Commencement, 1877-1886

Commencement program, 1878

 


1877

  • Date: Wednesday, June 27, 1877
  • Site:  The large maple park, which stretched north and west of the building later called Central Hall.
  • Speaker and Speech Title: President J. C. Gilchrist (Commencement Address)
  • Highlights, Headlines, Firsts, and Honors:
    First Commencement of the Normal School attracted "all Cedar Falls and Waterloo and the region round about the "Cedar" so they could be numbered only 'as the sands of the sea'".  No assembly hall could accommodate the crowd. The graduating students in the Elementary Course--Mary Flagler of Cedar Falls, Ada Coates of Green Mountain, Eva Donahue of Mason City, and David K. Bond of Hopkinton--presented orations to the assembled throng.

 


 

1878

  • Date:  Thursday, June 27, 1878
  • Site:  Unknown
  • Speaker and Speech Title:  Annual sermon by Principal J. C. Gilchrist, Sunday, June 23, 1878, at 3:00 PM. Oration by the Reverend E. D. Eaton, of Beloit, Wisconsin, before the officers and students, June 26, 1878, beginning at 8:00 PM.
  • Events:
    • Annual meeting of the Board of Directors, Wednesday, June 26
    • Anniversary of the Philomathean Literary Society, Tuesday, June 25, beginning at 2:00 PM
    • Commencement day, Thursday, June 27.  Commencement exercises began at 10:00 AM, for the forenoon session, and at 2:00 PM for the afternoon session.  These exercises closed with an address to the graduates and the presentation of diplomas.
  • Graduation exercises of the Didactics class. 
    • Civilization, essay by L. E. Churchill of Finchford
    • Vicissitudes of a Poet's Fame, original oration by Maude Gilchrist of Cedar Falls
    • Misanthropy, original oration by R. O. Benton of Mason City
    • Safety Lies In a Medium, original oration by David K. Bond of Hopkinton
    • Joy, Joy, Freedom To-day, music from Gipsy's Warning
    • Address to graduates
    • Presentation of diplomas
    • America, music sung by the congregation
    • Benediction
  • Graduation exercises of the Elementary Class.
    • Opening hymn
    • Invocation
    • Part I
    • Grand Concert Galop, performed by an instrumental trio
    • Ignorance a Curse, original oration by Mahlon P. Lichty of Waterloo
    • The Progress of the Last Century, essay by Estella Reuillard of Cedar Falls
    • (Unknown) of Great Power, essay by Kate Taubman of Cedar Falls
    • Reflection,  original oration by  Emma C. De Goff of Waterloo
    • Vocal duet--Fairy Bowers by Glover
    • Hidden Resources, essay by Emma Jaquith of Cedar Falls
    • Political Outcries, original oration by John S. White of Red Oak
    • Charms and Harms of Conversation, essay by Anna Fitch of Cedar Falls
    • Time, essay by Laura Jaquith of Cedar Falls
    • Vocal solo -- Flower Girl by Bevignani
    • A Soliloquy, essay by Edward T. Moyer of Jesup
    • The Dominion of the Mind, essay by Mary H. Cascaden of Waterloo
    • "Let There Be Light", original oration by Kate E. Mullarky of Cedar Falls
    • Chorus--O, Hail Us, Ye Free by Hernani
    • Instrumental trio--Grand Concert March by Blake
    • Tete d'Armee, original oration by Sarah Pierce of Osage
    • Reason and Faith, original oration by G. B. Phelps of Maquoketa
    • Vocal solo--O, Tell Me, Bird of the Merry Greenwood
    • National Instincts, original oration by Matilda Palmer of Grinnell
    • Yesterday, To-Day, To-morrow, essay by Mary L. Chapman of Cedar Falls
    •  Fences and Gates, original oration by Joey M. Byers of Nashua
    • Piano duet--International Medley by Epstein
  • Highlights, Headlines, Firsts, and Honors:
    • Commencement lasted for one week.  Commencement exercises began at 10:00 AM for the Didactics Class, and at 2:00 PM for the Elementary Class.
    • The first four students to complete the Didactics Course graduated this year.
    • Music under the direction of Professor E. W. Burnham (link is external)
    • Maude Gilchrist, the principal's daughter, was part of the first graduating class.  She was the youngest person to graduate from the school at this point in the school's history.

