University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the UT Commencement Records, 1884-2012

Descriptive Summary

Creator: UT Commencement
Title: UT Commencement Records
Dates: 1884-2010
Abstract: The UT Commencement Records, 1884-2010, contain programs, an invitation, and audiovisual material concerning the University of Texas at Austin’s graduation commencements.
Accession No.: 63-014; 64-012; 66-031; 66-112; 66-188; 67-120; 67-176; 68-024; 69-011; 69-055; 93-292; 84-048; 96-247; 97-008; 97-173; 97-191; 98-243; 98-308; 99-243; 2006-047; 2011-035; 2012-228; 2013-207
Extent: ca. 5 ft.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Historical Note

The University of Texas at Austin (UT) opened in 1883 with eight professors, four assistants, a proctor, and 221 male and female students. The first set of graduates, consisting of thirteen law students, attended UT commencement on June 14, 1884. By World War I, enrollment rose to 2,254 and by World War II to over 11,000. African Americans were admitted in 1950, and by 1966, there were 27,345 students. Over the next 40 years, the university continued to expand. In 2009 enrollment reached over 50,000, ranking it as one of the top ten largest public universities, and the number of degrees conferred totaled 12,861.


Berry, Margaret C. UT History 101: Highlights of the History of the University of Texas. Austin, Texas: Eakin Press, 1997.

Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "University of Texas at Austin", (accessed July 14, 2010).

National Center for Education Statistics. "Fast Facts: Enrollment of the 20 largest degree-granting college and university campuses, Fall 2007." U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences. (accessed July 14, 2010).

Office of Information Management and Analysis. "2009-2010 Statistical Handbook." University of Texas at Austin. (accessed July 14, 2010).

Scope and Contents

The UT Commencement Records, 1884-2012, contain programs, an invitation, and audiovisual material documenting the University of Texas at Austin’s graduation commencements. The programs, 1884-1968, 1990, 2010-2012, describe the commencement ceremonies and identify graduates, while the audiotapes, VHS, betacam, CDs, and DVDs, 1957-1967, 1990-1998, 2010-2012, record and depict the speeches and guests at the ceremonies. Additionally, the collection contains copies of addresses delivered at the commencements and an 1897 invitation to the commencement ball.


Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use of some audiovisual material requires appointment; please contact sound archivist.

Index Terms

Subjects (Organizations)
University of Texas at Austin -- Archives.
Commencement ceremonies -- Texas -- Austin.
Education, Higher -- Texas -- Austin.
Austin (Tex.) -- History.

Related Material

See also UT President’s Office Records.

See also UT Ephemera Collection.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

UT Commencement Records, 1884-2012, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

Revised by Laurel Rozema, July 2010 and March 2011.

Detailed Description of the Papers


Commencement Ball invitation, 1897

2N340 Commencement Ball invitation, 1897


Addresses, 1940

4R40 Addresses Delivered at the Fifty-eighth Annual June Commencement Exercises, June 2 and 3, 1940



2R277 1884-1933
4R101 1890-1929
2K160 12th commencement, June 16-19, 1895
3K447 June 9, 1919
2R278 1920-1948
4R100 1930-1939
2R279 1950, 1953-1960
2D339 Press releases and program, June 4, 1966
3H340 85th annual spring commencement, June 1, 1968
4R101 Program, 1990
Program and DVD, 2010
Program and DVD, 2011
Program and DVD, 2012
4Q271 Program, DVD, fan, map, flyer, 2013


Audiovisual recordings:

2.325/S Audiotapes, 1957
4R310 Audiotapes, 1958, 1959, 1961, 1962
4R311 Audiotapes, 1963-1965
CD of Pres. Lyndon Johnson’s commencement address at the Austin Municipal Audiotorium, May 30, 1964
(copy of original reel-to-reel tape)
2.325/S57 Audiotape, 1967
2.325/S20 Audiotapes, 1994-1996
2.325/S21 Audiotapes, 1997-1999
3W112 Videotapes and betacam, 1991, 1997-1998
3W100b Videotapes, 1990-1998
2X300a DVD duplicates:
Commencement video, 1992 (DV_00209, DV_00210)