The Whitman College class of 1917 is not as well-documented as many others; after 1916, there was a hiatus in the production of Waiilatpu, the Whitman College yearbook, that lasted until 1921. However, a member of the class of 1917 wrote a poem about commencement that appeared in the 1916 Waiilatpu, shown below.
[caption id=“attachment_952” align=“alignnone” width=“514”] Waiilatpu 1916. WCA142.[/caption]
On Wednesday, June 20, 1917, 36 bachelor’s degrees were conferred on Whitman College students. Two of these were awarded in absentia for students who were on active duty in the Armed Forces. We know that it was a warm and sunny day from a diary kept by William Denison Lyman, professor of history.
[caption id=“attachment_953” align=“alignnone” width=“285”] 1917 diary. William Denison Lyman Papers, WCMss102.[/caption]
We wish the class of 2017 all the best for their Commencement on May 21. Congratulations!