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The Book of the Oath Records

 Collection
Identifier: AC 0636
The Book of the Oath Records consist of the Book of the Oath, with signatures from the graduating classes from 1920-1964; correspondence concerning having the book made by Thumler & Rutherford in San Francisco; engraved copies of the Oath, a "Nevada Newsletter" article about President Walter E. Clark and the creation of the book, minutes from the Board of Regents concerning discontinuing having graduating students sign the book, and an issue of "Christian Education," Vol. 8, no. 7 (April 1925) that contains an article about the oath.

Dates

  • 1920-1965

Creator

Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Extent

1 Cubic Feet (2 boxes, 5 folders)

Abstract

The Book of the Oath records consist of the Book of the Oath, with signatures from the graduating classes from 1920-1964; along with correspondence and an article concerning the creation of the book, minutes from the Board of Regents concerning discontinuing having graduating students sign the book, and an 1925 issue of "Christian Education” with an article about the oath.

Administrative History

After becoming the fifth president of the University of Nevada, Dr. Walter E. Clark created the "Book of the Oath" in 1920 to convey his concept of the core purpose of college education. He wanted the book to become a permanent record of the pledge to service and high ideals of each successive class of graduates for one hundred years. The Class of 1920 began a university tradition, with each graduating senior being asked to sign the Book of the Oath at the end of each commencement ceremony. In signing the oath, each graduate promised life-long loyalty to liberty, equality and justice. The book, with one hundred vellum leaves, was bound in the university's colors, with blue morocco leather and silk linings. Its hinges, clasp, and corners are silver. It was made by Thumler & Rutherford of San Francisco. The oath was printed in the "Biennial report of the Board of regents of the state University of Nevada" in January 1921 (University of Nevada Bulletin, Vol. XV, no. 1).

At the January 23, 1965, Board of Regents meeting, University President Charles J. Armstrong explained that the increase in the number of graduates and the necessity of conducting two separate commencement ceremonies made it difficult to obtain the signatures for what many students and faculty considered to be an archaic ritual. He recommended that the administering of the Oath at commencement and the signing of the Book of the Oath be discontinued. The motion was carried unanimously that the signing of the Book of the Oath be discontinued and the Book be placed in the University Archives, but that the administering of the Oath to the graduates be continued. As a result, the last signatures in the book are from the Class of 1964.

Arrangement

The Book of the Oath records have been divided into the following series:

1. The Book of the Oath

2. Miscellaneous Material

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transfer from the Office of the President. Received: 1965.

Related Materials

Related University Archives Photograph Collections:

UNRA-P32/1-2

UNRA-P641/60-62
Title
A Guide to The Book of the Oath Records
Status
completed
Author
Betty Glass
Date
September 4, 2012
Description rules
dacs

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. University Archives Repository

Contact:
Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno NV 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5665
775-682-5724 (Fax)