[Parentsgroup-list] FOLLOWUP Children at GSAS graduation

rose at fas.harvard.edu rose at fas.harvard.edu
Wed Apr 22 16:09:15 EDT 2009

Dean Garth McCavana's response to Alexander's followup question (below):

Dear Susannah,

Please feel free to post my response to the Parents' Group.

Those who accompany children in the basement room do NOT need
tickets. Alexander's plan of having his parents sit in the theatre
and his wife stay with their child in the children's room in the
basement is one that many students with children follow.

The accompanying parent will be told by the GSAS staff member in the
room when to go upstairs to the theatre. He/she will then hand over
the child to the graduating parent who by this time will be standing
in line close to the steps to the stage. (We award the degrees
alphabetically by department, except for the Longwood Area ones which
are awarded first so that they can get to ceremonies over there.) The
accompanying parent can then go out and go to the other side of the
stage to watch his/her spouse receive the degree and then take the
child back from the graduating parent.

I hope that this clarifies things, but I'd be happy to answer any
other questions people may have.

Best wishes,


Quoting Alexander Van Zandt Akin <akin at fas.harvard.edu>:

> Thank you! Just to clarify, though, do the people in the children's room have
> to
> have tickets for the theater? In other words, could my parents sit in the
> theater (using up my two tickets) while my wife accompanies my daughter in
> the
> basement waiting area?
>   Best regards,
> -Alexander Akin
> Quoting rose at fas.harvard.edu:
> > From the GSAS Dean Garth McCavana:
> >
> >
> > Dear Susannah,
> >
> > I'm happy to answer the query.
> >
> > The policy is that we welcome the children of graduating students on
> > stage at Sanders Theatre as their parents receive their degrees.
> > Everyone seated in Sanders Theater, however, has to have a ticket. We
> > used to be able to pack as many people as possible into the venue,
> > but after the Rhode Island nightclub fire, we have been restricted to
> > the number of people who can be seated in the theatre.
> >
> > What we do is that we have a children's room in the basement of
> > Sanders where we have a simulcast. The GSAS staff who are there keep
> > an eye on which departments are receiving their degrees and accompany
> > the children (along with whichever adults are accompanying them) to
> > the theatre. They then join their parent as the parent is lining up
> > with his/her department and march across the stage with him/her. They
> > do receive what we call "baby diplomas" that attest to their having
> > attended their parent's commencement on X date.
> >
> >
> > I hope that this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.
> >
> > Regards,
> >
> > Garth
> >
> >
> > ------Original Message------
> > From: Alexander Van Zandt Akin
> > Sender: parentsgroup-list-bounces at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
> > To: Parentsgroup-list at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
> > Subject: [Parentsgroup-list] small kids at graduation
> > Sent: Apr 20, 2009 10:29 AM
> >
> > Hello everyone-
> >   I will be graduating in June and participating in commencement
> activities.
> > I
> > have seen people in previous years take their small kids up on the stage
> with
> > them in Sanders Theater (the officiating committee even had little
> "diplomas"
> > to hand to the children). For most of the time I was writing my
> dissertation
> > I
> > was a stay-at-home dad while my wife worked to support us, so my daughter
> was
> > really an integral part of the process. I would love to take her up with
> me.
> > I
> > wonder if anyone on this list knows the logistics of how that works? Do you
> > have your child with you the whole time, or does she need a ticket with the
> > other members of the family? Does the school still smile upon this?
> >    Thanks for any advice!
> > -Alexander Akin
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Parentsgroup-list mailing list
> > Parentsgroup-list at lists.hcs.harvard.edu
> > http://lists.hcs.harvard.edu/mailman/listinfo/parentsgroup-list
> >
> >
> > Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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