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Commencement Collection

Overview

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

University-wide Commencement Materials

Department and School Specific Materials

Audio-Visual Media, recordings of various ceremonies

Commencement Office Records



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Commencement Collection, 1856-2019 | WUA University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Commencement Collection, 1856-2019Add to your cart.

ID: WUA/01/wua00221

Primary Creator: University Archives - Washington University in St. Louis

Extent: 17.0 Linear Feet

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The collection includes Washington University commencement programs from 1856 to present.

Folders are organized by year, in chronological order.  Material types are listed, followed by the date of the event(s).  Commencement programs and other items refer to University-wide events, unless otherwise noted as a specific school or department.  Materials vary in the level of information for each year.

For some years in the 20th century, supplemental information from the student newspaper, Student Life, has also been included.

Early commencement programs do not include a list of graduates or honorees.  For graduates name’s between 1862 – 1917 consult the Washington University General Alumni Catalogue, published in 1917.  Years without graduates names are noted as: [no graduate list].

Select parts of Series 1 have been digitized and are available here: https://library.wustl.edu/spec/archives/digital/ (under Commencement History).

Collection Historical Note

In 1859 and 1860 “Closing Exercises” were held at year’s end for the first class of Washington University students.  The first graduation ceremony was the class of 1862, and graduation customs and locations have changed numerous times since that time.

Early 20th century traditions of graduation included: planting a class tree, reading a class history and poem, and a “Senior Pilgrimage” during commencement week.  In this event Seniors, wearing cap and gown, followed by underclassman, visited each major building on campus to give a tribute and remembrance.  (For further details, consult the Washington University Record Vol. 5, No. 2, February 1910.)  From 1904 until 1914 graduation ceremonies were held in a large tent on the quadrangle.  In 1915 the ceremonies move into the gymnasium.

Administrative Information

Repository: WUA University Archives

Accruals: Accruals are interfiled.

Access Restrictions:

There are no restrictions to access for Series 01, Series 02, or Series 04.

Access to materials in Series 03 varies based on format of recording.

Use Restrictions:

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or spec@wumail.wustl.edu. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)

Acquisition Method: Compiled by University Archives staff.  Bulk of materials in Series 02 and 03 transferred to archives in 2009 and 2010.  Bulk of material in Series 04 transferred in 2011.

Preferred Citation: [Item description]. From the [collection title, series, box, folder]. University Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.

Processing Information: Processed by Leela Pandey, June 2005.  Updated by Rachel Newborn and Taryn Williams April 2008.  Updated by Miranda Rectenwald in June 2009.  Updated and created series divisions, Samantha Halstead, February, 2010.  Updated by Hadley Davis in November 2010 and Miranda Rectenwald in April 2011.  Updated by Elizabeth Reecht in October 2012.  Updated by Torry O'Connor in June 2013. Updated by Sarah Schnuriger in July and October 2016, March and December 2017, January 2019, and January 2020.

Finding Aid Revision History: This finding aid was entered into Archon by Elizabeth Reecht in October 2012.  This finding aid was updated to include the new accruals in Archon by Torry O'Connor in August 2013. Updated by Sarah Schnuriger in July and October 2016,  March and December 2017, January 2019, and January 2020.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: University-wide Commencement Materials],
[Series 2: Department and School Specific Materials],
[Series 3: Audio-Visual Media, recordings of various ceremonies],
[Series 4: Commencement Office Records],
[All]

Series 4: Commencement Office RecordsAdd to your cart.
Arrangement: by subject, then by date
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Commencement mailings, 1988-1998Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Commencement mailings, 1998-1999Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Commencement mailings, 1999-2000Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Commencement mailings, 2000-2001Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Commencement mailings, 2001-2002Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Commencement mailings, 2002-2003Add to your cart.
(2 folders)
Folder 7: Commencement mailings, 2003-2004Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Commencement mailings, 2004-2005Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Commencement mailings, 2005-2006Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Commencement mailings, 2006-2007Add to your cart.
(2 folders)
Folder 11: Commencement mailings, 2007-2008Add to your cart.
(2 folders)
Folder 12: Commencement mailings, 2008-2009Add to your cart.
(2 folders)
Folder 13: Commencement mailings,Add to your cart.
(2 folders)
Folder 14: Commencement mailings, 2010-2011Add to your cart.
(2 folders)
Folder 15: Commencement mailings, 2011-2012Add to your cart.
(2 folders)
Folder 16: Commencement mailings, 2012-2013Add to your cart.
(2 folders)
Folder 17: Commencement mailings, 2013-2014Add to your cart.
(2 folders)
Folder 18: Commencement mailings, 2014-2015Add to your cart.
(2 folders)
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Commencement photos, 1962Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Commencement photos, 1965Add to your cart.
(envelope 1 of 2)
Folder 3: Commencement photos, 1965Add to your cart.
(envelope 2 of 2)
Folder 4: Commencement photos, 1978-1982Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Commencement photos, 1985-1998Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Installation of Thomas H. Eliot photos, 1962Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Other commencement materials, 1990sAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Other commencement materials, 2002-2006Add to your cart.
Includes December Recognition Ceremony invitations
Folder 9: Other commencement materials, 2007-2010Add to your cart.
Includes December Recognition Ceremony invitations
Folder 10: Other commencement materials, 2011-2015Add to your cart.
Includes December Recognition Ceremony invitations
Folder 11: Procedural documents 2002-2007Add to your cart.
(Recognition ceremony)
Folder 12: Procedural documents 2008-2011Add to your cart.
(Recognition ceremony)
Folder 13: Procedural documents 1971-1980Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Folder 14: Procedural documents 1982-1984,Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Folder 15: Procedural documents 1986-1990,Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Folder 16: Procedural documents 1991-1994Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Folder 17: Procedural documents 1995-1997Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Folder 18: Procedural documents 1998-1999Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Folder 19: Procedural documents 2000-2001Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Folder 20: Procedural documents 2002Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Folder 21: Procedural documents 2003-2004Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Folder 22: Procedural documents 2005-2006Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Folder 23: Procedural documents 2007-2008Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Folder 24: Procedural documents 2009Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Folder 25: Procedural documents 2010Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Folder 26: Procedural documents 2011Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Folder 27: Procedural documents 2012Add to your cart.
(December commencement)
Folder 28: Procedural documents 2013Add to your cart.
(December commencement)
Folder 29: Procedural documents 2014Add to your cart.
(May  and December commencement)
Folder 30: Procedural documents 2015Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Folder 31: Procedural documents 2016Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Folder 32: Procedural documents 2016Add to your cart.
(December commencement)
Folder 33: Procedural documents 2018Add to your cart.
(May commencement)
Box OS Box 1: OversizedAdd to your cart.
Item 1: Chancellor's Dinner for Graduating Seniors program draft 2006Add to your cart.
Item 2: Commencement gown drawings, circa 2002Add to your cart.
Box OS Box 2: OversizedAdd to your cart.
Item 1: Kukui Nut Beads Graduation Necklace, 2019Add to your cart.
Worn by graduates that chose to purchase them.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: University-wide Commencement Materials],
[Series 2: Department and School Specific Materials],
[Series 3: Audio-Visual Media, recordings of various ceremonies],
[Series 4: Commencement Office Records],
[All]


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