Warhawk Almanac: First Summer Commencement

            In the late 1950s and the early 1960s Wisconsin State College – Whitewater, (UW-Whitewater), saw an increase in student enrollment and graduation rates. With the influx of students, the college saw a need not only for extra dormitories and staff but also for another graduation ceremony. WSC-W held its first formal summer graduation ceremony on Thursday, August 1, 1963, to accommodate the number of students earning their degrees.

Summer Commencement Stage
Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI.

            One hundred thirty-three students received their degrees at the ceremony. Wisconsin State College held its summer commencement at 2:30pm in the college auditorium. Students received a variety of degrees including Bachelor of Education (Kindergarten-Primary, Elementary Education, Academic, Business Education), Bachelor of Science (Business Administration), and, Bachelor of Arts (Liberal Arts). After the ceremony, a reception for the graduates and their guests was held at the student union.[1]

Graduate with Salisbury Bust
Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI.

            Wisconsin State College – Whitewater hosted guest speaker Dr. John A. Kinneman to speak at the summer commencement ceremony on the “Values in a Changing Society”.[2] The Whitewater Register reported on Dr. Kinneman’s speech and quoted “Good teaching is derived from selecting and analyzing those materials which provide functional insight to many facets of our culture. We must stimulate learners to an understanding of the society in which we have. If we can’t grow in grave, let’s increase, at least, our wisdom.”[3] Dr. Kinneman had retired two months prior from the Illinois State Normal University, now Illinois State University. Dr. Kinneman was the department chair of social sciences for ten years and worked at ISNU for thirty-six years.[4]   

John A. Kinneman
Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI.


[1] “Largest Summer Class To Get Degrees,” Royal Purple (Whitewater, WI.) July 30, 1963.

[2] “Dr. Kinneman To Speak at Graduation,” Royal Purple (Whitewater, WI.) July 30, 1963.

[3] “’Know Why You Came’ Speaker Tells College Summer Grads,” The Whitewater Register,(Whitewater, WI.) July 30, 1963.

[4] “College Graduation Services Are Slated This Afternoon,” Whitewater Register (Whitewater, WI.) August 1, 1963.

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