All You Ever Wanted to Know About HBS Graduation Week

Together with the SA Social Committee and the EC section officers, the 2007 Class Day Committee has been busy working to make the Class of 2007’s last week at HBS a memorable one. Following a month-long break after final exams, ECs will return to school for Graduation Week 2007. Graduation Week events will begin Monday, June 4 with section reunions and dinners, followed by one final class-wide party, the SA Graduation Gala on Tuesday, June 5.

The Graduation Gala Reception is an annual black tie event for graduates, families and friends. This year the event will take place in the ballroom at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Boston. The Graduation Gala offers students a chance to reconnect with friends after a month of travel and the opportunity to introduce their families to their HBS classmates. Hors d’oeuvres will be served and there will be an open bar with champagne, wine and liquor until midnight. SA Social will sell tickets later in the semester for about $60 each.

HBS will hold its annual Class Day Ceremony, the precursor to graduation, on Wednesday, June 6. Nearly 3,000 people, including HBS students, guests and faculty will gather to reflect upon the Class of 2007’s HBS experience, celebrate our achievements, and look ahead to life after HBS. A highlight of this event will be a keynote speaker. The Class Day Committee will reveal the speaker’s identity in March. Additionally, during the Class Day Ceremony, awards will be given to selected faculty who have made outstanding contributions to the Class of 2007’s classroom experience. Finally, a member of the Class of 2007, determined by a speaker competition, will also have the opportunity to address the graduating class of his/her peers.

The Faculty Awards are an integral part of the Class Day tradition. This honor is bestowed upon faculty who have made particularly exceptional contributions to the Class of 2007’s HBS experience. Since inception, these awards have carried a significant degree of prestige and recognition for the faculty members.

This year the awards will be given to two Required Curriculum (RC) and two Elective Curriculum (EC) professors. In order to ensure fairness, the winners will be selected on the basis of the greatest number of votes relative to the number of students enrolled in their classes. The Class of 2007 will be asked to take part in an online poll in early April. In past years, over 95% of the graduating class participated in the awards selection, using the following six criteria to determine which faculty members to vote for:

Inspiration: transfers his or her passion for the subject matter to students.

Knowledge Transfer: makes difficult course material accessible to all students through clear explanations and demonstrated relevance.

Accessibility: available to students outside the classroom on a personal and professional basis.

Career Guidance: helps to identify industry contacts and evaluate potential career options.

Quality of Life: helps to improve the quality of life on campus.

Feedback: provides feedback that contributes to professional and personal development.

Later this spring, the Class of 2007 will elect one member of the class to speak at Class Day on June 6. The speaker will reflect on our time at HBS and what lies ahead. Every member of the MBA Class of 2007 is eligible to compete. The speaker will be selected after two rounds of competition. During the first round, each candidate will speak in front of a panel of volunteer judges representing each section. Speakers will be judged on their ability to address the audience, presentation skills, creativity and overall general impression.

Selected finalists will enter the second round of competition also judged by a panel of volunteer judges representing each section. The Class Day Committee will send out further details regarding this process in mid-March. In addition, you will be able to find more information on the Commencement Tab on myHBS.

The following is a preliminary schedule for Graduation Week. Please check the Commencement tab on myHBS regularly for updates.

Monday, June 4
Section Reunions and Dinners (organized by section social reps and section presidents).

Tuesday, June 5
SA Graduation Gala Reception at the Marriott hotel in downtown Boston (9:00 p.m.). Tickets are required and will be sold by the SA Social Committee.

Wednesday, June 6 – Class Day
-Dean’s Award Breakfast for recipients and guests
-Leadership Fellows Brunch for recipients and guests
-Class Day Ceremony (2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.) Open to students, families, and guests.
-A Class Day Family Social will follow the ceremony (4:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.) Light refreshments will be served.
-Baker Scholar Dinner (6:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.) for recipients and guests

Thursday, June 7 – Commencement
HU Morning Exercises, HBS Luncheon, HBS Diploma Ceremony and HBS Reception (Open to students, families and guests). Tickets are required for some events and will be made available by MBA Students and Academic Services upon completion of graduation requirements. Please refer to the Commencement Tab on myHBS for ticket information.

Below, please find some more detail regarding Commencement Day for students and their guests.

6:30 a.m. – Graduating students gather in front of Kresge Hall, line up by section and process across the river to Harvard Yard.

6:45 a.m. – Gates open at Harvard Yard for guests. There is limited seating, so most arrive early to assure seating. For those who do not get in, there is an air-conditioned telecast video of the event in Burden, Spangler Auditorium, and the Grille. Tickets are required for the live ceremony. Each student will be provided with two tickets, in addition to his or her own ticket.

7:15 a.m. – Arrive at Harvard Yard. Make sure you carry your Harvard ID and lanyard.

9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. – Commencement Exercises, outdoors rain or shine.

11:30 p.m.-12:30 p.m. – HBS Commencement Luncheon at Kresge. Tickets are required. Each student will be provided with five tickets, including his or her own ticket.

12:45 p.m.-2:45 p.m. – HBS Diploma Ceremony on Baker Lawn (rain or shine). No tickets required.

2:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m. – HBS Commencement Reception at Kresge Tents (rain or shine).

Harvard University is holding an optional concurrent event. Harvard University Alumni Association Afternoon Exercises (1:30 p.m.-4:00 p.m.). Five tickets provided. Please note that most HBS students choose to attend the HBS Reception instead of this event.

If you have any additional questions regarding Class Day or Graduation Week, please feel free to contact any of the Class Day Committee members or send an e-mail to

Class Day Committee Chairs: Kate Lavin (OJ) and Tracy Mathews (OI)

Class Day Committee Members: Owen Patrick (OB), William Shimer (OE), Annie Bercovich (NJ), Nadia Johnson (NH), Hunter Pierson (NB), Michon Pinnix (NA) and Kelly Diamond, Associate Director of Student and Academic Services

Graduation Gala Reception: Sasha Jorov (OB)