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Collection Overview
Creator: Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.). Commencement Committee.
Title:Commencement Committee records
Call Number:A54
Volume:7.5 cubic ft. (14 boxes)
Scope and Content Note: Records of the Northeastern University Commencement Committee document commencement ceremonies between 1912 and 2002. The first series documents eligible degree candidates and is restricted. The second series contains information about Northeastern University commencement ceremonies, including planning and publicity efforts, the students who were in the ceremonies, and the individuals who received honorary degrees and gave addresses. Included are scattered commencement addresses, particularly between 1945 and 1985. The third series documents scattered School of Law commencement ceremonies between 1977 and 2000. The fourth series contains material relating to the commencement ceremonies at the Huntington School, the Lincoln Institute, and Northeastern University evening divisions outside of Boston. A fifth series consists of commencement formularies for 1976-1989. The final series contains audio-visual material documenting scattered commencement ceremonies between 1965 and 1993. A set of Northeastern University commencement programs is also available in the Northeastern University Archives and Special Collections.
Historical Abstract: Northeastern University held its first commencement ceremony in 1902, when 21 students graduated from the Evening Law Institute of the Boston YMCA. Northeastern University held its commencement ceremonies in a variety of locations in between 1902 and 1952, including Jordan Hall (now part of the New England Conservatory of Music), Boston Arena (now Northeastern University's Matthews Arena), Symphony Hall, New England Mutual Hall, and Alumni Auditorium (now Northeastern University's Blackman Auditorium). Between 1953 and 1995, commencement ceremonies were held at the Boston Garden. Since 1996, they have been at the Fleet Center. In response to an increasing number of graduates, beginning in 1967 a fall commencement ceremony was added in September, following the summer quarter. In 1972, President Asa S. Knowles announced there would be two commencement ceremonies; the morning ceremony was for of the full-time undergraduate students from Northeastern University's eight basic colleges, while the afternoon ceremony recognized part-time undergraduates and graduate students. In 1977, the Northeastern University School of Law began to hold its own commencement ceremony in May to accommodate growth in its student body.
Arrangement:Organized into 6 series: 1. Eligible Degree Candidates; 2. Northeastern University Commencements; 3. School of Law Commencements; 4. Divisions and Institutes Commencements; 5. Formularies; and 6. Audio-Visual.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Abrams, Frank W. (Frank Whittemore)
  • Adams, Arthur Stanton
  • Beal, Orville E.
  • Bowditch, Richard Lyon
  • Bownes, Hugh, Judge
  • Burns, John Lawrence
  • Chisholm, Shirley, 1924-
  • Collins, Michael, 1930-
  • Dukakis, Michael S. (Michael Stanley), 1933-
  • Fanning, Katherine
  • Hennessey, Edward Francis, Judge
  • Higginbotham, A. Leon (Aloyisus Leon), 1928-
  • Jackson, Jesse, 1941-
  • Johnston, Philip
  • Katzenbach, Nicholas deB. (Nicholas deBelleville), 1922-
  • Kennedy, Edward Moore, 1932-
  • Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.
  • Kimball, Charles N. (Charles Newton), 1911-1994.
  • McCaffrey, John L.
  • Morse, F. Bradford
  • Mosher, Ira,; 1887-1968.
  • Muskie, Edmund S., 1914-1996.
  • Orr, Bobby, 1948-
  • Pell, Claiborne, 1918-
  • Smith, Margaret Chase, 1897-1995.
  • Sprague, Robert Chapman
  • Tolley, William Pearson, 1900-1996.
  • Tsongas, Paul
  • Warner, John Christian, 1897-1989.
  • Weaver, Robert Clifton, 1907-1997.
  • Webb, James E. (James Edwin), 1906-1992.
  • Whipple, Fred Lawrence, 1906-2004.

  • Baccalaureate addresses--Massachusetts--Boston
  • College graduates--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Commencement ceremonies--Massachusetts--Boston
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.)--Degrees
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.)--Alumni and alumnae
  • Northeastern University (Boston, Mass.)--Commencement Committee

Restrictions:Records are closed for 25 years from their date of creation, unless researchers have written permission from the creating office. Student records (Series 1, boxes 1-4) are restricted for 75 years from the date of graduation.
Processor:Finding aid prepared by Stein Helmrich, April 2002