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WSU Libraries

Digital Collections

About this collection

The items in this collection are held in Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections in WSU's Terrell Library, specifically the Commencement portion (WSU 86) of the MASC's WSU Publications collection.

The Collection:

While Washington State University (then Washington Agricultural College and School of Science, or WAC&SoS) began offering courses in 1892, its first collegiate graduates did not complete coursework until 1897.  Since then, commencement and baccalaureate ceremonies have been conducted annualy (or bi-annually).  This collection compiles graduation brochures, commencement and baccalaureate addresses, invitations, calendars, and anything else collect by the University Archives and related to those ceremonies.


At present, this collection begins in 1892 and runs up through 1949.  Eventually we may scan more recent programs, although no immediate plans are in place for that.  As other items are scanned for various reasons, they will be added to this collection as well (at the moment this is just 1954-1957, and 1963-1967).


Very recent (2008 to present) commencement programs, for WSU Pullman only, can be found through the Commencement Ceremonies' website.


During its earliest years, WAC&SoS offered a "Preparatory School" for those "who are not sufficiently advanced to enter the Freshman class, and for those who are doing work in or preparing for the [other] special schools."  Effectively, this was equivalent to what is today considered high school, and graduates of the Preparatory School (later known as Elementary Science, or just Elementary) were not considered college graduates.  Other "special schools" in this era came and went, but in general most (though not all) "Schools," including the Schools of Business and of Farming / Agriculture, were also considered non-collegiate level work in the college's early days. It appears that these non-collegiate programs were phased out in 1917, with the last ceremony for them being held in 1919. For further information on these early programs, we suggest you consult the Course Catalogues (held in WSU's MASC as WSU 4, and in the main WSU Libraries at call number LD5731.W6 C65x) in those periods.

Searching the Database:

Entering search terms in the box located at the top of the page will search across the full text of all documents. To read through an individual item, select Browse This Collection and then click on the appropriate item. Search results are displayed as a series of thumbnail images that may be browsed. To view the larger image and its corresponding description, click on the thumbnail. An option to return to the home page for this collection is provided in the banner.


It should be noted that though the documents in this collection have been OCRed for full-text searching capabilities, due to the poor quality of much of the paper and printing, the age of the documents, and the frequently ornate or unusual print fonts, that searchability is extremely unreliable.

Creating the Database:

University Archivist Mark O'English supervised the project, designed the metadata schemas, and created this page. Individual pages were scanned as 300 dpi pdf files on a variety of scanners by Rhonda Anderson; additional items were later added by WSU students Samantha Case and Kaitlyn Van Vleet.. Cindy Ellis provided technical support for CONTENTdm. Jeff Kuure designed this page's banner.

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