Melinda Isler, Archivist
1010 Campus Drive
Big Rapids MI 49307
Collection Title: Commencement Records
Creator: Ferris State University. Commencement Office.
Abstract: Commencement officially began at Ferris Institute in June 1906 and continues at the conclusion of every semester. It serves as a recognition ceremony for students who have completed their course of study. Records in this collection include programs, invitations, instructions, speeches, graduate lists and organizational materials.
Quantity: 6.0 cubic feet; 4 record center boxes
Identification: UA 4.4.1
Repository: Ferris State University Archives and Records Management Program
Commencement is defined as the act of conferring diplomas or degrees at the end of an academic process. Ferris Institute first held an single official commencement in June 1906. Prior to 1906, celebrations called Class Days had been sponsored and held by individual departments. The first commencement was led by principal Woodbridge N. Ferris and he continued to play a role until his death in 1928. Graduates were listed alphabetically by program. Baccalaureate ceremonies were also held until the late 1950s. Annual commencement continued until 1987. At that point, ceremonies were changed to be held on a quarterly basis to follow the academic calender. In 1994, the commencement schedule changed again to reflect the conversion to a semester system.
Commencement remains one of the best sources of freely available university records to identify graduates. Commencements began officially at Ferris Institute in 1906 and have continued to the present day. The commencement programs series provides the basic information about a commencement- orders of ceremonies, speaker names, and lists of graduates. In the second series entitle subject files there is further documentation of commencement when available- invitations, committee minutes, publicity materials, tickets and instructions to marshals and participants. For the years 1946-1951 further documentation can be found in the subject files of the President Bryon Brophy Papers (UA 1.8). Because the responsibility for commencement has changed offices several time, all other background documentation has been gathered into this collection.
There are also samples of blank diplomas, and a file listing the early commencement dates as provided to the Registrar's office in 1994.
The papers are divided into a two series.
The Commencement Records are open for research to all users in accordance with University Archives and Records Management access policies. It is available in the reading room of the Ferris State University Archives.
Requests for permission to publish material should be directed to the University Archivist. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.
Copyright interests for this collection have been transferred to Ferris State University. For more information, contact the University Archivist.
Below are a list of names, organizations and subjects relating to the collection. Names have been taken from Library of Congress Authority headings whenever possible.
Footnotes and bibliographic references should use the following format:
[Item], Folder, Box. Commencement Records. Ferris State University Archives. Big Rapids, Michigan.
Provenance (Acquisition Information)
The Commencement Records were partially located in various parts of the Ferris State University campus. Beginning in 2002, programs are transferred after Commencement by the Associate Vice-President for Student Affairs.
The Commencement Records were first processed to the folder level by Melinda McMartin Isler in March 2004. A finding aid was prepared in a word processing format and converted to EAD 1.0. A revised finding aid was created in January 2008. A collection level MARC-format record was prepared and placed in the library online public access catalog. Description was based on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004).
During processing, duplicate materials were discarded. There were no other materials placed in other collections.
This collection consists of paper-based material. No specialized software or hardware required for viewing.
Programs contain the order of ceremonies, information about speakers and listings of graduates by program.
These records are arranged chronologically by Commencement date.
