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Two thousand students will receive degrees at Harvard's two hundred eighty ninth Commencement, to be held Thursday, June 20. Coming in the middle of Commencement Week, the awarding of the degrees marks America's oldest annual ceremony.
President Conant's Baccalaureate Sermon to the Senior Class on Sunday afternoon, June 16, opens the week, which in addition to Thursday's rituals, will be featured by the Senior Spread on Monday, Class Day on Wednesday, and the Yale races at New London on Friday.
The two hundred eighty ninth Commencement falls in the three hundred and fourth year of the College's history because there were no graduation exercises during the first six years of Harvard's existence, and from 1642 until 1781 the ceremonies were irregularly held because of war, pestilence, and other causes.
Some fifty classes of alumni, dating back seventy years, will hold reunions during the week, and most of them will take part in the procession of the Class day afternoon, preceeding the Stadium exercises and the confetti battle.
The solemn ritual of Commencement Day with its many traditional elements will include the participation of University officers, faculty members, representatives of Church and State, and special guests, in a formal procession to the opening of the ceremonies at 10 o'clock by the sheriff for Middlesex County, and a Latin oration by a Senior.
The time-honored Commencement Parts, addresses by men graduating with special honors from the University, will open the ceremonies, immediately after which, President Conant will award the degrees to graduating students and also the honorary degrees.
Wednesday's Class Day ceremonies begin at 11:30 o'clock when the Seniors meet in the Kirkland-Winthrop Squash Court triangle for exercises including the Class Oration by Tudor Gardiner; Class Poem by Garfield H. Horn, and Class Ode by Edward C. K. Read.
Following the morning exercises lunch will be served and the parade to the Stadium will form at the Houses at 1:30 o'clock. After the Ivy Oration by Bayard S. Clark '40 and the traditional confetti battle, the classes will march to the Ball Field for the baseball game with Yale. which will begin at 3:30 o'clock. This, the third meeting of the two teams, does not count in the league standings.
Commencement week closes Friday with the Yale boat races and a baseball game at New London. The Freshmen are slated for 10 o'clock, the Junior Varsity for 10:30 o'clock, and the Varsity crews will start at 7:30 o'clock that evening. Yale will meet the the Crimson nine at 2:30 that afternoon.
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