Commencement Email #2

As promised, here is the second weekly email about commencement.
Included in this email is information on:
1.     Ticket Ordering
2.     Graduating Students Reception
3.    JD Speaker Selection
4.    Graduation Award Nominations
5.    Disability Accommodations
6.    Yearbooks and Congratulatory Ads
You will be able to order tickets to the various ceremonies through our on-line reservation system beginning next Monday, April 16.  We will send an e-mail detailing the process next week.
Here’s a quick summary of how the tickets work:
You do not need tickets to any of the events on the Law School campus on Class Day, Wednesday, May 23.
On Commencement Day, Thursday, May 24, you will receive 2 guest tickets for the University’s Morning Ceremony in Harvard Yard (you do not need a ticket as you will be seated with your
class).  This is where President Faust will confer your degree.  The Law School stands as a group and sits – no individual calling of names (that happens at the next ceremony).  This ceremony has about 32,000+ people and is a standing room only crowd.  This is not for the faint of heart
since it takes a long time to get in and out of the ceremony (as a rough example, most guests are in their seats by 7:30 am and the ceremony doesn’t start until 9:45).  We suggest that people who might tire easily or be more sensitive to temperature opt instead to watch the ceremony in air conditioned comfort on the many screens we will have available in the law school classrooms.  Sadly, because the ceremony is so crowded, we cannot give out any additional tickets for this
ceremony so your additional guests are welcome to view the ceremony in the classrooms as well.
After the morning ceremony ends (11:15ish), you return to the Law School for the Luncheon and Diploma Ceremony.  This is where Dean Martha Minow hands out degrees individually by degree and section.  You get 1 complimentary ticket for lunch.  You can purchase additional tickets for lunch ($15 each).  Alternatively, your guests are welcome to attend the Law School ceremony without tickets if they would prefer to just sit at a table and not eat lunch.  The ceremony is held on Holmes Field (in front of Langdell) and involves 5000 people at 500 tables of 10.  The
tables are not reserved so seating is first-come first-served.  Everyone gets a seat.
After the Law School Ceremony, you can return to the Yard for the Afternoon Ceremony which includes speeches by President Faust and the Commencement Speaker, Dr. Fareed Zakaria. You get 3 tickets to this ceremony but there is usually room for additional guests.  Graduating students don’t need a ticket so long as you are still in academic regalia.  This event usually involves 15,000 people.
You will pick up your tickets during the month of May – you will receive an email notifying you.  You must be cleared through the Registrar’s and Student Financial Office before receiving your tickets.
Dean Martha Minow invites you to the Graduating Students Reception Wednesday, April 18 in Milstein East: 5:00pm to 7:00pm.  An electronic invitation will be forthcoming.

If you are planning to submit a speech for consideration for the JD speaker at Commencement, the deadline is extended to Friday April 13th, at 5pm.  JD students wishing to be considered are asked to submit a written speech that is no longer than 3-5 minutes in length. Speeches must be emailed to the Dean of Students Office ( dos at and speeches will be reviewed by a committee of administrators and students.  If you were nominated by your peers through the 3L Marshals poll, please be sure to submit your speech to  dos at as well.   The speeches will be selected on the following criteria: originality and creativity, relevance and significance, and appropriateness for ceremony and audience.  Finalists may be invited to present their speech to the committee.  Decisions will be announced by Friday, May 4th.

We are soliciting nominations for some graduation awards:
The Dean’s Awards for Community Leadership recognize a number of graduating students who contribute time and energy to making the HLS community a better place through involvement in student organizations, community service groups and individual efforts.
The David Westfall Memorial Award for Student Citizenship is awarded annually to one graduating student for contributions to creating community within the first-year section and class.
The Frank Righeimer Jr. Student Prize for Citizenship is awarded annually to one graduating student to recognize exceptional citizenship within the Law School community through involvement in student organizations, community service groups and individual efforts.
The William J. Stuntz Award, recognizing the graduating student who, in his or her time at Harvard Law School, has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to justice, respect for human dignity, and compassion.
To nominate graduating students for these awards, please email a short statement in support of their nomination to  dos at by Friday, April 20.  Awards will be announced at the Class Day ceremony.
Nominated students will automatically be considered for all of these awards (unless you indicate otherwise).  Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

If you or one of your guests is in need of disability accommodations, please be in touch with Natalie Rios ( nrios at in the Dean of Students Office, as soon as possible.  The accommodation tickets for the University ceremonies are on a first come, first served basis and are limited.
If you haven’t already purchased your 2012 yearbook, go to:… to personalize and order! Your yearbook will be shipped to you later during the summer and will include memories from the 2011-2012 school year, Class Day, and Commencement. Follow this link… for more information on purchasing a congratulatory ad for this year’s yearbook to personalize and upload text and photos. Ads are a great way for you, your family, and your friends to memorialize your time at HLS, so feel free to forward this link on to those you love. And it’s still not too late to upload photos of your student organization, journal, events, parties and HLS memories:… If it does not automatically log you into the site, enter username: 400135497 and password: harvardlaw – browse to select the photo(s) you wish to upload. (minimum recommended resolution of 400X600pixels). Enter information about the photo and provide contact information in case the staff needs additional information. Click “Save Details”. It’s that easy! Submit your photos today!
*Please note that the Yearbook Staff will review all photos and determine final yearbook content. We cannot guarantee that all submissions will be used in the book.
Any questions? Email  dsaylors at
There will be more info to come in the next few weeks about tickets and other important graduation details so please check your email and the Commencement 2012 website regularly.  Thanks and enjoy the last weeks of classes!

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