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Decades Ago at San Diego State

A look back at the Normal School's 1915 commencement ceremony.
The first graduating class of the Normal School, which later became San Diego State University.
The first graduating class of the Normal School, which later became San Diego State University.

In celebration of commencement, Special Collections takes a look back at San Diego State University’s first graduates

Established on March 13, 1897, SDSU first began as the San Diego Normal School. Its purpose was to educate local female elementary school teachers. The Normal School celebrated its first commencement in 1900, with 26 graduates, three of them men. 

The first recorded commencement in the school newspaper, known as Normal News, was in June 1915. Since that time, SDSU has had numerous notable commencement speakers, including John F. Kennedy in June 1963.

About Decades Ago at San Diego State

The SDSU Library's Department of Special Collections and University Archives presents the weekly series "Decades Ago at San Diego State." Special Collections and University Archives staff members collect articles and photos from archived issues of The Daily Aztec, providing a glimpse of the university's past and its memorable events, people and programs. 

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