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May 03rd, 2019

Images of Graduation at HPU

The college opened its doors for students in the fall of 1924. 2019 is the 95th year of the college. 2023-2024 will be the 100th and in 2024-2025 we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the opening of the school and the 101st year of the academy.

Robert’s Hall soon after completion.

Originally, there were three buildings. Women’s dorm (Now McEwen), Roberts Hall and the heating plant which supplied heat to the campus buildings. The men’s dorm was not complete but McCulloch Hall was later finished and stood in the same space as today’s Finch Dorm.

McCullough Hall stood where Finch is today.

Roberts Hall had it all; classrooms, the cafeteria, the library and even a small auditorium. Later, as the campus grew, it was planned to add “wings” to Roberts Hall to enlarge its footprint. In 1924, there were 122 students enrolled and tuition and board was $395.00.

By 1927 there were enough students who were prepared to graduate for the College to have a ceremony. With the opening of the campus, some students had transferred to HPC and were able to graduate in 3 instead of 4 years. The graduating class of 1927 had 13 students and a mascot. 2019 will be the 93rd graduation ceremony and will be 1,000 plus students.


In the early years of the college, students, sometimes with faculty and staff, had a yearly photo taken to celebrate the school and to record the event for the future.

This is a classic photo taken in 1925 of the entire student body with faculty and staff. Notice the student on left top with an “H” on his sweater? Can you find that same student on the right? Interestingly, these early landscape photos were two pictures which were merged into one when the photo is printed.

This group photo from the late 1930s can also be found in the University Archive collection. As the student body and faculty grew larger, it is easy to see why they had to stop this yearly tradition!

Other photos in the archive are just of the graduates for a certain year. The archive has several graduation photos from the early to mid-1950’s.

Check the Historical photos link on the Archive page to see more photos of HPC/HPU graduations.


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