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Patriotic graduation

Patriotic graduation

Staff September 20, 2022
Old photo of the 1914 graduation at UD, then known as St. Mary's College. Ceremony in the old gym.
June 16, 1914. Photo courtesy of University Archives.


On Tuesday, June 16, 1914, the crowd gathered in the historic gym of College Hall and sang in one loud voice “America,” as nearly 450 underclassmen and special guests celebrated graduation at our school, then known as St. Mary’s College. 

While most of the 67 seniors seated on a stage draped with American flags were graduating from the “high school department,” three received their collegiate degrees, a Bachelor of Arts: Robert Sherry, Frank Smith and Frank Thill, who delivered the valedictory on the value of college training and offered encouragement to his classmates. (See Page 279 of The Exponent for names of all graduates, available online thanks to donations during One Day, One Dayton.) 

Among the other speakers that day was Monsignor Thomas C. O’Reilly, chancellor of the Diocese of Cleveland: “There is no greater force in our land for the maintaining of a sound American citizenship than the Catholic college, because it teaches the principles on which American citizenship is founded and by which it is conserved.”

Comfortable ritual