlimited space for students and guests, with a powerful sound system broadcasting the events throughout the yard.
Student Input on Speaker
That leaves the guest speaker as the main variable. Danilchick declined to give any hints about the leading candidates, since the selection is supposed to remain confidential until finalized in the Spring.
She did, however, say that HBS’ highest-profile graduate, President George W. Bush, would not be invited, principally because Harvard University claims “first dibs” on high-profile public officials for the University-wide Commencement, which will occur on June 6, the day after Class Day. In contrast to the events on the HBS campus, seating for the University commencement will be limited to ticketholders.
In addition, Danilchick said the security arrangements for a presidential address-including issuing tickets and forcing guests and graduates to pass through medal detectors-would be a major distraction at the event.
However, she assured the senate that the other potential speakers, who were identified in a poll of the current EC class last April, will be exciting. Currently, the committee is working with the administration to narrow the list and to reach out to the top candidates through personal connections.
Other Votes Ahead
While the speaker selection process is well underway, EC students will face a couple of other decisions-choosing faculty members to receive awards for excellence in teaching, and a student speaker for the event.
Danilchick said the faculty awards, recognizing two EC and two RC professors, will be determined by a poll in the spring. One consideration the Senate’s Operations and Academic committees are investigating is whether there is some way to “level the playing field” for professors who only taught one section. However, no decision has been made yet.
The other major decision revolves around the student speaker. Danilchick said students interested in addressing the class will be given the opportunity to nominate themselves, then to audition before a mid-sized screening committee. Several finalists will then be chosen to speak in Burden Auditorium to all class members who want to attend, and a final vote will take place after that.
Once the program is set, graduates and their families will be able to sit back and enjoy the celebration in their honor. In addition to the ceremony, Class Day will feature a lunchtime barbecue, section reunions, and evening social events.