College commencements in Boston
College commencements in Boston
June 8, 1926: The ceremonial parade at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's commencement was led by President Samuel W. Stratton and his escort, Chief Marshall Colonel A. Macomber. Out of the 637 degrees awarded, four women received degrees; three for bachelor of science and one in public health. Dr. Michael I. Pupin, director of the Phoenix Research Laboratories at Columbia University and president of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, gave a speech entitled “The Idealism of Science.”
May 25, 1942: Boston University graduated 1,452 young men and women, many of whom immediately entered war work or the armed forces after the 69th annual commencement exercises at the Boston Arena. Due to the war, BU's graduation was several weeks earlier than usual, the only previous commencement held in May was in the war year of 1917. Paul V. McNutt, chairman of the War Manpower Commission and administrator of the Federal Security Agency, gave the commencement address.
June 29, 1944: Harvard President James B. Conant and Reginald Fitz, president of the Alumni Association, led graduates down the steps of Widener Library. With combined military and academic ceremonies illustrating – as Conant remarked in his report to the alumni – “the effect of total war on a university dedicated to the arts of peace,” Harvard observed its 293d commencement. In all schools of the university, Conant conferred only 251 degrees, the smallest number since 1875.
June 14, 1956: Senator John F. Kennedy, who received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, congratulated his brother Edward M. Kennedy after the latter received his BA degree. Senator Kennedy's honorary degree stated, "brave officer, able Senator, son of Harvard; loyal to party, he remains steadfast in principle."
May 1, 1961 : Seniors raced during the annual May Day hoop rolling contest at Wellesley College. Though not graduation, it’s a spring senior activity worth noting. Fleet-footed Lee Allen, 21, of Rochester, N.Y., rolled her hoop across the finish line first. According to tradition, she would be the first member of the senior class to marry. We don't know if that happened.
June 3, 1973: Tufts women, with one exception, wore various styles of dresses as they receive their diplomas. Tufts, along with other universities, chose to forgo the traditional garb and contribute the rental fees to useful social and antiwar purposes. The commencement address that year was given by US Representative Barbara Jordan of Texas who spoke on the continued bombing of Cambodia in the face of congressional votes in opposition and the continued impoundment of funds by President Richard Nixon.
May 19, 1975: Guests at Boston College graduation documented the special moment with different types of cameras from that era, including the Kodak Stereo Camera, Nikon F Photomic FTn, and the Kodak Instamatic. No iPhones in evidence yet.
June 2, 1977: Members of the 1977 graduating class moved across the covered walkway above the crowd gathering on the UMass-Boston campus for commencement exercises. Speakers at the graduation attended by some 3,500 guests included UMass-Boston Chancellor Carlo L. Golino and student orators William J. Powers of Saugus and Thomas McShane of Brighton.