In the 20th and final Commencement Exercises during his leadership of the University, President Conant this morning conferred some 3,000 degrees on students of the College and the ten graduate schools.
As estimated 2,000 students, alumni, and dignitaries marched around the Yard into the Tercentary Theatre for the exercises. The program officially opened earlier this morning with a Chapel service for seniors in Memorial Chapel at 9 a.m.
At 9:45 a.m., Governor Christian A. Herter '15 arrived at the Johnson gate, next to Massachusetts Hall. Herter was escorted by scarlet-coated National Lancers of Massachusetts on horseback. This is part of a tradition dating back to the days when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts operated the University directly.
The members of the graduating class of 1953 assembled in front of Holworthy Hall at 9:30 a.m. Preceded by the University band, the seniors marched, two abreast, along the roped-off path leading to the Tercentary Theatre.
In front of the seniors were the dignitaries and honorary degree recipients. The entire procession was led by the President and Fellows of the College; then the Board of Overseers; the Governor; his military staff; Deans of the University; candidates for honorary degrees; and professors and former professors of the University.
Following this group were former members of the Corporation and the Board of Overseers; Phi Beta Kappa Orator and Poet; trustees of the Hopkins and Loan Funds; ministers of various churches; presidents of other colleges; State Commissioner of Education; U.S. Senators and Representatives; Army and Navy Officers; Judges; State Lieutenant Governor; Judges; State Lieutenant Governor; mayors of Boston and Cambridge; officers of other schools; holders of honorary degrees and the Presidents of the Associated Harvard Clubs and the Alumni Association in order of class. The seniors made up the last group to march into the Tercentary Theatre.
Dean Willard L. Sperry of the Harvard Divinity School opened the ceremonies with prayers. Nathan Alfred Haverstock '53 followed with the Latin address.