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Kent State Marks 100 Years Since First Commencement

Posted Aug. 4, 2014
enter photo description
John McGilvrey, president of Kent State Normal School
(now Kent State University) and faculty members pose
with the first graduating class on the steps of Merrill Hall
in 1914.

(Photo Credit: Kent State's Department of Special
Collections and Archives)

One hundred years ago on July 29, 1914, Kent State University held its first Commencement. On that day, the first graduating class of 34 earned their diplomas, all teaching degrees.  Governor of the State of Ohio James M. Cox delivered the Commencement address. *In his address to about 3,000 students, faculty and parents, Cox described Kent Normal School (now Kent State University) as a great institution and a model to other institutions in Ohio.

More than 214,000 students have earned degrees from Kent State since that first Commencement in 1914.

For more information about Commencement at Kent State, visit

* Hildebrand, W. H. (2009). A Most Noble Enterprise: The Story of Kent State University, 1910-2010. Kent, Ohio: The Kent State University Press.