Woodward Academy Crest 



Collection # DRT-250.5-001   

GMA Graduation Invitations, 1910-1965  

Main Entry: Development Office                      Volume: 60 Items 

Biographical/Historical Note: 
          Although it is uncertain exactly who was in charge of graduation plans for GMA, the events were probably handled by the President’s Office.  Commencement was one of the highlights of the school year and encompassed three or four days of activities.  During World War II, all schools were encouraged to accelerate graduation.  For this reason, GMA held continuous school, allowing some cadets to graduate in two or three years.  Graduation, therefore, was held at different intervals. 
          In the mid-1930s Col. Woodward initiated a Post-Graduate program for students who needed additional military or academic training to qualify for the Service Academies.  Post-Graduates were included in graduation exercises from 1935 until about 1944.  In 1940 a GMA Junior College was created by Col. Brewster, so that post-graduate cadets who were meeting college standards would receive college credit.  Accredited in 1951, the Junior College remained in operation until 1953.  Junior College graduates were also included in the regular graduation exercises from 1943 to 1945 and 1947 to 1953. 

Scope and Content: 
          Arranged in chronological order, this 60 item collection is composed of printed graduation invitations, 1910-1960, 1965.  The invitations include a commencement program and a senior class roster,  as well as a calendar of graduation-related events spanning a period of three or four days.  Graduation celebration often included student orations, lower grade declamations, military parades, dances, variety shows, and Governing Board meetings.  Of special interest, in 1930 and 1934 Junior-Senior debates were held.  The 1930 graduation invitation announced the debate topic: “Query: That the chain-store system is detrimental to the best interest of the American People.”  According to the 1934 invitation, the debate topic was: “Resolved: That the Postmaster General acted for the best interest of the government in canceling the Air-Mail Contracts.”  During World II, graduation events were abridged and moved up to April. 
          Post-Graduate rosters were included in the invitations 1935-1936 and 1938-1944.  Junior College graduates were listed in the invitations 1943-1945 and 1947-1953.  The 1965 invitation no longer included the senior class roster.  Also included in the collection is one invitation (with menu) to the Annual Banquet for the Junior-Senior Classes, Dec.13, 1920, the Capital City Club. 

Subject Headings: 
          Presidents  30.0 
          Post-Graduate Students  220.3 
          Junior College Students  220.4

All pages Copyright © 2002 Woodward Academy.