And The Band Played On

The first Commencement Ceremony at Virginia Tech in 1873 didn't have any graduates. The exercises, which began on Sunday, July 6th, marked the end of the first year and lasted for four days. They included religious ceremonies, inspections, orations by students, and a review of the cadets. They ended the following Wednesday night, when Virginia Gov. Gilbert C. Walker delivered the commencement address. The first students—who received certificates, not degrees—didn't actually graduate until Aug. 11, 1875.

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