A Sense of Place: Historical Commencement Photos

Some of Dartmouth’s most beloved landmarks and iconic buildings can be seen in photographs taken during commencement celebrations from the late 19th century and into the 20th century.



1887 Class Day in the Bema
Circa 1887. Spectators and graduates listen to class day speeches at the newly constructed Bema.


1894, commencement
1894. A commencement scene in front of Dartmouth Hall. Rollins Chapel can be seen in the background.


Class Day, 1895
1895. Crowds congregate on the Green on class day.


1900s Class Day
Early 1900s. A crowd assembles outside College Hall, constructed in 1902, on class day. The building, known today as Collis Center, replaced the A.P. Balch Mansion, which burned down in 1900.


Old Pine, 1895
1895. Graduates encircle the Old Pine after the completion of class day exercises in the Bema. Shattuck Observatory can be seen in the background.


Commencement 1903
1903. Graduates march to the Bema. Shattuck Observatory and Bartlett Tower can be seen in the background.


1906 Commencement, North FAyerweather
Circa 1907. Commencement onlookers follow graduates returning from the Bema toward the newly rebuilt Dartmouth Hall. North Fayerweather, seen to the left, was completed in 1907.


Webster Hall, Commencement 1908
1908. Completed in 1907, Webster Hall was the site of commencement from 1908 through 1930.


1913 Dartmouth Hall
1913. Graduates and onlookers gather in front of Dartmouth Hall.


Class Day 1919
1919. Graduates listen to Robert Proctor, Class of 1919, deliver “class prophecies” during class day exercises on June 23, 1919, in the Bema.

All photos courtesy of the Dartmouth Library.