Commencement archive

Commencement archive

MIT has conferred degrees since 1868. Commencement has evolved throughout the Institute’s history, with 1917 as the first year Exercises were held on the new Cambridge campus. Between 1920 and 1978, the Exercises were held in locations both on campus and throughout Boston, including Symphony Hall and the New England Mutual Hall. Commencement Exercises were not held in 1918 and 1919 due to World War I.

The reestablishment of Killian Court as the site of MIT Commencement was proposed by the Class of 1978 and since 1979, MIT has maintained this tradition. In 2019, Killian Court also was the site of the Investiture of Doctoral Hoods and Degree Conferral ceremony.

The year of the first Commencement guest speaker was 1880—these pages provide a list of the most recent Commencement speakers.

In the Commencement Archive you will also find MIT News Commencement Exercise coverage from the past 10 years and photo and video galleries.

Commencement coverage: MIT News

Full coverage of Commencement is available via MIT News


President Reif presents a degree

Graduate leaves stage

Faculty member hugs graduate