Buried in Snow, Harvard Resumes Operations

Snowplows drive down Memorial Drive Tuesday as snow falls in Cambridge.

UPDATED: January 28, 2015, at 12:06 a.m.

Harvard will resume full operations Wednesday after it closed for a “potentially historic” blizzard that dumped about two feet of powdery snow on the Boston area Monday night and Tuesday and spurred Massachusetts Governor Charles D. Baker ’79 to declare a state of emergency.

Classes across the University will proceed as normal Wednesday, although the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Registrar’s Office has listed select class cancellations and reschedulings on its Tumblr blog.

According to an emergency email communication sent to FAS affiliates at about 7 p.m Tuesday, “all buildings will be open and walkways will be passable, if not completely clear” on Wednesday. A parking ban implemented by the City of Cambridge has not yet lifted, but parking officials will make accommodations for drivers if necessary, according to another Tuesday email sent to University affiliates from Executive Vice President Katherine N. Lapp.


While Harvard transit services closed on Tuesday because of the storm—which has been nicknamed “Juno”—shuttle services will resume Wednesday morning at 5:15 a.m. with the first Quad Stadium Express departure, according to Carl Tempesta, associate director of transit, fleet, and charter services.

The blizzard, which the National Weather Service called “crippling” and prompted the closure of the MBTA on Tuesday, hit much of the Northeast. At Harvard, the storm interrupted course shopping week for undergraduates, offering students a rare snow day but less time to try out spring classes.

Working Against the Blizzard
Harvard Campus Services custodian Ramon Casas plows snow outside Adams House on Monday evening. He spent Monday night on campus with other staff members as a blizzard descended on the Boston area.

Despite the disruption, students still must submit their course study cards by the regular Friday deadline, but students who miss that deadline will not be required to acquire extra signatures or pay extra fees through Feb. 4, Dean of Student Life Stephen Lassonde told College students in an email Tuesday.

In the past, Harvard has rarely closed for weather events; the University shut down recently for 2012’s Hurricane Sandy and 2013’s winter storm “Nemo.” In 1977, former Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III joked that, “Harvard University will close only for an act of God, such as the end of the world,” although the University closed for the blizzard of 1978.

Although University operations will resume as normal Wednesday, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said in a press conference on Tuesday that he expected snow in Boston to continue accumulating until about 4 a.m. Wednesday. The Massachusetts state travel ban enacted during the storm, meanwhile, lifted at midnight Wednesday; MBTA service will also resume operations Wednesday.

While the University remained closed all of Tuesday and shuttle services were suspended, many students used their day off of classes to enjoy the snow. At least two snowball fights, one held in the MAC Quad and the other in the Radcliffe Quad, attracted dozens of bundled students. Some sledded down Widener Library’s steps on dining hall trays in the powdery snow.

—Staff writer Meg P. Bernhard can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @Meg_Bernhard.