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Guide to the Commencement Exercises Reference Collection, 1850-2011

Abstract

The Commencement Exercises Reference Collection contains commencement programs; addresses, speeches, and sermons; and associated material.

Descriptive Summary

Record Group
UA.01.11.0041
Title
Commencement Exercises Reference collection
Date
1850-2011
Creator
Duke University. University Archives
Extent
6.75 Linear Feet, 7500 Items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Material in English

Collection Overview

The collection contains programs, transcripts or copies of commencement and baccalaureate addresses, invitations, announcements, honorary degree citations, instructions to participants, news clippings, lists of speakers, Bibles, sample diplomas, and other materials pertaining to commencement ceremonies. From 1850 through 1927, one folder typically holds materials from several years' ceremonies, whereas in more recent years, one's year's ceremony may take more than one folder.

Restrictions on Access & Use

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Collection is open for research.

warning Use Restrictions

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Contents of the Collection

1. Container List

2 boxes
Bibles
(2)
Box 1
Clippings, 1983-
Box 2
Memoranda and Notes, 1972-
Box 2
Speakers: Commencement, 1893-; Baccalaureate, 1892-
Box 2
Diplomas and diploma cases (samples), 1937 and 1980
Box 2
1850-1909
(18 folders)
Box 3
Programs, clippings, letters and other
Box 3
1910-1930
(8 folders)
Box 4
Programs
Box 4
1931
Programs
Box 4
Address: Pres. William Preston Few, The Unity of Architecture at Duke University and the Ideas that Underlie it
Box 4
1932
Programs
Box 4
Address: Pres. William Preston Few, The Discipline of Suffering
Box 4
1933
Programs
Box 4
1934
Programs
Box 4
Address: Sir Wilfred Greenfell, The Way to Wisdom
Box 4
1935-1937
(3 folders)
Programs
Box 4
1938
Programs
Box 4
Sermon: Norman Vincent Peale, The Fate of Our Society
Box 4
1939
Programs
Box 4
Addresses: Pres. William Preston Few and James R. Awgell
Box 4
Sermon: Bishop Garfield Bronley Oxnam
Box 4
1940
Programs
Box 4
Address: William Allan Neilson
Box 4
1941-1945
(10 folders)
Box 5
Programs
Box 5
1946
Programs and Programs for School of Nursing
Box 5
1947-1948
(2 folders)
Programs
Box 5
1949
Programs
Box 5
Sermon: James T. Cleland
Box 5
Address: Walter H. Judd, Which Direction Toward Peace
Box 5
1950
Programs
Box 5
Address: Charles Dollard
Box 5
Sermon: Ralph W. Sockman, Make Up Your Mind
Box 5
Honorary Degree Citations
Box 5
1951
Programs
Box 5
Address: Robert Calkins, In Quest of the Great Age"
Box 5
Address: Pres. A. Hollis Edens
Box 5
Sermon: Paul E. Scherer, What Do You Make of Life?
Box 5
1952
Programs
Box 5
Address: Grayson Kirk
Box 5
Sermon: Paul Hardin, A Plea for Vital Virtues
Box 5
1953
Programs
Box 5
Address: Harold Urey, The Intellectual Revolution
Box 5
Honorary Degree Citations
Box 5
1954
Programs
Box 5
Address: Reuben Gilbert Gustarson
Box 5
Honorary Degree Citations
Box 5
1955
Programs
Box 5
Address: Hodding Carter
Box 5
1956
Programs
Box 5
Sermon: Russell J. Humbert, Freedom-Some New Dimensions
Box 5
1957
Box 6
Programs
Box 6
Honorary Degree Citations
Box 6
1958
Programs
Box 6
Address: Charles S. Rhyne, Law as a Plan for Peace
Box 6
Honorary Degree Citations
Box 6
1959
Programs
Box 6
Address: Ralph McGill
Box 6
1960
Programs
Box 6
Address: David D. Henry, Concern for Consensus
Box 6
Sermon: Goodrich White, The Ordered Life
Box 6
Honorary Degree Citations
Box 6
1961
Programs
Box 6
Remarks: Pres. Deryl Hart
Box 6
Sermon: Julian N. Hartt, The End in View
Box 6
Address: William S. Middleton, Man's Fulfillment
Box 6
Honorary Degree Citations
Box 6
1962
Programs
Box 6
Address: Dr. Gaylord P. Harnwell
Box 6
1963
Programs
Box 6
Address: Merrimon Cununggim
Box 6
Honorary Degree Citations
Box 6
1964
Programs
Box 6
Address: Calvin Bryce Hoover
Box 6
Sermon: Pres. Douglas M. Knight
Box 6
Honorary Degree Citations
Box 6
1965
Programs
Box 6
