PRIMARY SOURCES ONLINE
Selected University of Pennsylvania Commencement Programs are available on-line in PDF (Portable Document File) format. Included are the opening pages or entire programs for June commencements from 1925 to the present as well as entire programs for selected earlier years.
Commencement Notes, historical accounts of the University published in each Commencement Program from 1985 to the present are also available online in searchable PDF format.
For a full list of programs, see the Inventory of the Commencement and Convocation Program Collection (19 pages, 45 kb).
Commencement Programs available on line:
The Commencement programs of 1999 through 2016 measured 8.5 by 11 inches. They were perfect bound and varied in length from 76 pages (2014) to 84 pages (2004-2006 and 2011).
The Commencement programs of 1993 through 1998 measured 8.5 by 11 inches. They were perfect bound and of uniform length, each extending to 96 pages.
The Commencement programs of 1990 through 1992 measured 8 by 11 inches. They were bound by saddle stitch. The 1992 edition was the largest, extending to 84 pages.
1925 - 1989
The Commencement programs of 1948 through 1989 measured 8 by 11 inches. They were bound by saddle stitch. These programs varied in length from 40 pages (1948) to 96 pages (1965).
The Commencement programs of 1925 through 1947 measured 6 by 9 inches and were bound by saddle stitch. These programs varied in length from 18 pages (1945) to 46 pages (1940).
* Program cover autographed by the Honorary Degree recipients
** Scanned from photocopy of original
A general history of Commencement at the University of Pennsylvania, by Mark Frazier Lloyd
(from the 1995 program)
A general history of Academic Costume at the University of Pennsylvania, by Mark Frazier Lloyd
(from the 1996 program)
Trustees Resolutions on the Red and Blue Ph.D. Gown
(from the Trustees Minutes for 10 May 1963 and 14 February 1964)
Trustees update on the wearing of the Red and Blue Gown
(from the Trustees Minutes for 22 March 2007)