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Competition for Commencement Parts Recalls Famous Speakers of the Past

Trials Now Being Held for Three Parts This Year, Two Open for Undergraduates


Trials for Commencement Parts are continuing this week, Frederick C. Packard '20, assistant professor of Public Speaking announced yesterday. Three men will be chosen to speak these parts from memory on Commencement Day.

One of the speakers must be a candidate for a graduate degree, and the other two are required to be under-graduates. Of these latter two, one is to be given by a candidate for honors, and the other is to be delivered in Latin.

Samuel Adams on Revolution

Commencement Parts have had a place on the program of graduation exercises for almost 300 years. One of the first recorded is that of Samuel Adams, who in 1743 delivered in Latin an oration which is believed to have contained the first expression of the ideas that later governed the thinking of men responsible for the American Revolution.

John Adams, 1758, John Quincy Adams. 1783, Edward Everett, 1811. Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1821. Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1829. David Henry Thoreau, 1835, and Richard Henry Dana, 1837, were among those who delivered Commencement Parts in early years.

Edward Everett Hale

Edward Everett Hale, 1839, the famous orator who spoke before Lincoln at Gettysburg, had "The Supposed Degeneracy of Our Age" for his graduation topic. Francis Parkman. 1842, who later wrote "The Oregon Trail" and other well known works, spoke at Commencement on "Romance in America."

George F. Hoar, later senator from Massachusetts, and Charles Eliot Norton, both of the Class of 1846, each spoke at their graduation.

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