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Monday - Friday:
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Other times by appointment

Location

The Special Collections is located on the east side of the Library at the front of the 3rd floor.

Contact Information

Patricia W. & J. Douglas Perry Library
Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0256
telephone (757) 683-4483
fax (757) 683-5954

 

Commencements

HISTORICAL SKETCH

Old Dominion University was founded in September 1930 as an extension campus of the College of William and Mary in the Tidewater region of Virginia.  Established as a two year junior college known as the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary, the school’s mission was to provide educational opportunities to the people of Hampton Roads commensurate with those available near the commonwealth’s large university centers.  The “Division” as it was known, opened its doors in the empty buildings of the old Larchmont Elementary School, offering a two year course of study allowing students the opportunity to earn either transferable credit through the sophomore year to any four year college throughout the United States or the appropriate professional training for careers not requiring baccalaureate degrees.  In 1931, courses in basic engineering and other technical studies were offered at the Norfolk Division through collective partnership with Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI), taught by instructors directly provided by VPI.  Upon the completion of studies at the Division, many students seeking baccalaureate degrees continued their academic pursuits at either the Williamsburg campus of William and Mary or VPI in Blacksburg, though it was not uncommon for Norfolk Division students to attend other universities throughout the country as well.  The official recognition of students successfully completing the Norfolk Division’s course of study did not occur until May 1943 when for the first time completion certificates were presented to eligible students during final convocation exercises that marked the end of the academic year.  College convocation, while not directly associated with commencement, were mandatory assemblies of the student body conducted at the university in which special programs or speakers were presented with the intention of enhancing the academic experience and fostering a sense of community.  The first formal commencement exercises conducted by the Norfolk Division took place in June 1945 at the new Larchmont School Auditorium where seventeen students were awarded Associate of Arts degrees.  By 1956, the Norfolk Division awarded its first four year baccalaureate diplomas to fifteen eligible students.  Commencement exercises between 1945 and 2002 have taken place in various locations throughout the city of Norfolk, both on campus and off such as the old Norfolk Arena, Foreman Field, and Norfolk Scope.  Since December 2002, commencement exercises are conducted on campus at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.  In 2009-2010, the University awarded 4,632 bachelors, masters and Ph.D. degrees.

SCOPE AND CONTENTS

This collection contains documents related to commencement at the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary, Old Dominion College, and Old Dominion University from June 1945 to present day.  Related documents include interdepartmental correspondence, commencement scripts and sequence of events that include comments by past presidents of the University.  Other items included are commencement addresses, audio tapes of commencement ceremonies, and commencement ceremony programs from 1947 to present day.  Digitized versions of commencement programs in PDF format are included for years spanning 1947-2007.  The audiotapes of commencement ceremonies are in reel to reel format. 

SERIES DESCRIPTIONS

The collection is divided into three series:

Series I --- Commencement Addresses and Related Correspondence (Box 1), dated June 1945-May 1995, contains commencement addresses and commencement related correspondence, commencement scripts, line of march, comments by past presidents of the University and distinguished alumni.  It is organized alphabetically by subject within each decade. 

Series II --- Commencement Ceremony Programs (Box 2-6), dated 1947 to present day, contains commencement ceremony programs from June 2, 1947, to present day which includes sequence of events, list of graduates, special recognitions, and noted speakers.  It is organized chronologically by month and year.

Series III --- Commencement Ceremonies, recorded audiotape (Box 7), dated May 1974-May 1985, contains audiotape (reel to reel format) of commencement ceremonies beginning May 12, 1974, non concurrent through May 18, 1985.  It is organized chronologically by year.

PROVENANCE

Unknown.

ACCESS

Open to researchers without restrictions. Questions on literary property rights should be directed to the Special Collections Librarian.

