Since the first degree-granting ceremony in 1857, Commencement has been the culmination of the Tufts experience for students as they officially complete their studies and join the ranks of the alumni. This exhibit examines the history and development of Tufts commencement over time, examining the ways in which it has changed and responded to events in the wider world while maintaining Tufts traditions.
Commencement- the gala days of the year! The days when the new "grads' depart and the old "grads" come back. The Hill is dressed in holiday garb, the Seniors in their solemn gowns and the reunioners in their clown cloth. It is a time of mingled joy and sadness.– The Jumbo Yearbook, 1922
...I confess that I am terminally sentimental about graduations. They are more individual than weddings. More conscious than christenings, or bar mitzvahs, or bat mitzvahs. They are almost as much of a step into the unknown as funerals - though I assure you, there is life after graduation.– Steinem, Gloria. Tufts Commencement speech, 1987
"But in reality, it's not the end of anything. Today is commencement; if we were really ending something, they'd call it the 'conclusion' or 'completion' ceremony. No, we're not finishing anything; this is commencement, and, as you might imagine, we're commencing something. "– Stern, Remy. "Reflections on Commencement Day." The Tufts Daily, Commencement 1996, p. 7