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By Amanda Ilg and Micah Mertes
With commencement this month, we dipped into the Archives to learn more about Creighton graduations past.
In the process, we collected quite a few photos (ranging from 1891 to just last year). The images came from a few history books, World-Herald editions, Bluejay yearbook photo collages and, more recently, from excellent photographers like Dave Weaver, Jim Fackler and AJ Olnes.
And a huge shoutout to Thomas Haggstrom and Greg Hollins — with the Reinert Alumni and Health Science libraries — for finding and sharing so many of these amazing photos in the University Archives. Features like this wouldn't be possible without them.
(Please consider making a gift to the Archives and supporting the preservation of Creighton’s story for generations to come.)
To some degree, the collection serves as a sort of visual history of Creighton's growth and evolution, with scenes of commencement taking place at multiple venues — from the Old Gym to Creighton Stadium to the Civic Auditorium to the CHI Heath Center Omaha of today.
So grab your cap and gown, and enjoy the procession. Happy commencement, Creighton.
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Before we get started, we wanted to share a fun fact we learned pouring through old photos. Did you know a former U.S. President received a Creighton degree?
In 1962, former President Harry S. Truman was awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Laws. Here he is posing with his degree alongside then-Creighton President the Very Rev. Henry Linn, SJ (left), and the Rev. Richard Harrington, SJ, University Academic Vice President at the time. (Truman received the degree at the annual Alpha Sigma Nu lecture, not at the 1962 commencement event.)
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The first graduates
The earliest image of commencement we could find was an 1891 photo of Creighton's first graduating class. Learn why it took the University 13 years to produce its first graduates.
Here's some actual video from 1939 commencement. (See more old-timey video here.)
1940s and '50s
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