SIZE

7 Hollinger Document Cases

COLLECTION NUMBER

RG 6-6E

CONTAINER LISTING

Series I - Commencement Addresses and commencement related correspondence, 1945-1987

Box 1

Folder 1: Addresses and Exercises, 1945-1951

The College of William and Mary in Norfolk-June 1945
Commencement Exercises, The College of William and Mary in Norfolk-June 1950
Commencement Exercises, The College of William and Mary in Norfolk-June 1951

Folder 2:  Addresses and Exercises, 1961-1969

Commencement Exercises, The College of William and Mary in Norfolk-1961
The College of William and Mary in Norfolk-March 1962
The Norfolk College of William and Mary-June 1962
The Norfolk College of William and Mary of the Colleges of William and Mary-June 1962
Commencement Address to Old Dominion College Graduates-June 10, 1962
Commencement Address to Old Dominion College Graduates-June 6, 1965
Commencement Address to Old Dominion College Graduates-August 17, 1969

Folder 3: Addresses and Exercises, 1970-1974

Commencement Exercises, Old Dominion University-June 7, 1970
Old Dominion University Commencement-June 1971
Old Dominion University, Commencement Line of March, June 1971
Old Dominion University Commencement-June 1972
Old Dominion University Commencement-June 1972
Old Dominion University Commencement-June 1973
Commencement Exercises, Old Dominion University-June 10, 1973
Commencement Address, by Frank Batten-June 10, 1973
Old Dominion University Commencement-May 1974

Folder 4: Addresses and Exercises, 1980-1987

Commencement Address to Old Dominion University Graduates-May 10, 1980
Commencement Address to Old Dominion University Graduates by Thomas P. (Tommy) Newsom-May 9, 1987

Folder 5: Addresses and Exercises, 1995

Commencement Exercises, Old Dominion University-May 6, 1995

Series II - Commencement Ceremony Programs

Folder 6: Commencement Programs, CD (PDF format) 1947-1979

CD Commencement programs, College of William and Mary in Norfolk, 1947-1979, PDF format

Folder 7: Commencement Programs, 1947-1955

Commencement Programs, College of William and Mary in Norfolk, 1947-1955

Folder 8: Commencement Programs, 1956-1966

Commencement Programs, College of William and Mary in Norfolk, 1956-1962
Commencement Programs, Old Dominion College, 1963-1966

Folder 9: Commencement Programs, 1967-1969

Commencement Program, Old Dominion College, June 11, 1967
Commencement Program, Old Dominion College, June 9, 1968
Commencement Program, Old Dominion College, August 18, 1968
Commencement Program, Old Dominion College, June 8, 1969
Old Dominion College Commencement Tributes to Lewis Warrington Webb, Jr., June 8, 1969
Commencement Program, Old Dominion College, August 17, 1969

Folder 10: Commencement Program, June 7, 1970

Folder 11: Commencement Program, June 6, 1971

Box 2   Commencement Ceremony Programs, 1972-1983

Folder 1: Commencement Program, June 4, 1972

Folder 2: Commencement Program, June 10, 1973

Folder 3: Commencement Program, May 12, 1974

Folder 4: Commencement Program, May 11, 1975

Folder 5: Commencement Program, May 9, 1976

Folder 6: Commencement Program, May 15, 1977

Folder 7: Commencement Program, May 14, 1978

Folder 8: Commencement Program, May 12, 1979

Folder 9: Commencement Program, 1979 – Individual Colleges

Old Dominion University, School of Arts and Letters, Commencement Program, May 12, 1979
Old Dominion University, School of Engineering, Commencement Programs, May 12, 1979
Old Dominion University, School of Sciences and Health Professions, Commencement Program, May 12, 1979
Old Dominion University, School of Dental Hygiene, Awards Ceremony, May 12, 1979

Folder 10: Commencement Programs, CD (PDF format), 1980-1989

CD, Commencement Programs, Old Dominion University, 1980-1989, PDF Format

Folder 11: Commencement Program, May 10, 1980

Folder 12: Commencement Program, 1981

Commencement Announcement, Old Dominion University, May 1981
Old Dominion University, Commencement Program, May 16, 1981

Folder 13: Commencement Program, 1982

Commencement Announcement, Old Dominion University, May 1982
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 16, 1982

