Exhibit: Hats Off!

Daisy Chain- 1919
Daisy Chain- 1919

Exhibit- Hats Off!:  Winthrop Commencement 1886-1940

The Archives May Exhibit chronicles Winthrop’s commencement exercises and programs from June 17, 1887 when 14 students graduated at Winthrop’s first commencement to the weeklong commencement festivities at the onset of World War II.

Winthrop’s first commencement was a daylong event consisting of prayers, music, songs, and the reading of essays before the conferring of the degrees. By the eve of WWII, commencement had expanded to an entire week called Senior Week which consisted of a Senior Dance; Senior Chapel, Movie, Treasure Hunt, Dedication of Senior Steps to the rising Seniors (Only Seniors were allowed to use the front steps of Tillman Hall. All underclassman had to use the two side entrances and would be fined a .25 cents if caught using the Senior Steps), Senior Vespers, Stunt Night, Alumnae Reunion, Joint Celebration of the Literary Societies, Annual Music Concert, Daisy Chain, Baccalaureate Sermon, and Graduate exercises.

For most graduates, commencement marks the transition from life as a student to life in the working world where four years of hard work and sleepless nights culminate in an academic degree. Winthrop graduates have gone on to make a substantial mark upon the state of South Carolina and the world at large. The Winthrop commencement ceremonies have changed throughout the years, but the one constant has been the high quality and character of the Winthrop Graduate.

Please come by and celebrate our Winthrop Graduates and their legacies by perusing the May Archives’ Exhibit on Winthrop’s Commencement Exercises. The exhibit will be available for viewing through the end of May during regular Archives hours. (8:30-5:00, M-T, 8:30-12:00, F).

For more information on the exhibit or Winthrop Commencement, please contact the Archives at (803) 323-2334 or e-mail archives@winthrop.edu.

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