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Fifty years from now, as they make their way through the reunion tent, the Harvard Class of 2014 will reminisce about an extraordinary capstone to their undergraduate years: Watching Aretha Franklin’s soulful, heartfelt version of the national anthem at Thursday’s graduation. Her crimson gown flowing like a choir robe, Franklin looked entirely at home sitting alone in front of a piano and singing in a minimalist vocal style, as if imagining the song afresh. She proved that there is still new life to be found in as old an anthem as “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and taught her adoring audience — including her fellow honorary-degree recipients George H.W. Bush and Michael Bloomberg — that great achievements can come in many forms.