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... documenting the history of the University of Delaware

Past Commencements – Speakers

Several years are missing from the sequence of commencements. Between 1860 and 1869, Delaware College was closed, and no commencements were held. After 1924, the Women’s College no longer held separate commencements. Rather, joint ceremonies were held from that year until the final merger of the men’s and women’s colleges in 1945.

Several speakers’ names are missing from this list, particularly for Newark and Delaware Colleges. Unfortunately, the records of commencement exercises during the nineteenth century do not allow for the full reconstruction of this data. Additionally it has not been possible to determine the date of commencement in 1851, 1852, and 1853.

Complete List of Commencement Speakers

Year Commencement Date Commencement Speaker Institution
1836 September 28, 1836 Unknown Newark College
1838 September 28, 1838 Unknown Newark College
1839 September 25, 1839 Unknown Newark College
1840 September 23, 1840 Unknown Newark College
1841 September 21, 1841 Unknown Newark College
1842 September 28, 1842 Unknown Newark College
1843 September 27, 1843 Unknown Delaware College
1844 July 17, 1844 Unknown Delaware College
1845 June 25, 1845 Unknown Delaware College
1846 July 15, 1846 Unknown Delaware College
1847 July 21, 1847 Unknown Delaware College
1848 July 19, 1848 Unknown Delaware College
1849 July 18, 1849 Unknown Delaware College
1851 Unknown Unknown Delaware College
1852 Unknown Unknown Delaware College
1853 Unknown Unknown Delaware College
1854 July 19, 1854 Unknown Delaware College
1855 July 4, 1855 Unknown Delaware College
1856 July 2, 1856 Unknown Delaware College
1857 July 1, 1857 Unknown Delaware College
1858 July 7, 1858 Unknown Delaware College
1871 July 5, 1871 Thomas Francis Bayard Sr. Delaware College
1872 July 3, 1872 Unknown Delaware College
1873 June 18, 1873 Unknown Delaware College
1874 June 17, 1874 William H. Wahl Delaware College
1875 June 16, 1875 Montgomery C. Blair Delaware College
1876 June 21, 1876 John W. Crisfield Delaware College
1877 June 20, 1877 Unknown Delaware College
1878 June 19, 1878 Unknown Delaware College
1879 June 18, 1879 Unknown Delaware College
1880 June 16, 1880 Unknown Delaware College
1881 June 15, 1881 Unknown Delaware College
1882 June 21, 1882 Unknown Delaware College
1883 June 20, 1883 Thomas N. Williams Delaware College
1884 June 18, 1884 William F. Causey Delaware College
1885 June 17, 1885 Unknown Delaware College
1886 June 16, 1886 John Hollis Caldwell Delaware College
1887 June 15, 1887 Unknown Delaware College
1888 June 20, 1888 Charles Brown Lore Delaware College
1889 June 19, 1889 Unknown Delaware College
1890 June 18, 1890 Unknown Delaware College
1891 June 17, 1891 Unknown Delaware College
1892 June 15, 1892 Unknown Delaware College
1893 June 21, 1893 Unknown Delaware College
1894 June 20, 1894 Unknown Delaware College
1895 June 19, 1895 Unknown Delaware College
1896 June 17, 1896 Unknown Delaware College
1897 June 16, 1897 Howard Pyle Delaware College
1898 June 15, 1898 John Bassett Moore Delaware College
1899 June 21, 1899 H. B. B. Stapler Delaware College
1900 June 20, 1900 John Bassett Moore Delaware College
1901 June 19, 1901 James Pennewill Delaware College
1902 June 18, 1902 John R. Nicholson Delaware College
1903 June 17, 1903 James Wilson Delaware College
1904 June 15, 1904 Henry C. Conrad Delaware College
1905 June 21, 1905 John Biggs Delaware College
1906 June 20, 1906 Henry Ridgeley Jr. Delaware College
1907 June 19, 1907 Herbert H. Ward Delaware College
1908 June 17, 1908 Edward Noble Vallandigham Delaware College
1909 June 16, 1909 Victor B. Woolley Delaware College
1910 June 15, 1910 Alexander C. Humphreys Delaware College
1911 June 21, 1911 William T. Smithers Delaware College
1912 June 19, 1912 Charles W. Heuisler Delaware College
1913 June 19, 1913 Robert H. Richards Delaware College
1914 June 17, 1914 Joseph Taylor Robinson Delaware College
1915 June 9, 1915 Charles F. Thwing Delaware College
1916 June 14, 1916 John Bassett Moore Delaware College
1917 June 13, 1917 Elisha Lee Delaware College
1918 June 10, 1918 William Howard Taft Delaware College
