65. Bicentennial Commencement


Princeton University President Harold Dodds *14 (right) and U.S. President Harry Truman led the academic procession and nearly 1,000 attending dignitaries from 43 nations through FitzRandolph Gate at the June 1947 commencement, which marked the culmination of Princeton’s yearlong bicentennial celebration.  Truman delivered a national address from the steps of Nassau Hall that was broadcast on all American radio networks to 6.5 million listeners.  The event was also covered by the infant television industry, though technical difficulties caused the National Broadcasting Company to miss the entirety of Truman’s speech.  Honorary degrees were awarded to Truman, General Dwight Eisenhower, Admiral Chester William Nimitz, and a record 110 other notable individuals at this ceremony and during the preceding year (Princeton was then holding several convocations a year in the aftermath of World War II to accommodate the thousands of students who had interrupted their academic careers for military service).  

  • To learn more about major University anniversaries, see quotation #6, 23, and 33 and Café Vivian picture #16, 18, 27, 34, 63, 82, 98, and 112.

  • To learn more about recipients of Princeton honorary degrees, see quotation #2, 3, 8, 12, 25, and 35, and Café Vivian picture #14, 21, and 86.

  • To learn more about Princeton during World War II, see quotation #7 and 37, and Café Vivian picture #82, 88, 113, and 120.