Schedule of Events for Commencement, 1916

If you think you’re tired now, check this out. They had a tennis tournament! A Farewell Meeting! (That must have been a tear fest.) They had a Final Ball!

First commencement program of events 056

Sorry it’s cockeyed. No time to fix it.

Oh by the way, I happen to have right here the program for the Final Ball:

First commencement ball program   053

The most interesting thing about it is the list of patrons so I’ll show you the whole thing:

First commencement ball patrons 1    054

First commencement ball patrons 2    055

A query: Notice that the dance on Friday is called a “Senior German.” Some dances during this era were called “German” and others “American.” I haven’t been able to figure out what these designations meant. Does anyone out there know?

Bonus: Almost ready.


Here’s how they do it:


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8 Responses to Schedule of Events for Commencement, 1916

  1. Gary Chiles says:

    I Googled the term “college German dance 1916” and got this:
    which leads me to believe that the term “German dance” was in common use at the time. The picture is of a dance card from a 1916 dance at William and Mary. I tried again with Google and that led me to Wikipedia, where under the entry for “prom” in the section on customs in other countries, it says that in Germany “Alcohol is available at these events since the legal drinking age in Germany is 16 (for beer and wine), and most graduating students are 18 or older.” So if I had to guess, I would say that a “German” dance is one where alcohol was served and an “American” dance may be one without alcohol. But that’s just a guess. The only problem with that theory is that the program for commencement says that the Senior German starts at 10 a.m. It’s possible that Rice students from 1916 weren’t that different from students today, which meant moving a party to 10 a.m. to keep the drinking under control.

  2. Ann Pound Hopkins says:

    I’ve seen the program so I must have a copy of that as well, Melissa. I guess it’s time to go through my boxes again and see what I can bring to you.

  3. rbrazile says:

    I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Already tending to grumble that the festivities have expanded from my era. My daughter agrees, although I’m sure she’s tired of hearing me gripe about it…

  4. Kathleen Amen '71 says:

    A club here that presents debutantes is called the German Club and the party where they’re presented in the fall is the Opening German. I was always told it was a dance term, and had a fantasy that it meant a German folk dance with lederhosen and dirndls. 😎

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