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June 9, 1936

President MacCracken conferred the bachelor’s degree on the largest graduating class in the history of the college, the 303 members of the Class of 1936. The ceremony so crowded the Chapel that some members of the faculty could not be accommodated. W. Bancroft Hill, professor of biblical literature, gave the invocation, and Dr. Alan Valentine, president of the University of Rochester, delivered the commencement address.

Dr. Valentine was wary of the widely hailed advances for women. An “education in living,” he said, “was an education that found courses in psychology of little avail in making husbands more tractable.” And, he added, votes for women “have achieved few of the reforms for which its advocates hoped, and none of the horrors its opponents predicted.” On balance, women “did not find the ballot so potent or business so spiritually compatible as they had expected.” Dr. Valentine urged the graduates to rely on the habit of “critical analysis” learned in college to assess the “many nostrums, political, economic and even religious, that will be peddled to your doors.”

Gifts to the college during the year totaled $356,345, and “the first movement of a string quartet” by Ruth Nolan ’36 earned the silver cup for the senior class as the best musical composition of the year.

The New York Times

The Years