Just prior to Bush, former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who graduated from the Business School in 1966, received an honorary degree. Bloomberg will deliver the Commencement address during the Afternoon Exercises.
Franklin, the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, received a standing ovation from many of the graduates when she received her honorary degree.
Garber, who spoke about each honorand, called Franklin, “her regal highness, the Queen of Soul.”
In addition to receiving an honorary degree, she performed the national anthem during the morning exercises.
The eight honorands were the first to receive degrees during the Commencement Exercises. The University awarded 7,301 degrees and 33 certificates on Thursday, including 1,662 to students at the College and 1,003 to students at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Many of the graduating seniors sitting in Tercentenary Theater bore red duct tape on their caps as a symbol of the activism that had been a dominant theme in campus discussions over the past year.
Last year’s recipients of honorary degrees included television host Oprah Winfrey, the 2013 Commencement speaker, and former Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino. Since 2006, Harvard has awarded multiple honorary degrees each year to prominent figures from a range of professional backgrounds.
Also during the Morning Exercises, graduating senior Timothy J. Barry-Heffernan ’14 delivered the Latin Salutatory, during which he discarded his cap in favor of a Roman military helmet.
The exercises also featured the senior English address entitled “The [Harvard] Spring,” given by Sarah F. Abushaar ’14, in which she compared graduating seniors to revolutionaries in the Arab Spring.
Abushaar was followed by Kennedy School graduate Philip A. Harding, who delivered the graduate English address that featured stories of George Washington’s time at Harvard in 1775.
—Staff writer Matthew Q. Clarida can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @mattclarida.
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Honorary DegreesH ARVARD likes its Commencement to be a good show, and for a good show, you need big-name stars. Hence
Harvard Awards 10 Honorary DegreesCommencement keynote speaker David H. Souter '61 was one of ten recipients of honorary degrees from the University during the morning exercises on Thursday.
Hammonds to Receive Honorary Degree from BatesThree days after the Harvard class of 2011 receives their diplomas, Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds will get a degree of her own. Bates College in Lewiston, Maine will award Hammonds an honorary degree on May 29 for her work researching the relationship between medicine and race.
Student Groups Seek Support From Lady Gaga’s BTW FoundationWhen the collective star power of Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, and more special guests amasses inside Sanders Theatre for the launch of a new anti-bullying foundation on Wednesday, protesters will gather outside to ask Harvard to shine a spotlight on a long-gone group of people as well.
At 362nd Commencement, 7,321 Are Awarded DegreesA total of 1,651 Harvard College seniors became graduates Thursday morning as University President Drew G. Faust conferred degrees on the Class of 2013 at the University’s 362nd Commencement exercises in Tercentenary Theatre.
Report, House Renewal at Center of First FAS MeetingThe Faculty of Arts and Sciences gathered Tuesday for the body’s first meeting of the fall semester to discuss a number of continuing initiatives on campus, including the pending relocation of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences to Allston, the new Harvard Museums of Science and Culture consortium, and the FAS Dean’s Annual Report for the 2012-2013 academic year.