Dear Members of the Harvard Chan School Community,

I hope you have had a chance to read President Larry Bacow’s message from last Friday about this year’s Harvard Commencement, which will once again be a virtual event. As President Bacow mentioned, this decision was made to ensure public health and safety. For that same reason, our Harvard Chan School graduation ceremony will also take place online again this year on May 27. We understand and share in the disappointment our graduating students must be feeling at not being able to celebrate their achievements in person with friends and loved ones.

This year’s ceremony will nevertheless be a special occasion, as we celebrate the accomplishments of our wonderful graduates. The lack of an in-person celebration does not in the least diminish the incredible amount of hard work our students have completed during their time at the School. Their experience here has prepared them well to play a significant role in the pandemic response and in improving the health and well-being of populations around the globe.

I look forward with pride to celebrating our graduates on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 26, at the Awards Celebration and on the afternoon of Thursday, May 27, following the Harvard University celebration. I also look forward to hearing the insights and perspectives of our keynote speaker, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization. We will provide further details on the School’s graduation ceremony as they become available. As always, thank you for your patience, dedication, and understanding.



Michelle A. Williams, ScD
Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Angelopoulos Professor in Public Health and International Development,
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Kennedy School