 


1879

  • Date: Thursday, June 26, 1879
  • Site:  Unknown
  • Speaker and Speech Title: Various
  • Events:
  • Graduating exercises of the Didactics Class. 
    • Piano solo for left hand, by Miss Jordan of Waverly
    • Truth, original oration by W. I. Benham of Garnavillo
    • Our Aristocracy, original oration by Anna E. Fitch of Janesville
    • Christian Art:  Its Influence on Civilization, original oration by Kate E. Mullarky of Cedar Falls
    • Science, original oration by Anna McGovern of Mitchell
    • Address to the graduates by the President of the Board, the Honorable S. G. Smith of Newton
    • Presentation of the diplomas
    • America, as sung by the congregation
    • Benediction
    • Graduating exercises of the Elementary Class. 
    • Guide me, O Thou Great Jehovah, as sung by the congregation
    • Man as Man, original oration by Will H. Harwood of Grove Hill
    • Anarchy in the South, original oration by Daniel Eiler of Cedar Falls
    • Literary Beauties of the Bible, original oration by Eva Cooke of Tripoli
    • Music by Ida Manatt -- La Reine des Fees, Galop
    • Nature's Hidden Treasurers, original oration by Alice McManus of Hudson
    • Scales, original oration by George Chandler of Riceville
    • Clouds, original oration by Cleland Gilchrist of Cedar Falls
    • The Pillars of Light original oration by Jennie Macy of Northwood
    • Piano solo by Miss Jordan
    • America and Her Religion, original oration by C. W. Johnston of Utica
    • Then and Now, original oration by Frank R. Willis of Nugent's Grove
    • Unrestricted Suffrage, original oration by S. B. Reed of Cedar Falls
    • Why Should She Study? original oration by Louisa Jennings of Janesville
    • Music duet by Misses Perkins and Flint -- Les Danus de Seville
    • Part II. Music quartette consisting of Messrs. Montford and Jordan, and Misses Hatch and Miller
    • Our Government a Success, original oration by Edgar Anderson of Marshalltown
    • High Lights and Deep Shadows, original oration by May Davis of Hudson
    • Keys, original oration by Lou P. Barrett of Ellington
    • Music by Miss Hatch -- Song
    • Influence of Nations, original oration by Rose E. Southard of Charles City
    • Our Early English Literature, original oration by Eliza Rawstern of Greencastle
  • Highlights, Headlines, Firsts, and Honors:

 


 

