Commencement: A Look Back

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Though Georgia Tech’s first students enrolled 127 years ago, the Institute celebrates its 250th Commencement exercises this December. As the celebration approaches, we look back at Commencements through the years. In some ways much has changed, but variations on the earliest traditions remain.

Tech celebrated its first Commencement on June 18, 1890, with two graduates. Prior to the ceremony, the Georgia School of Technology opened the doors of its shops to the public for students to show guests what they had been working over the course of the year. This public viewing remained part of Tech’s graduation activities for many years following, and a semblance of this tradition lives on in Tech’s Capstone Design Expo and other year-end presentations that take place throughout campus today.

Take a look back at Commencement from the beginning.



  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Kristen Bailey
  • Created:11/30/2015
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:05/26/2022