Seniors who waded through a wet Tercentary Theeatre heard inspirational religious messages and an address by outgoing President Neil L. Rudenstine at yesterday's baccalaureate service.
Graduating seniors were able to attend the Memorial Church service, while their parents and friends sat outside under a white canopy in Tercentenary Theatre and listened via the speakers set up for tomorrow's Commencement ceremony.
The Baccalaureate service is the second oldest part of the graduation rites, and is traditionally a church service in which the reverend of Memorial Church delivers a parting sermon to the near-graduates.
Rudenstine's speech was filled with humor and a "few modest proposals" on how to approach the future confidently.
Referring to the announcement made May 22 that he will step down at the end of the 2000-2001 school year, Rudenstine said he will son be "graduating" from Harvard as well.
"I myself am being held back for another year," he said.
The Harvard's president has spoken at Baccalaureate since at least 1806.
Rudenstine spoke about the difficult task he faced in trying to provide the seniors with sound advice, humorously speaking about hours staring at a half-empty bottle of "diet avocado juice" as a fruitless attempt at inspiration.
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