|1||2||Commencement programs. 1935-1939.|
|1||3||Commencement programs. 1940-1950.|
|1||4||Commencement programs. 1951-1955.|
|1||5||Commencement program. 1956.|
|1||6||Commencement program. 1957.|
|1||7||Commencement program. 1958.|
|1||8||Commencement program. 1959.|
|1||9||Commencement program. 1960.|
|1||10||Commencement program. 1961.|
|1||11||Commencement program. 1962.|
|1||12||Commencement program. 1963.|
|1||13||Commencement program. 1964.|
|1||14||Commencement program. 1965.|
|1||15||Commencement program. 1966.|
|1||16||Commencement program. 1967.|
|1||17||Commencement program. 1968.|
|1||18||Commencement program. 1969.|
|1||19||Commencement program. 1970.|
|1||20||Commencement program. 1971.|
|1||21||Commencement program. 1972.|
|1||22||Commencement program. 1973.|
|1||23||Commencement program. 1974.|
|1||24||Commencement program. 1975.|
|1||25||Commencement program. 1976.|
|1||26||Commencement program. 1977.|
|1||27||Commencement program. 1978.|
|1||28||Commencement program. 1979.|
|1||29||Commencement program. 1980.|
|1||30||Commencement program. 1981.|
|1||31||Commencement program. 1982.|
|1||32||Commencement program. 1983.|
|1||33||Commencement program. 1984.|
|1||34||Commencement program. 1985.|
|1||35||Commencement program. 1986.|
|1||36||Commencement program. May 1987.|
|1||37||Commencement program. November 1987..|
|1||38||Commencement program. May 1988.|
|1||39||Commencement program. February 1989.|
|1||40||Commencement program. May 1989.|
|1||41||Commencement program. May 1990.|
|1||42||Commencement program. November 1990.|
|1||43||Commencement program. February 1991.|
|1||44||Commencement program. May 1991.|
|1||45||Commencement program. November 1991.|
|1||46||Commencement program. February 1992.|
|1||47||Commencement program. May 1992.|
|1||48||Commencement program. November 1992.|
|1||49||Commencement program. February 1993.|
|1||50||Commencement program. May 1993.|
|1||51||Commencement program. December 1993.|
|1||1||Commencement program. May 1994.|
|1||5||Commencement program. December 1994.|
|1||2||Commencement program. May 1995.|
|1||3||Commencement program. December 1995.|
|1||4||Commencement program. May 1996.|
|1||5||Commencement program. May 1997.|
|1||6||Commencement program. December 1998.|
|1||7||Commencement program. May 1999.|
|1||8||Commencement program. December 1999.|
|1||9||Commencement program. May 2000.|
|1||10||Commencement program. December 2000.|
|1||11||Commencement program. May 2001.|
|1||12||Commencement program. December 2001.|
|1||13||Commencement program. December 2002.|
|1||14||Commencement program. May 2003.|
|1||15||Commencement program. December 2003.|
|1||16||Commencement program. May 2004.|
|1||17||Commencement program. December 2004.|
|1||18||Commencement program. May 2005.|
|1||19||Commencement program. December 2005.|
|1||20||Commencement program. May 2006.|
|1||21||Commencement program. December 2006.|
|1||22||Commencement program. May 2007.|
|1||23||Commencement program. December 2007.|
|1||24||Commencement program. May 2008.|
|1||25||Commencement program. December 2008.|
|1||26||Commencement program. May 2009.|
|1||27||Commencement program. December 2009.|
|1||28||Commencement program. May 2010.|
|1||29||Commencement program. December 2010.|
|1||30||Commencement program. May 2011.|
|1||31||Commencement program. December 2011.|
|1||32||Commencement program. May 2012.|
|1||33||Commencement program. December 2012.|
|4||1||Commencement program. May 2013.|
|4||2||Commencement program. December 2013.|
|4||3||Commencement program. May 2014.|
|4||4||Commencement program. December 2014.|
|4||5||Commencement program. May 2015.|
|4||6||Commencement program. December 2015.|
|4||7||Commencement program. May 2016.|
|4||8||Commencement program. December 2016.|
|4||9||Commencement program. May 2017.|
|4||10||Commencement program. December 2017.|
|4||11||Commencement program. May 2018.|
|4||12||Commencement program. December 2018.|
|4||13||Commencement program. May 2019.|
These files contain research materials such as correspondence and backup documentation. A typical commencement file may contain one or more of the following: committee minutes, instructions, invitations, publicity materials or correspondence.
Materials are arranged alphabetically by subject, and chronologically within the commencement annual files.
|3||1||Baccalaureate services. 1961-1967.|
|3||2||Chaplain list. 1955-1983.|
|3||3||Commencement/baccalaureate date list. 1906-1932.|
|3||4||Commencement flag committee. 1967-1969.|
|3||5||Commencement flag design. 1967-1969.|
|3||7||Graduates. Program breakdown list. 1932-1953.|
|3||8||Honorary degree recipient lists. 1944-1983.|
|3||9||Honors band/ guest conductors list. 1958-1983.|
|3||10||Multiple commencement ceremony report. 1970-1971.|
|3||11||Speaker list. 1945-1983.|
|3||54||Commencement. Commemorative diplomas. 1987.|