A Letter from the 2024 Class Marshals

“In short, the Class of 2024 will depart from Cambridge having created an enduring and unforgettable impact on the culture, social life, and trajectory of the University.”
By Fez S. Zafar and Chibuikem C. “Chuby” Uche

By Joey Huang

To the Class of 2024,

In November, as the Senior Class Committee gathered for one of its initial meetings, we had an essential task before us: authoring a mission statement for the months ahead.

As we reviewed statements by seniors from years past, we encountered messages that emphasized belonging, reflection, diversity, and connection. These are values universal to every generation of Harvard students, but how could we author a statement that would tell the unique story of the Class of 2024?

How could we articulate the pain of a remote freshman year, one that was engulfed by mask mandates, wellness days, and — for some of us — classes on Zoom at three o’clock in the morning?

How could we explain the euphoria of discovering a fully-populated campus for the first time as sophomores, when we finally met blockmates in person and witnessed the unexpected collapse of a decades-old student government?

How could we describe the political tension of a junior year in which the University advocated for — and subsequently lost — the right to implement race-conscious admissions?

And, as we began our senior year, how could we make sense of what was to come for Harvard: unprecedented controversy, a presidential resignation, and campus turmoil unlike any the University had seen in decades?

With these questions in mind, we were keen to form a mission statement that would summarize not only our roller coaster of a college experience — which is itself an understatement — but also the final year we were resolutely determined to have. We did so in just four simple words:

“It’s gonna be electric.”

And what an electric senior year it was.

We inflated the social bubble of campus, and threw massive parties that drew every genre of Harvard student to some of Boston’s finest venues.

We transformed the Malkin Gymnasium into a laser tag arena, and battled it out with friends as music played in the darkness.

We donned the dresses and tuxedos we never wore in high school, and recreated the Senior Prom we never had.

We played the biggest game of Senior Assassins in the history of Harvard, and watched almost 900 participants chase one another with spoons across campus wearing goggles and two hats.

Even amid all the fun, we powerfully met the moment. As campuses across the country were rocked by discord, we hosted a large community dinner for students of different backgrounds. Harvard’s Muslim and Jewish chaplains delivered meaningful remarks, and attendees marveled at performers of Bhangra and Latin dance. That evening, it was clear that our campus unity remained vibrant and strong.

In short, the Class of 2024 will depart from Cambridge having created an enduring and unforgettable impact on the culture, social life, and trajectory of the University. As the first class to enter the Yard under siege from Covid-19, we have defined Harvard in the post-pandemic era. We have left behind old traditions, started new ones, and charted a course that has left our campus — our home — more inclusive, curious, united, and fun.

Today, a journey that began in GroupMe chats, Google Drive folders, and Zoom calls will now end as it should: with the traditional pomp and circumstance of an in-person Commencement ceremony.

Today, we have much to celebrate, and even more to be grateful for: the family members, teachers, and friends who have collectively lifted us to the graduation stage.

Today, we will leave Harvard as newly minted alumni. Tomorrow, we will return as leaders, dreamers, innovators, and contributors toward a better future for us all.

We will always be here for you and look forward to cheering you on every step of the way. Until then, this is not a goodbye, but a see you soon.

With love, gratitude, and congratulations,

Fez and Chuby

Fez S. Zafar ’24, a Government concentrator in Dunster House, is the Class of 2024’s First Marshal.

Chibuikem C. “Chuby” Uche ’24, a Government concentrator in Currier House, is the Class of 2024’s Second Marshal.

LettersCommencement 2024