Commencement Week is filled with many events leading up to the final moments when seniors have their diplomas in hand and a great cheer goes up along with many caps when Head of School Mike Schafer presents the class to their families and friends. It has always been a time of great excitement and celebration here at Kimball Union. Since the first class left the Academy in 1816, thousands of young men and women have shared their joy of moving on to new adventures and their sadness at saying goodbye to their classmates, friends, and faculty and staff. Below are photographs of seniors who once shared this same joy and sadness. Their manner of dress may have changed over the years, but as the alumni of the 19th century often wrote, they have many fond memories of their school days at “good old KUA!”
The Class of 1882 had their class photograph taken on the steps of the Third Academy building. Nine years later in 1891, it burned to the ground and was replaced by Baxter Hall.
The class of 1899 graduated 115 years ago this spring. They were the first class to graduate in the new Stone Church. The old wooden one was struck by lightning and burned in 1894. Principal Cummings, who is standing on the second step between two women, is looking off towards the hills. In fact, everyone seems to be looking in different directions, a style once popular by photographers, perhaps.
Ninety years ago, the class of 1924 had their photograph taken on the familiar Baxter Hall steps. The young man prominently sitting with all the women is William Kellett. In their yearbook, the editor said of him, “Jill is a man of varied talents; good in his studies, a king of syncopation, and also appears to make some headway with the ladies. We don’t think they take him seriously, but that isn’t important, says Jill. …”
The class of 1964 will be celebrating their 50th reunion in a few weeks. They were students in the days when KUA was an all-boys school and by their appearance, followed the dress code to a T!
These seniors from the class of 1989, graduated 25 years ago and will be back on The Hilltop for their celebrations this coming June. They look very happy and relaxed in their senior class photograph.
Commencement 2004 was Head of School Mike Schafer’s first KUA class to graduate. Several years later he welcomed two of them back onto campus as faculty members. Can you find them in this photograph? If so, congratulate them and wish them a happy Reunion 2004.