Folder 14: Commencement Program, 1983

Old Dominion University Student Recognition Day Program, December 18, 1983
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 14, 1983

Box 3   Commencement Ceremony Programs, 1984-1992

Folder 1: Commencement Program, 1984

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 12, 1984
Convocation Program, Doctor of Psychology, Old Dominion University, August 26, 1984

Folder 2: Commencement Program, 1985

Commencement Announcement, Old Dominion University, May 1985
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 18, 1985
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 15, 1985
Old Dominion University, Student Recognition Day, August 18, 1985
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University School of Business Administration, May 18, 1985

Folder 3: Commencement Programs, 1986

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 11, 1987
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, August 16, 1987
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 14, 1987

Folder 4: Commencement Programs, 1987

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 9, 1987
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, August 15, 1987
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 13, 1987

Folder 5: Commencement Programs, 1988

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 7, 1988
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, August 13, 1988
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 18, 1988

Folder 6: Commencement Programs, 1989

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 6, 1989
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, August 12, 1989
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 17, 1989

Folder 7: Commencement Programs, CD (PDF format) 1990-1999

CD, Commencement Programs, Old Dominion University, 1990-1999, PDF Format

Folder 8: Commencement Programs, 1990

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 5, 1990
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, August 11, 1990
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 16, 1990

Folder 9: Commencement Programs, 1991

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 11, 1991
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 15, 1991

Folder 10: Commencement Programs, 1992

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 9, 1992
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 20, 1992

Box 4   Commencement Ceremony Programs, 1993-1999

Folder 1: Commencement Programs, 1993

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 8, 1993
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 19, 1993

Folder 2: Commencement Programs, 1994

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 7, 1994
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 18, 1994

Folder 3: Commencement Programs, 1995

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 6, 1995
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 17, 1995

Folder 4: Commencement Programs, 1996

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 4, 1996
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 15, 1996

Folder 5: Commencement Programs, 1997

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 10, 1997
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 14, 1997

Folder 6: Commencement Programs, 1998

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 9, 1998
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 20, 1998

Folder 7: Commencement Programs, 1999

Old Dominion University, Commencement Guide for Graduates, Families, and Guests, May 8, 1999
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 8, 1999
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 19, 1999

Box 5   Commencement Ceremony Programs, 2000-2006

Folder 1: Commencement Programs, CD (PDF format) 2000-2007

CD: Commencement Programs, Old Dominion University, 2000-2003 PDF format
CD: Commencement Programs, Old Dominion University, 2003-2007, PDF format

Folder 2: Commencement Programs, 2000

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 6, 2000
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 17, 2000

Folder 3: Commencement Programs, 2001

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 5, 2001
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 16, 2001

Folder 4: Commencement Programs, 2002

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 11, 2002
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 15, 2002

Folder 5: Commencement Programs, 2003

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 14, 2003

Folder 6: Commencement Programs, 2004

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 8, 2004
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 19, 2004

Folder 7: Commencement Programs, 2005

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 7, 2005
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 18, 2005

Folder 8: Commencement Programs, 2006

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 6, 2006
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 17, 2006

Box 6   Commencement Ceremony Programs, 2007-2011

Folder 1: Commencement Programs, 2007

Commencement Programs, Old Dominion University, May 5, 2007
Commencement Programs, Old Dominion University, December 15, 2007

Folder 2: Commencement Programs, 2008

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 2008
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 13, 2008

Folder 3: Commencement Programs, 2009

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 9, 2009

Folder 4: Commencement Programs, 2010

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 8, 2010
Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, December 18, 2010

Folder 5: Commencement Program, 2011

Commencement Program, Old Dominion University, May 7, 2011

Series III - Commencement Ceremony recordings

Box 7   Commencement Ceremony recordings, 1974-1985 (non-concurrent)

Reel to reel tapes, commencement ceremonies
May 12, 1974 (Two boxes)                 May 16, 1981             
May 14, 1978                                      May 14, 1983
May 12, 1979                                      May 12, 1984
May 10, 1980 

 

Revised: 10/3/2011