Harvard has had only 29 presidents since its founding in 1636, 140 years before there even was a United States of America. So the inauguration of a new leader in Cambridge is a special day, replete with rituals, robes, and relics. But it’s also a celebration, so the installation of Larry Bacow was followed by a giant block party in the Old Yard, with the entire Harvard community invited. Here are some moments and details from a pitch-perfect October afternoon.
21 Colorful Crimson sings
For Tania Dominguez-Rangel ’21, the inauguration of Larry Bacow as president provided a chance to perform her favorite songs with her musical group during the festive block party in the Old Yard that followed the formal ceremony.
A concentrator in Romance languages and literature, Dominguez-Rangel sang with the group 21 Colorful Crimson while people enjoyed the music and sampled the food.
“The ceremony was very traditional,” said Dominguez-Rangel, a Mexican flag tied around her waist. “I plan to enjoy the party after our performance and before going to a club meeting.”
— Liz Mineo, Harvard Staff Writer
Music, poses, and high hopes
The celebration in the Old Yard kicked off as soon as the installation ended and was part carnival, part harvest fest, and part disco. Performers alternated with recorded music while a crowd of thousands snacked on treats such as cotton candy, apple cider, mini-grilled-cheese sandwiches, and popcorn. Attendees also took turns at a giant chess board and Jenga game; some waited to pose in front of a green screen lighted with a range of inauguration slogans.