1918 June 10, 1918 Anna Howard Shaw Women’s College of Delaware
1919 June 9, 1919 John Skelton Williams Delaware College
1919 June 9, 1919 Emma Doll Bailey Speer Women’s College of Delaware
1920 June 14, 1920 Thomas Nelson Page Delaware College
1920 June 14, 1920 Elizabeth Kemper Adams Women’s College of Delaware
1921 June 13, 1921 William Lyon Phelps University of Delaware
1921 June 13, 1921 Nancy M. Schoonmaker Women’s College of Delaware
1922 June 12, 1922 Irvine Luther Lenroot University of Delaware
1922 June 12, 1922 Amy Reed Women’s College of Delaware
1923 June 11, 1923 Jules Jusserand University of Delaware
1923 June 11, 1923 Isabel Prentiss Nichols Women’s College of Delaware
1924 June 9, 1924 Thomas S. Baker University of Delaware
1925 June 8, 1925 Henry T. Allen University of Delaware
1926 June 7, 1926 Michael Idvorsky Pupin University of Delaware
1927 June 13, 1927 Carl E. Milliken University of Delaware
1928 June 11, 1928 Paul Claudel University of Delaware
1929 June 10, 1929 Dexter S. Kimball University of Delaware
1930 June 9, 1930 Roland Sletor Morris University of Delaware
1931 June 8, 1931 George Pierce Baker University of Delaware
1932 June 13, 1932 Herbert Adams Gibbons University of Delaware
1933 June 12, 1933 Howard McClenahan University of Delaware
1934 June 11, 1934 Josiah H. Penniman University of Delaware
1935 June 10, 1935 Elisha Conover University of Delaware
1936 June 8, 1936 Walter Hullihen University of Delaware
1937 June 7, 1937 Wilbur Owen Sypherd University of Delaware
1938 June 6, 1938 Winifred Robinson University of Delaware
1939 June 5, 1939 George E. Dutton University of Delaware
1940 June 3, 1940 Robert L. Spencer University of Delaware
1941 June 9, 1941 George H. Ryden University of Delaware
1942 June 8, 1942 Ned Bliss Allen University of Delaware
1943 April 25, 1943 J. S. Ladd Thomas University of Delaware
1943 December 19, 1943 Henry Smith Leiper University of Delaware
1944 August 20, 1944 Joseph S. Gould University of Delaware
1944 December 20, 1944 Paul Swain Havens University of Delaware
1945 July 1, 1945 John Milton Fogg Jr. University of Delaware
1946 June 17, 1946 Henry Seidel Canby University of Delaware
1947 June 9, 1947 Thomas Raymond McConnell University of Delaware
1948 June 7, 1948 Theodore C. Blegen University of Delaware
1949 June 5, 1949 Detlev Wulf Bronk University of Delaware
1950 June 4, 1950 William Samuel Carlson University of Delaware
1951 June 3, 1951 Ward I. Miller University of Delaware
1952 June 8, 1952 James Miller Tunnell Jr. University of Delaware
1953 June 14, 1953 Albert Edmund Forster University of Delaware
1953 September 20, 1953 Robert Silliman Hillyer University of Delaware
1954 June 13, 1954 Bessie B. Collins University of Delaware
1955 June 5, 1955 Alfred Hector Williams University of Delaware
1956 June 3, 1956 Clarence A. Southerland University of Delaware
1957 June 2, 1957 John Alanson Perkins University of Delaware
1958 June 8, 1958 Isaac James Quillen University of Delaware
1959 June 14, 1959 Herbert Hayman Lank University of Delaware
1960 June 12, 1960 John Biggs Jr. University of Delaware
1961 June 11, 1961 Wilmarth S. Lewis University of Delaware
1962 June 10, 1962 Carl John Rees University of Delaware
1963 June 9, 1963 James E. Webb University of Delaware
1964 June 7, 1964 Ralph Winfred Tyler University of Delaware
1965 June 13, 1965 Caryl Parker Haskins University of Delaware
1966 June 12, 1966 Frederick Seitz University of Delaware
1967 June 11, 1967 John Williams Macy Jr. University of Delaware
1968 June 9, 1968 William Maurice Ewing University of Delaware
1969 June 8, 1969 Elizabeth Beatty McCubbin University of Delaware
1970 June 7, 1970 William McChesney Martin University of Delaware
1971 May 30, 1971 Robert L. Bull University of Delaware
1972 May 27, 1972 Sander Vanocur University of Delaware
1973 May 26, 1973 Jacqueline G. Wexler University of Delaware
1974 May 25, 1974 Elliot L. Richardson University of Delaware
1975 June 7, 1975 John A. Munroe University of Delaware
1976 June 5, 1976 Daniel L. Herrmann University of Delaware
1977 June 4, 1977 Samuel Lenher University of Delaware
1978 June 3, 1978 Joseph R. Biden Jr. University of Delaware
1979 June 2, 1979 Bella S. Abzug University of Delaware