Address: Gordon Norton Ray
Box 6
Sermon: Pres. Douglas M. Knight
Box 6
Honorary Degree Citations
Box 6
1966
Programs
Box 6
Address: Charles Hard Townes
Box 6
Sermon: Pres. Douglas M. Knight
Box 6
Honorary Degree Citations
Box 6
1967
Programs
Box 6
Address: Robert Stanley Rankin
Box 6
Sermon: Pres. Douglas M. Knight
Box 6
1968
Box 7
Programs
Box 7
Address: Dr. Barnes Woodhall, I Dissent
Box 7
Honorary Degree Citations
Box 7
1969
Programs
Box 7
Address: Angier Biddle Duke, Observations on Military Power and Foreign Policy
Box 7
Sermon: Pres. Douglas M. Knight
Box 7
1970
Programs
Box 7
Address: Harold T. Parker
Box 7
Student Address: Kenneth Vickery
Box 7
1971
Programs
Box 7
Address: Nancy Hanks
Box 7
Sermon: Robert E. Cushman
Box 7
Student Address: Byron R. Trauger
Box 7
Honorary Degree Citations
Box 7
1972
Programs
Box 7
Address: Walter Cronkite
Box 7
Sermon: James T. Cleland
Box 7
Student Address: Clarence G. Newsome
Box 7
1973
Programs
Box 7
Address: Vernon E. Jordan, The New South?
Box 7
Sermon: Hugh Anderson
Box 7
Student Address: Susan Tifft, A Rebirth of Individualism
Box 7
1974
Programs
Box 7
Address: Pierre Elliott Trudeau (P.M. Canada)
Box 7
Sermon: Albert Outler
Box 7
Student Address: John M. Robinson
Box 7
1975
Programs
Box 7
Remarks: Alexander Heard (Chancellor, Vanderbilt University)
Box 7
1976
Box 8
Programs
Box 8
Address: Pres. Terry Sanford
Box 8
Sermon: Donald W. Shrine
Box 8
1977
Programs
Box 8
Address: Juanita Kreps
Box 8
Sermon: Arthur James Armstrong
Box 8
Student Address: Ian Abrams
Box 8
1978
Programs
Box 8
Address: Glenn T. Seaborg
Box 8
Sermons: Barney L. Jones and Gilleasbuig MacMillan
Box 8
Student Address: Michelle Miller
Box 8
Honorary Degree Citations
Box 8
1979
Programs
Box 8
Address: Pres. Terry Sanford
Box 8
1980
(2 folders)
Programs
Box 8
Sermon: Kenneth Goodson
Box 8
Student Addresses: Hans Christian Linnartz and Judith Varner
Box 8
Clippings
Box 8
1981
Programs
Box 8
Address: William Styron
Box 8
Sermon: Peter Gomes
Box 8
Student Addresses: Eugene Lavon Banks, Jr. and Harsha Murthy
Box 8
1982
(2 folders)
Programs
Box 8
Sermon: Dr. David H.C. Reed
Box 8
Student Address: Frederick Robinson
Box 8
Clippings and Misc.
Box 8
1983
(2 folders)
Box 9
Programs
Box 9
Address: Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans
Box 9
Student Address: Daniel S. Voll
Box 9
Remarks: Barney L. Jones and William E. King
Box 9
Clippings and Misc.
Box 9
1984
(2 folders)
Programs
Box 9
Address: Katharine Graham
Box 9
Clippings articles and Misc.
Box 9
1985
(2 folders)
Programs
Box 9
Address: Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh
Box 9
Statement to Students: Pres. Terry Sanford, Doing Something about Apartheid
Box 9
Clippings and Misc.
Box 9
1986
(2 folders)
Programs
Box 9
Address: Lee A. Iacocca
Box 9
Student Address: David M. Allen
Box 9
Remarks: Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans [Distinguished Alumni Award]
Box 9
Clippings and misc.
Box 9
1987
(2 folders)
Box 10
Programs
Box 10
Address: Ted Koppel
Box 10
Student Address: Frederick W. Gissler, III
Box 10
Clippings and misc.
Box 10
1988
(2 folders)
Programs
Box 10
Address: Garry Trudeau
Box 10
Student Address: David Feitel
Box 10
Clippings and misc.
Box 10
1989
(2 folders)
Programs
Box 10
Address: Stephen Jay Gould
Box 10
Sermon: William H. Willimon
Box 10
Clippings and misc.
Box 10
1990
(2 folders)
Programs
Box 10
Address: Tom Brokaw
Box 10
Student Address: Meechelle Evans
Box 10
Sermon: William H. Williamon
Box 10
1991
(2 folders)
Box 11
Programs
Box 11
Address: George F. Will
Box 11
Sermon: William H. Willimon
Box 11
Fuqua School Address: Harold A. Poling (Ford Motor Company)
Box 11
1992
(2 folders)
Programs
Box 11
Address: Martin Wright Edelman
Box 11
Sermon: William H. Willimon
Box 11
Clippings and misc.
Box 11
1993
(2 folders)
Programs
Box 11
Address: Bill Bradley
Box 11
Clippings and misc.
Box 11
1994
(3 folders)
Programs
Box 11
Address: Judy Woodruff
Box 11
Clippings and misc.
Box 11
1995
(3 folders)
Box 12
Programs
Box 12
Address: David Gergen
Box 12
