HARVARD UNIVERSITYS COMMENCEMENT speaker this year was Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling. If it seems surprising that a childrens author would stand on a podium previously occupied by Bill Gates and Kofi Annan, maybe it shouldnt. Not just because the worlds richest author is a natural fit for the worlds richest university, but because deep parallels abound between Harvard and Hogwarts, the wizard boarding school at the heart of Rowling's invented universe. Both trade on a mystique borrowed from the traditions of British boarding schools; both boast their share of rituals and arcana.
(Globe Correspondent Graphic / Matthew Battles/ Javier Zarracina)