A bomb threat at Harvard University this morning led to the evacuation of four buildings and the cancellation of a slew of final exams. No bomb was found and the sites were declared all clear earlier this afternoon.
At approximately 8:40 am, the Harvard University Police Department, along with several other members of the Harvard community, received an email claiming that explosive devices may have been hidden in the university’s Science Center, Thayer, Sever and Emerson Halls. An evacuation order was issued on the Harvard University Emergency website at 9:02 am.
Over the next few hours, Harvard and Cambridge, MA police restricted access to Harvard Yard, the central part of campus, to only those with Harvard IDs. The four sites were declared all clear shortly before 3:00 pm, with no explosives found.
The evacuations led to the cancellation of several exams, some of which were already being administered, in the affected buildings.
“Safeguarding our community in this instance unfortunately required the disruption of exams and the evacuation of one of our freshman dormitories,” Harvard Executive Vice President Katie Lapp said in a 3:30 email to the Harvard community.
Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean of Finance Leslie Kirwan said that Harvard administrators are working to reschedule the exams in an email to students.
During the scare at Harvard, reports of a possible gunman on the campus of the University of Massachusetts Boston emerged. Those reports later turned out to be false.
The scare at Harvard comes less than a month after false reports of a gunman sent Yale’s campus into a lockdown over the Thanksgiving holiday.