Baccalaureate Address: Nannerl O. Keohane
Box 12
Clippings and misc.
Box 12
1996
(2 folders)
Programs
Box 12
Address: Jane Alexander
Box 12
Sermon: William H. Willimon
Box 12
Charge to Class of '96: Pres. Nannerl O. Keohane
Box 12
Divinity School Sermon: Richard Lischer
Box 12
Clippings and misc.
Box 12
1997
(5 folders)
Programs
Box 12
Clippings
Box 12
Honorary Degrees
Box 12
Charge to Class of '97: Pres. Nannerl O. Keohane
Box 12
Divinity School Sermon: David Steinmetz
Box 12
Address: Jimmy Carter
Notes and Correspondence
Box 12
1998
(6 folders)
Box 13
Clippings
Box 13
Baccalaureate Programs
Box 13
Other programs
Box 13
Charge to Class of '98: Pres. Nannerl O. Keohane
Box 13
Baccalaureate Programs and Sermon: William H. Willimon
Box 13
Student Address: Cristina Cardoze
Box 13
Address: George W. Bush
Box 13
1999
(6 folders)
Clippings
Box 13
Baccalaureate Programs
Box 13
Other programs
Box 13
Address: Cokie Roberts
Box 13
Charge to Class of '99: Pres. Nannerl O. Keohane
Box 13
Student Address: Samantha Wood
Box 13
2000
(6 folders)
Clippings
Box 13
Baccalaureate Programs
Box 13
Other programs
Box 13
Address: Elizabeth Dole
Box 13
Charge to Class of '00: Pres. Nannerl O. Keohane
Box 13
Student Address, clippings
Box 13
2001
(5 folders)
Box 14
Clippings
Box 14
Baccalaureate programs
Box 14
Other programs
Box 14
Commencement programs
Box 14
Charge to Class of '01: Pres. Nannerl O. Keohane
Box 14
2002
(7 folders)
Baccalaureate programs
Box 14
Commencement programs
Box 14
Address: Tom Wolfe
Box 14
Clippings
Box 14
Other graduation programs
Box 14
Honorary Degrees
Box 14
Other events
Box 14
2003
(3 folders)
Commencement programs
Box 14
Divinity School programs
Box 14
Other graduation programs
Box 14
2004
(2 folders)
Commencement programs
Box 14
Other graduation programs
Box 14
2005
(2 folders)
Commencement programs
Box 14
Other graduation programs
Box 14
2005
(3 folders)
Box 15
Baccalaureate service, organ recital
Box 15
Other graduation programs
Box 15
Commencement exercises
Box 15
2006
(4 folders)
Address: John Hope Franklin
Box 15
Commencement exercises
Box 15
Baccalaureate service
Box 15
Commencement program, Fuqua School of Business
Box 15
2007
(3 folders)
Baccalaureate service
Box 15
Commencement exercises
Box 15
Commencement program, Fuqua School of Business
Box 15
2008
(5 folders)
Baccalaureate service
Box 15
Address: Barbara Kingsolver
Box 15
Calendar of events
Box 15
Commencement exercises
Box 15
2009
(2 folders)
Box 16
Commencement exercises
Box 16
Commencement exercises, Fuqua School of Business
Box 16
2010
(2 folders)
Commencement exercises
Box 16
Commencement exercises, Fuqua School of Business
Box 16
2011
(2 folders)
Commencement exercises
Box 16
Commencement exercises, Fuqua School of Business
Box 16
Duplicates, 1900-1939
Box 17

Historical Note

On November 21, 1852 the State of North Carolina authorized Normal College, Duke's predecessor institution, "to grant such degrees and marks of honor as are given by colleges and universities generally." The institution first awarded A.B. degrees the following year, and thus 1853 is our "degree date." Two brothers, D. C. and Lemuel Johnson, were the recipients, and made up the first graduating class. The 2009 commencement was the one hundred and fifty seventh. The University began printing commencement numbers on the programs in 1932, when that year's was marked as the eightieth commencement. The count therefore was started with the 1853 ceremony. Union Institute and Normal College did celebrate commencement before 1853; however no degrees were awarded at those ceremonies.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Commencement Exercises Reference Collection, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

This collection was compiled from a variety of sources by the University Archives for use in reference and research.

Processing Information

Processed by Tom Harkins, March 2010

Encoded by Josh Larkin Rowley, November 2010

Updated by Molly Bragg, July 2011

Accessions were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.