Undergraduate Commencement Speakers in the 1950s

1950 - June 11

Alben W. Barkley

Barkley, U.S. Vice President, was the speaker at the ROTC Hangar, also known as "the cage". Due to the influx of G.I.s following World War II, this was the first dual ceremony for the increasingly large graduating class.

1951 - June 10

Albert N. Jorgensen

Jorgensen's fifteenth commencement address had the title "Message to Graduates."

1952 - June 8

Albert N. Jorgensen

Jorgensen again presented a "Message to Graduates".

1953 - June 14

Albert N. Jorgensen

Jorgensen's message to graduates was titled "The Challenge of Commencement Day." The first University Scholars were recognized during this ceremony.

1954 - June 13

Albert N. Jorgensen

Again called the commencement address, Jorgensen's 1954 address was titled "The State University and the American Dream".

1955 - June 12

Albert N. Jorgensen

Jorgensen's address was titled "Integrity, Tolerance and Security"

1956 - June 10

Albert N. Jorgensen

Jorgensen marked the 75th anniversary of the University with an address titled "Public Education: Reaffirmation or Recession".

1957 - June 9

Albert N. Jorgensen

"It is for us the living...." was the theme for Jorgensen's penultimate commencement address.

1958 - June 15

Maj. Gen. John B. Medaris

Medaris was a major general commanding the Army Ballistic Missile Agency. He worked with Wernher von Braun to launch Explorer I in early 1958. He delivered an address titled: "The Challenge of the Technological Revolution". The ceremony was held outdoors in Memorial Stadium.

1959 - June 14

Reuben G. Gustavson

Gustavson, Chancellor of the University of Nebraska and director of Ford Foundation's Resources for the Future, posed the question "What About Tomorrow?" to the graduates.


Information on the History of Commencement pages was researched and compiled by Mark J. Roy