So That All May Learn - The Story of the Springfield Public Schools


1892 Graduating ClassFor those people who think that commencement exercises are too long today, pity those attending such programs before the turn of the century: the length of the program was measured in days instead of hours.

An example is the seventeenth commencement from Springfield High School in 1891 as recalled in a program from the event.

That program was held at Perkins Grand, a local theater, and ran the afternoons and evenings of May 20 and 21.

It appears that just about all of the 54 members of the graduating class that year had some part in the ceremony, either through individual presentations or musical groups.

Topics for the essays and orations given during the two-day program were not unlike some of those that might be used today.

Included were such topics as "Looking Out For Number One," "Social Decadence," "Menace of Poverty," "Woman¼s Aim in Life," "Fads," "Menace of Wealth," "Intellectual Progress of Women," "Height of Governmental Power," "Practical Education," and "Environments" to name a few.

In all, during the two days there were 27 essays read, 25 orations delivered, and 14 musical numbers performed by individual or musical groups before the festivities closed with an address and presentation of diplomas by Mayor J. B. Merwin.

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