34. Princeton Sesquicentennial


The College’s sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary celebration in October 1896 was a three-day long academic festival involving numerous orations (most famously, Professor Woodrow Wilson’s “Princeton in the Nation’s Service”), a football game, the conference of 58 honorary degrees, a keynote address by US President Grover Cleveland, and an official change of school name from the College of New Jersey to Princeton University.  Enormous triumphal arches spanned Nassau Street bidding farewell to the “College” and welcome to the “University,” and the town and campus were bedecked in orange and black, and red, white and blue.  Over 3,000 students, alumni, and friends of the College took part in a mile-long procession, reviewed from the Nassau Hall steps by President and Mrs. Cleveland and lit by the moon, torches, Chinese lanterns, orange electric lights, and fireworks, as pictured here.

  • To learn more about major University anniversaries, see quotation #6, 23, and 33 and Café Vivian picture #16, 18, 27, 63, 65, 82, 98, and 112.

  • To learn more about Woodrow Wilson, see quotation #33 and Café Vivian picture #3, 42, 54, 84, 95, 101, 104, and 105.