Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana said in an interview Thursday that nearly 90% of the classes of 2020 and 2021 said they plan to return to Harvard and attend their delayed commencement ceremony later this month. -this.
The University announced last fall that it would hold a joint start on May 29 for the classes of 2020 and 2021, whose in-person graduation ceremonies have been postponed due to the pandemic. The Class of 2022 will have a separate graduation ceremony three days prior.
Khurana said he looks forward to the three-class celebrations later this month and praised the high rate of RSVPs from graduates.
“I’m really excited to bring back the classes of 2020 and 2021,” Khurana said. “I’m also amazed that we have a 90% response rate, which is amazing considering people are all over the world.”
Although Khurana said he and the College originally thought fewer graduates would return for their commencement, he attributed the high response rate in part to the efforts of the Harvard Alumni Association and the president’s office. from Lawrence S. Bacow University.
“I think it reflects what this place means to people and what the relationships they’ve formed here mean to them,” Khurana said of the high RSVP rate.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu ’07, whom Khurana has described as one of her “heroes,” will speak at the Class of 2022 class day on May 25.
“I’m really looking forward to hearing from Mayor Wu. And I still have to give my class day speech,” he joked.
Khurana also discussed the following topics:
Covid-19 on campus
Last week, 105 undergraduate students tested positive for Covid-19, with a Harvard positivity rate of 3.14%. Meanwhile, Harvard phased out required Covid-19 testing for on-campus affiliates on May 10, marking the end of one of its last pandemic precautions.
“Covid is not over yet,” Khurana said. “But also, part of the path that we are increasingly turning to and hoping to be informed about is when Covid is endemic to our community.”
Some student groups, such as the new Harvard Undergraduate Disability Justice club, have raised concerns about the relaxation of Covid rules.
“We want to make sure our accommodation processes are robust for students,” Khurana said. “We encourage people to contact the Accessibility Office so that their concerns can be addressed.”
All houses except Leverett House will place students in overflow accommodation next year due to the influx of the larger than usual class of 2025 and the high number of students who have taken holidays during the pandemic.
Khurana said he was grateful for the “grace” the students showed as the College navigated housing changes due to pandemic factors.
“We want every space to be welcoming and make students feel at home,” Khurana said.
The Crimson interviews Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana once a month during the academic year. Click here to submit a question for consideration at our next interview.