September 23rd – Saturday

So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. – John 16:22

The first Commencement at Harvard College, now Harvard University, took place on September 23, 1642, granting a degree to each of the nine graduates as they lined up before college president Henry Dunster. After Dunster’s Latin address, each graduate received “a Booke of Arts,” however, the books were to be returned following the ceremony. Graduates did not begin to receive tangible keepsakes – a uniform-sized, Latin diploma – until 1813. Prior to printed diplomas being awarded, graduates hired local calligraphers to inscribe their degrees on parchment, which was then signed by the Harvard president. The issued diplomas also provide historical insight into the challenges the college faced in the 17th century. During periods of war, disease, or economic depression, there were few or no graduates and traditional Commencement Days were canceled.

As the Lord leads, pray with us…

  • For Secretary Miguel Cardona to seek God’s direction as he heads the Department of Education.
  • For the members of school boards and administrations all around the nation as they set educational policies.

Back to top