1880

  • Date: Thursday, June 24, 1880
  • Site:  Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Speaker and Speech Title: Honorable G. S. Robinson of Storm Lake, Principal J. C. Gilchrist, Honorable Henry Sabin
  • Events:
    • Anniversary of literary societies, June 8, 8:00 PM
    • Baccalaureate address, June 9, 4:00 PM
    • High school graduate class, June 10, 2:00 PM
    • Annual address, Honorable Henry Sabin, June 10, 8:00 PM
    • Tuesday section, Didactics Class, June 11, 10:00 AM
    • Alumni literary entertainment, June 11, 2:00 PM
    • Wednesday section, Didactics Class, June 12, 10:00 AM
    • Scientific Class. June 12, 2:00 PM
  • Monday, 2:00 PM.
    • Clara A. Boss
    • N. Emma England
    • Hilda G. Lunden
    • Martha H. Miller
    • May Roberts
    • Agnes Russell
    • Helen Sisson
    • Mary L. Stever
    • Katherine S. Townsend
    • Mary R. White
  • Tuesday, 10:00 AM
    • *Nellie F. Anderson
    • May M. Boynton
    • C. F. Curtis
    • Maggie L. Cunningham
    • Ella M. Ford
    • C. W. Cobb
    • Mary Hieber
    • Elizabeth R. Jones
    • C. A. Fullerton
    • Lizzie M. Kallenbach
    • *L. B. Moffett
    • Anna Morgan
    • W. L. Hearst
    • Minnie E. Stafford
    • Blanche Simmons
    • Anna E. Wilson
    • M. O. Roland
    • *Excused
  • Wednesday, 10:00 AM
    • Bertha Bishop
    • E. D. Y. Culbertson
    • Laura J. Brown
    • Lizzie M. Ellis
    • B. B. Foster
    • Emelie M. Kreig
    • Minnie Mack
    • C. J. Griffin
    • Alma E. Morrison
    • Lizzie A. Rhodes
    • *Luella V. Simmons
    • John A. Kleinsorge
    • Alice E. Wright
    • *A. J. Stone
    • Libbie M. Wyatt
    • F. C. Sage
    • *G. N. Sabin
    • *Excused
  • Wednesday, 2:00 PM
    • Thomas R. Amlie
    • Isabella Cowan
    • P. G. Fullerton
    • Lillian L. Crosley
    • Chas. C. Miller
    • Lizzie Hughes
    • W. R. Patterson
    • Pauline M. Leader
  • Commencement exercises.  Fourth year.
  • Graduating exercises of the Elementary class program.
    • Part I
    • Anthem, "Glory be Unto God on High," (Hunt), performed by the Normal Choir
  • Invocation
    • Moral Heroism, oration by Frank R. Gardner, Miller's Creek
    • American Art, oration by Sue M. Sawyer, Le Mars
    • Progress, essay by Carrie M. Williams, Northwood
    • Across the Alps Lies Italy, essay by Clara Cooke, Tripoli
    • The Truths of To-day, the Mistakes of To-morrow, oration by Carrie J. Lang, Marshalltown
    • La Marsellaise, (Kunkel), piano solo Miss McLagan
    • Civil Service Reform, oration by Charles E. Moore, Miller's Creek
    • Heirs of the Ages, essay Louise Olbrich, Cedar Falls
    • Independent Thought, oration by M. M. Dietz, Waterloo
    • Patriotic Eloquence, oration by Cora Pierce, Belmond
    • Sweet and low, (Barnby), vocal music by Semi Chorus
    • Practical Education, oration by J. E. McCarty, Guthrie
    • Misfortunes of Literary Men, essay by Alice Felmley, Cedar Falls
    • Teaching as a Profession, oration by Kate E. Nevile, Ackley
    • The Influence of Faces, essay by Carrie Cox, Cedar Falls
    • Communism, oration by Mary D. Ballantyne, Brooklyn
    • La Somnambule, (Lickl), duo-piano and organ by Misses McLagan and Buchanan
    • Anthem, "Gloria in excelsis," (Mozart), by the Chorus
    • Harmony, oration by Ella M. Shaffner, Hudson
    • Chivalry, oration by Idella E. Chapman, New Hartford
    • Our Life Work, oration by Ella D. Williams, Waterloo
    • Music -- Sewall's Cornet Band
    • Our American Entertainments, oration by Hannah B. Gallagher, Le Mars
    • True Bravery, oration by Jennie L. Buchanan, Cherokee
    • A Cup of Cold Water, oration by Addie V. Gallagher, Le Mars
    • Is She Honored?, oration by Jennie M. Buchanan, Le Mars
    • Crises, Oration by Elizabeth Perkins, Sioux City
    • Piano solo -- Rigoletto (Lizt) by Miss McLagan
  • Graduating exercises of the Didactics Class
    • Part II
    • Milton, oration by Eva Cooke, Tripoli
    • Civilization, oration by Edward T. Moyer, Jesup
    • Does the World Need Fanatics? oration by Eliza Rawstern, Greencastle
    • Triumphal March, Damascus, (Costa), by the Chorus
  • Graduating exercises of the Scientific Class
    • Part III
    • Boundaries of Human Knowledge, oration by Anna E. McGovern, Mitchell
    • The Education of the Emotions, oration by Maude Gilchrist, Cedar Falls
    • Music--Band
    • Address to graduates, by the Honorable G. S. Robinson, Chairman of the Educational Committee
  • Presentation of diplomas
    • Doxology, by the congregation
    • Benediction
  • Highlights, Headlines, Firsts, and Honors:
    • Commencement exercises came eight days after the conclusion of the State Examinations, and lasted most of the week.  They began with a Sunday baccalaureate sermon preached by Principal Gilchrist, followed on Monday and Tuesday by meetings of the Board of Directors, literary societies, and alumni.  On Wednesday, the "Annual Oration", delivered by a nationally prominent person, preceded the actual Commencement Day on Thursday.  The final day, devoted mainly to orations by the graduates, concluded with a speech by a member of the Board of Directors and the delivery of diplomas and the address of the Principal.
    • Maude Gilchrist of Cedar Falls and Anna E. McGovern of Mitchell became the first students to graduate from the Scientific Course and receive the Bachelor of Didactics degree.
    • This marked the fourth year of commencement exercises.

