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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained
The following bit of interesting information about the first man who was graduated from Harvard is taken from the Cambridge Tribune:
The history of Newbury says: Nine bachelors commenced at Cambridge, young men of good hope. In September, 16-12, it was the first class that was graduated at Harvard College. The first graduate was Benjamin Woodbridge of New bury. From the first Commencement in 1652, till 1773. degrees were conferred on the students, and their names arranged in the catalogue, not according to age, or scholarship, or the alpheber, but according to the rank their families held in society. This Benjamin Woodbridge was born in England but came to America in 1634 with his brother. He had been a member of Magdalen college in Oxford. Eng., but chose to complete his collegiate education in New England. Mr. Woodbridge was a preacher and poet. From his eulogy on the Rev. John Cotton, who died in 1632, is made the following extract:
"A living, breathing Bible; tables where Both covenants, at large, engraven were; Gospel and law in's heart had each its column,
His head an index to the sacred volume. His very name a title page, and next, His life a commentary on the text.
O, what a monument of glorious worth When in a new edition he comes forth, Without errutas, may we think he'll be In leares and covers of eternity."
Dr. Calamy says of Rev. Benjamin Woodbridge, "He was a universally accomphshed person; one who had a strong, clear reason and profound judgment." Another says of him that "he was accounted among his brethren as a learned and mighty man."
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