MOBIUS Maintenance

MOBIUS borrowing and lending services are temporarily suspended. Learn more.

Commencement Collection

The photo shows a group of graduates and others celebrating commencement. A female student stands at the center beneath the archway entrance to Ridgely Hall being photographed in a white gown and commencement robes.

The collection includes Washington University commencement programs from 1856 to the 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’ names between 1862 -1917, consult the Washington University General Alumni Catalogue, published in 1917. Years without graduates’ names are noted as: [no graduate list]. The collection also includes Department- and School-specific material and Commencement Office Records.

Select parts of Series 1 have been digitized and are available below.

Commencement Programs – Select Years

Please note: These items are presented as documents for historic research; not all graduates may be listed due to printing errors. Please consult University Archives staff with any questions.

Related Links

  • Graduates in the Quad with Samuel Cupples Hall I in the background in 1906. [Photo Services – Events: Commencement, 1929 and before]
  • Graduate procession in front of Samuel Cupples Hall I and University Hall (renamed Brookings Hall in 1928) in 1908. [Photo Services – Events: Commencement, 1929 and before]


Special Collections, Special Collections, Preservation, and Digital Strategies
Sonya Rooney
Job Title
University Archivist
Phone Number
(314) 935-9730