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Throughout Harvard’s history, many talented commencement speakers have taken to the university’s stages to send off the graduates with a touch of humor. Here are a handful of the funniest witticisms from past Ivy Orations.
University Provost Alan M. Garber (right), pictured at Commencement 2014 ceremonies in May, defended the University's health benefits changes at the monthly faculty meeting Tuesday.
With the threat of the death penalty looming over him, John W. Perdew ’64 found himself sitting in a jail cell in Americus, Georgia the summer after his junior year at the College.
Students crowded around televisions, and some even turned down dates, to catch a glimpse of a British quartet’s first performance on American television on February 9, 1964
"Law requires both a heart and a head," U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, a member of the Harvard Law School class of 1964 said during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing in 1994.
Until the Dean of Women at Penn State University nominated her to go to Harvard Business School her senior year of college, Barbara Hackman Franklin, a member of the Business School class of 1964, had not seriously considered going into business.
While an undergrad at Harvard, J. Michael Crichton ’64 had a passion for writing, though he did not turn his full attention to these pursuits until later in his career.
Although Jasanoff said that her career trajectory has been propelled by the “accidental convergence” of opportunities, her friends and family credit her personal and professional success to her kind, pragmatic personality and her creative, adaptive mind.
Weil’s successful career in promoting integrative medicine, a field he helped found, would come later. At the College, Weil enjoyed the camaraderie, creativity, and hijinks of extracurricular activity.
Though students saw the ensuing campus uproar as an isolated event, decades later the 1960s would come to be known as a period of sexual revolution that launched not just Harvard, but the nation, into new moral standards.
When the Harvard Union for Clerical and Technical Workers won recognition in 1988 after 17 years of efforts, many were uncertain about what relationship the University would have with the new union.
Kenneth C. Griffin ’89, pictured on Commencement Day, has become a successful financier and prolific University donor.
Michael R. Bloomberg used his platform at Thursday’s Commencement Day Afternoon Exercises to deliver a stinging critique of what he identified as a culture of intellectual repression in American higher education and governance.