1980 May 31, 1980 R. Buckminster Fuller University of Delaware
1981 June 6, 1981 James R. Soles University of Delaware
1982 June 5, 1982 Pierre S. Du Pont IV University of Delaware
1983 June 4, 1983 Eugene V. Rostow University of Delaware
1984 January 8, 1984 Leonard L. Williams University of Delaware
1984 June 2, 1984 Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. University of Delaware
1985 January 6, 1984 Denis C. Carey University of Delaware
1985 June 8, 1985 Ellen Goodman University of Delaware
1986 January 5, 1986 Lodewijk Van Den Berg University of Delaware
1986 June 1, 1986 Alex Haley University of Delaware
1987 January 4, 1987 Thomas A. Turcol University of Delaware
1987 May 31, 1987 Joseph R. Biden Jr. University of Delaware
1988 January 3, 1988 James F. Kearns University of Delaware
1988 May 29, 1988 Howard K. Smith University of Delaware
1989 January 8, 1989 Elbert C. Wisner University of Delaware
1989 May 28, 1989 Ed Bradley University of Delaware
1990 January 6, 1990 Linda F. Winfield University of Delaware
1990 May 27, 1990 Malcolm ‘Steve’ Forbes Jr. University of Delaware
1991 January 5, 1991 Bruce Evans Jarrell University of Delaware
1991 June 1, 1991 Ann Compton University of Delaware
1992 January 4, 1992 Paula L. Gavin University of Delaware
1992 May 30, 1992 Edwin Newman University of Delaware
1993 January 9, 1993 Andrew M. Stern University of Delaware
1993 May 29, 1993 Ken Burns University of Delaware
1994 January 8, 1994 Susan Stroman University of Delaware
1994 May 28, 1994 Thomas Clancy University of Delaware
1995 January 7, 1995 Sue Lewis Robinson University of Delaware
1995 May 27, 1995 Allen H. Neuharth University of Delaware
1996 January 6, 1996 Thomas R. Carper University of Delaware
1996 May 25, 1996 Maya Angelou University of Delaware
1997 January 4, 1997 Ronald H. Haines University of Delaware
1997 May 31, 1997 Georgie Anne Geyer University of Delaware
1998 January 3, 1998 Robert V. A. Harra Jr. University of Delaware
1998 May 30, 1998 William Raspberry University of Delaware
1999 January 9, 1999 Charles Lewis University of Delaware
1999 May 29, 1999 Louis J. Freeh University of Delaware
2000 January 8, 2000 Leonard P. Stark University of Delaware
2000 May 27, 2000 Benjamin S. Carson Sr. University of Delaware
2001 January 6, 2001 Carol E. Hoffecker University of Delaware
2001 May 26, 2001 David McCullough University of Delaware
2002 January 5, 2002 Jacqueline Jones University of Delaware
2002 May 25, 2002 Harold ‘Tubby’ Raymond University of Delaware
2003 January 4, 2003 Leo Edward Strine Jr. University of Delaware
2003 May 31, 2003 George J. Mitchell University of Delaware
2004 January 10, 2004 Christopher J. Christie University of Delaware
2004 May 29, 2004 Joseph R. Biden Jr. University of Delaware
2005 January 8, 2005 Jo Anne Bryant Barnhart University of Delaware
2005 May 28, 2005 Jeff Shaara University of Delaware
2006 January 7, 2006 William B. Chandler III University of Delaware
2006 May 27, 2006 Ron Chernow University of Delaware
2007 January 6, 2007 Leonard P. Stark University of Delaware
2007 May 26, 2007 William P. Kupper, Jr. University of Delaware
2008 January 5, 2008 Thomas R. Carper University of Delaware
2008 May 31, 2008 Cal Ripken, Jr. University of Delaware
2009 January 10, 2009 Mary Patterson McPherson University of Delaware
2009 May 30, 2009 Thomas L. Friedman University of Delaware
2010 January 9, 2010 Jill Biden University of Delaware
2010 May 29, 2010 Catherine Bertini University of Delaware
2011 January 9, 2011 Chris Christie University of Delaware
2011 May 28, 2011 Mike Castle University of Delaware
2012 January 8, 2012 Robert McCraken Peck University of Delaware
2012 May 26, 2012 Soledad O’Brien University of Delaware
2013 January 6, 2013 Lawrence (Larry) F. Probst, III University of Delaware
2013 May 25, 2013 Paul Farmer University of Delaware
2014 January 12, 2014 Liz Ann Sonders University of Delaware
2014 May 31, 2014 Joseph Biden University of Delaware
2015 May 30, 2015 David DeWalt University of Delaware
2016 May 28, 2016 Bryan Stevenson University of Delaware
2017 May 27, 2017 Jack Markell University of Delaware
2018 May 26, 2018 Steve Mosko University of Delaware
2019 June 1, 2019 Matt Nagy University of Delaware