Escorted to the gates of the Yard by a troop of scarlet-coated mounted lancers, Massachusetts Governor Christian A. Herter '15 will begin Harvard's 305th Commencement with traditions dating back to 1642.
His entry at about 9:15 a.m. will be followed by the Academic Procession at 9:30 a.m., when Seniors will parade to the Tercentenary Theatre and form a double line through which the dignitaries of the day, led by University Marshal Powell M. Cabot '18, President Pusey and the University's governing boards, will march to the ceremonies.
The University will award academic degrees to 2,977 students, including 998 Bachelor of Arts degrees. All told, more than 15,000 degree candidates, alumni, families, and friends will crowd into the Yard to witness the proceedings.
As in the days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the High Sheriff of Middlesex County, Howard W. Fitzpatrick, at the request of the University Marshall, will bring the meeting to order by striking the stage three times with his scabbard.
The Rev. George A. Buttrick, Preacher to the University, will then offer prayer. Earlier in the morning, at 9 a.m., Buttrick will lead a special worship service in Memorial Church for Seniors.
Following Buttrick, three high-ranking students will deliver the Commencement Parts: David H. Alpers '56 of Kirkland House and Philadelphia will deliver a Latin Disseration; Robert M. O'Neill '56 of Winthrop House and Cambridge and Robert A. Girard 3L will both deliver English Dissertations. Like hundreds of his predecessors, Alpers undoubtedly will refer to "pulcherrimis puellis," the most beautiful young ladies.
Pusey will then award degrees to students in the University, saying, as tradition dictates: "By virtue of authority delegated to me, I . . . admit you to the fellowship of educated men." He will also award honorary degrees to distinguished persons in arts, letters, science, and public life.
Of the 998 B.A. degrees awarded to College students, 405 will be with honors: 235 cum laude 138 magna cum laude, 8 magna cum laude with highest honors, and 24 summa cum laude.
Summa degrees will go to the following members of the Class of 1956: John A. Armstrong, Physics; Charles A. Behr, Classics; Sheldon C. Binder, Biology; John C. Brown, History and Literature; Bruce F. Cameron, Chemistry; Robert W. Colman, Biochemical Sciences; James N. Cooper, History and Literature.
Also, Paul A. David, Economics; Peter L. Falb, Mathematics (1957); Louis H. Fingerman, Biology; Franklin M. Fisher, Economics; Richard M. Friedberg, Mathematics; David A. Goldstein, Physics; Arthur C. Gossard, Physics; Pierre C. Hohenberg, Physics; Albert B. Levin, Biology; Nathaniel D. Mermin, Mathematics; James M. Murphy, Mathematics.
Also, Daniel A. Rezneck, History; Paul L. Richards, Physics; Jay H. Robbins, Biology; Eucharius L. Slaggie Jr., Physics; Harvey Sobelman, Linguistics and Semitic Languages; Nathan R. Werthamer, Physics.
The following degrees will be awarded in the graduate schools: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 416; Education, 114; Design, 55; Business Administration, 587; Public Administration, 42; Medicine, 150; Dental Medicine, 13; Public Health, 68; Law, 503; and Divinity, 31.
At noon, the new graduates will receive their actual diplomas in special ceremonies at each of the Houses, and graduate students will similarly receive theirs from the hands of their respective Deans.
In case of rain, Commencement exercises will be held in Sanders Theatre, where special tickets will be required for admission because of limited capacity. A small number of other participants may hear the proceedings piped to Allston Burr Lecture Hall and New Lecture Hall.
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