 


1881

  • Date: Thursday, June 21, 1881. Commencement exercises began at 10:00 AM, for the morning session, and at 2:00 PM for the afternoon session.
  • Site: Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Speaker and Speech Title:  Principal J. C. Gilchrist, Governor Gear, Board of Directors
  • Events:
    • Annual sermon by Principal J. C. Gilchrist, Sunday, June 19, 1881, at 2:30 PM, Central Hall
    • Oral examinations of classes. Monday and Tuesday.
    • Meeting of the Alumni Association, Tuesday, June 21, at 7:30 PM
    • Annual meeting of the Board of Directors, Wednesday, June 22
    • Anniversary of the Philomathean Literary Society, Monday, June 20, 1881, 2:00 PM, Central Hall
    • Anniversary of the Alpha Literary Society, Tuesday, June 21, 1881, Central Hall.
    • First Commencement day.  Wednesday, June 22, 1881.  Exercises began at 2:00 PM, Methodist Episcopal Church.
    • Second Commencement day.  Thursday, June 23, 1881.  Exercises began at 10:00AM for the morning session, and at 2 PM, for the afternoon Session, Methodist Episcopal Church.
    • Presentation of graduates, and address of President of Board of Directors, Honorable E. J. Thayer, Clinton
    • Delivery of diplomas
    • Principal's reception
    • Baccalaureate address, June 9, 4:00 PM
    • High School graduate class, June 10, 2:00 PM
    • Annual address, Honorable Henry Sabin, June 10, 8:00 PM
    • Tuesday section, Didactics class, June 11, 10:00 AM
    • Alumni literary entertainment, June 11, 2:00 PM
    • Wednesday section, Didactics class, June 12, 10:00 AM
    • Scientific class, June 12, 2:00 PM
  • Highlights, Headlines, Firsts, and Honors:
    • "The Governor delivered a spicy little speech, which was received with applause, and at the close of school, as the students filed out of the room, each had the honor and pleasure of shaking hands with our worthy Governor."
    • "The Reverend A. D. Mayo, D. D., of Boston, will be the orator before the officers and students of Iowa State Normal School at the next Commencement.  Dr. Mayo is a celebrated author and orator and a devoted defender of the common school cause.  This oration will be a masterpiece in thought and delivery."
    • Extracts from graduating orations of the Classes of 1881 appear in the student newspaper, The Student Offering, Volume 4, Issue 19.

 


1882

  • Date:  June 20, 1882
  • Site:
  • Speaker and Speech Title:  Honorable John N. Gregory, L. L. D., former president of the University of Illinois
  • Events:
  • Highlights, Headlines, Firsts, and Honors:
    • Due to some organizational difficulty, there was no regular meeting or banquet of the alumni, though there were some special exercises planned for their entertainment.  Still, alumni were urged to attend.
    • The Class of 1882 created a class badge for individuals to wear and remember their classmates. 

 


