Historical Commencement Photos

News subtitle

Some of Dartmouth’s most beloved landmarks and iconic buildings can be seen in photographs taken during commencement celebrations from the late 19th century and into the 20th century.

All photos courtesy of the Dartmouth Library.

Graduates lined up outside an old Wilson Hall
1892. Graduates gather on East Wheelock Road with the marching band. Wilson Hall can be seen on the far left; Bissell Hall, a gymnasium, is the building in the center. Area photographer Howard H. Langill’s studio is in the foreground. 
People sitting at the Bema, along with horse-drawn carriages
Circa 1887. Spectators and graduates listen to class day speeches at the newly constructed Bema. 
Graduates at commencement in 1894
1894. A commencement scene in front of Dartmouth Hall. Rollins Chapel can be seen in the background. 
A group of people gathered on a lawn wearing dressy attire
1895. Crowds congregate on the Green on class day. 
A crowd of people and horses outside the Collis Center
Early 1900s. A crowd assembles outside College Hall, constructed in 1902, on class day. The building, known today as Collis Center, replaced the A.P. Balch Mansion, which burned down in 1900. 
A crowd of people standing around a large pine tree
1895. Graduates encircle the Old Pine after the completion of class day exercises in the Bema. Shattuck Observatory can be seen in the background. 
Graduates forming an s-curve line marching to Bema
1903. Graduates march to the Bema. Shattuck Observatory and Bartlett Tower can be seen in the background. 
People walking across the Green in 1907
Circa 1907. Commencement onlookers follow graduates returning from the Bema toward the newly rebuilt Dartmouth Hall. North Fayerweather, seen to the left, was completed in 1907. 
Graduates sitting in Webster Hall
1908. Completed in 1907, Webster Hall was the site of commencement from 1908 through 1930. 
Graduates and families sitting in lines in front of Dartmouth Hall
1913. Graduates and onlookers gather in front of Dartmouth Hall. 
Graduates sitting in the grass listening to a speaker
1919. Graduates listen to Robert Proctor, Class of 1919, deliver “class prophecies” during class day exercises on June 23, 1919, in the Bema.