University Commencement Records

Identifier: AC 0693

Scope and Contents

Collection contains commencement programs and related material as well as Honorary Degrees and Distinguished Nevadans, from 1889 to the current time. Some additional information on special graduation ceremonies is also included, as well as commencement scripts from President Joe Crowley.

Commencement programs only reflect the names of those who indicated they would be participating at the event. The programs do not include the names of all those graduating.


  • 1889-2020


Conditions Governing Access

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.

Historical Note

The first commencement ceremony was held by the Nevada State University in 1889; three students received their degrees that year. All three graduates delivered speeches before receiving their Bachelor of Arts, conferred by the president of the University, S. A. Jones. The over 2.5-hour ceremony was held in the McKissick Opera House in Reno, Nevada with music played by a full orchestra.

Over the years, commencement has changed as the University changed. Currently, commencement is held twice a year, in the winter and spring, at the University. Winter Commencement takes place in Lawlor Events Center, while Spring Commencement is held on the University's historic quad. Due to the number of graduates, the Spring ceremony is held over the course of multiple days.


6 Linear Feet (12 boxes)

Language of Materials



Commencement programs and related material. Honorary Degrees. Distinguished Nevadans, from 1889 to the current time. Some newspaper clippings, including coverage of the Hindu Baccalaureate service.


Arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Commencement programs obtained from faculty and staff attendees of the events through time, along with periodic transfers from University Events (2012, 2015).

Related Materials

Related archival materials held by University Archives:

For information on early Commercial and Normal School commencement ceremonies, see NUB 23/03/09.

Guide to the University Commencement Records
Jessica Maddox
August 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

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

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