1883

  • Date: Thursday, June 21, 1883
  • Site:  South Hall
  • Speaker and Speech Title: Principal J. C. Gilchrist, N. W. Boyes
  • Events:
    • Baccalaureate sermon by Principal J. C. Gilchrist, Sunday, June 17 at 2:30 PM
    • Anniversary exercises of the Philomathean Society, Monday, June 18 at 2:00 PM
    • Anniversary exercises of the Alpha Society, Tuesday, June 19, at 2:30 PM
    • Alumni exercises, Wednesday, June 20 at 2:30 PM
    • Exercises of the graduating class, Thursday, June 21 at 10:00 AM
  • Graduating exercises of the Didactics Class, Thursday morning
    • Anthem, "Praise the Lord," (Root) sung by the choir
    • Invocation
    • Education and the Elective Franchise, oration by Edward H. Griffin, Cedar Falls
    • Memory, an essay by Nettie M. Davis, Sac City
    • Triumphs, an oration by Mamie F. Hearst, Cedar Falls
    • Alsacian Airs, (Leybach), piano solo by Miss Robbins
    • The Life Saving Service, oration by Alice M. Hurley, Ackley
    • The Axe is Laid at the Root, oration by Kate E. Nevile, Ackley
    • The Casket and its Jewel, oration by Alice F, Burbeck, Sac City
    • Thou Who Art Faithful, (Emerson), sung by the choir
    • The Imagination, oration by Florence F. Walraven, Wheatland
    • Conversation of Force, essay by Lottie E. Rodgers, Blakeville
    • Might Places the Burden, essay by Armindia Reynolds, Pella
    • Tendencies of American Civilization, oration by Elmer E. Bartlett, Cedar Falls
    • Elisire d'Amore, (Renaud de Vilbac), piano duet by Misses Robbins and Flint
  • Thursday afternoon
    • Anthem, "The Lord Reigneth," (Emerson), sung by the choir
    • Teachings of Fiction, oration by Clarissa A. Ensign, New Hartford
    • Higher Culture, oration by Marguerite Rae, Cherokee
    • Sublimity--Its Power and Influence, oration by Will A. Bartlett, Cedar Falls
    • Ballade, III, (Chopin), piano solo by Miss McLagan
    • The Fall of the Alamo, oration by Jennie Marble, Leadville, Colorado
    • Music and Its Mission, oration by Carrie Flint, Nashua
    • Vox Populi Vox Dei, oration by Elmer E. Best Evergreen
    • Return of Spring, (Emerson), chorus sung by the choir
    • Address to the graduates by E. H. Thayer, President board of Directors
    • Presentation of diplomas
    • Doxology, by the congregation
    • Benediction
  • Highlights, Headlines, Firsts, and Honors:
    • First class to speak in the "new chapel", in South Hall, later named Gilchrist Hall
    • All exercises held at the new South Hall
    • This marked the seventh year of commencement exercises.
    • The day closed with a reception in the evening.

 


1884

  • Date: Tuesday, June 24, 1884
  • Site:  Normal Chapel, South Hall
  • Speaker and Speech Title:  Principal, the Reverend J. C. Gilchrist
  • Events:
    • Annual sermon, Sunday, June 22, 1884 at 2:30 PM, Normal Chapel
    • Philomathean annual entertainment., Thursday, June 19 at 7:30 PM
      • Vocal music
      • Oration by Wilbur David
      • Declamation by F. M. Loudy
      • Essay by W. H. Bender
      • Debate between W. C. Carroll and J. R. McKee against O. F. Burgess and A. E. Felmley
      • Philo gazette by D. L. Skiff
      • Valedictory by H. A. Hull
      • Music
    • Alpha annual entertainment, Friday, June 20, at 7:30 PM
      • Music
      • Oration by Florence Goetzman
      • Recitation by Etta Lockridge
      • Music
      • Essay by Sadie Frink
      • Poem by Minnie Moore
      • Oration by Viola Kenyon
      • Presentation of badges by the president
      • Music
  • Highlights, Headlines, Firsts, and Honors:
    • Commencement exercises began at 10:00 AM, for morning session, and 2:00 PM for afternoon session in the Normal Chapel.
    • Presentation of the graduates, and address of the Chairman of Teachers Committee
    • Delivery of diplomas, and address of the Principal
    • The diplomas were delivered by Judge Thayer of Clinton.
    • This marked the eighth year of commencement exercises.

 


1885

  • Date:
  • Site:  
  • Speaker and Speech Title:  
  • Events:
  • Highlights, Headlines, Firsts, and Honors:

 


 

1886

  • Date: Wednesday, June 30, 1886
  • Site: Normal Chapel
  • Speaker and Speech Title:
  • Events:
  • Highlights, Headlines, Firsts, and Honors:

 

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