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Harvard’s Presidential Inauguration

Lawrence S. Bacow to be installed as University’s 29th President on Friday, October 5.

Bacow InnaugurationOn Friday, October 5, 2018, Lawrence S. Bacow, J.D.’76, M.P.P.’76, Ph.D.’78 will be installed as Harvard’s 29th president. The installation ceremony will take place in Tercentenary Theatre, Harvard Yard, Cambridge. Immediately following, the University will host a community-wide celebration, called the Bacow Block Party, in Harvard Yard.

The entire Harvard community is invited to these events. You can find all the information related to the day’s events here — you can also watch a livestream on Friday afternoon, and take part on social media by using #HarvardInauguration.

Bacow was president-in-residence at the Harvard Graduate School of Education from 2011 to 2014. Read our interview with senior lecturer Judith Block McLaughlin, who chairs the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents, and who has known Bacow since he was chancellor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Learn more about HGSE’s Higher Education Program (incuding the Presidents-in-Residence program).


When and where is the inauguration?

Below is a schedule of public events.

2 p.m.
Academic Procession
Tercentenary Theatre, Harvard Yard

Please note Tercentenary Theatre seating will open at 1:00 p.m. and guests should be seated for the academic procession by 1:50 p.m.
2:30 p.m.
Installation of Lawrence S. Bacow
Tercentenary Theatre, Harvard Yard
4 p.m. (approx)
The Bacow Block Party
Harvard Yard

What happens at a Harvard inauguration?

The afternoon will begin with an academic procession, followed by an installation ceremony that includes music, greetings from members of the Harvard community and friends of Harvard, the transfer of relics from Harvard’s history, and remarks from the new president.

A Harvard presidential inauguration is a rare occurrence. In Harvard’s 382-year history, only 29 individuals have held the title. Outside of Commencement, historic occasions such as the inauguration offer a rare opportunity for all parts of the University to gather together. 

Do I need tickets?

Harvard students, faculty, and staff may use their Harvard ID for admission into the installation ceremony and the block party. Other attendees will require tickets for admission. Alumni can get tickets by completing the ticket request form.


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