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Graduation is almost upon us, so what better time to look back at other graduations in Purdue’s past?  Here you can see Purdue students proceeding to their graduation ceremony, but can you tell where and when this photo was taken?  What clues led you to your answers?  Share your ideas in the comments and check back on Thursday for the reveal!


On Tuesday, June 11, 1929, Purdue’s graduating class lined up on Memorial Mall and marched as a group to Memorial Gymnasium for a 9:00 AM ceremony.  This photo, taken from the second story of Memorial Gym, shows their approach across the railroad tracks that led to the Power Plant in the center of campus.  The former Purdue Hall is visible in the background.  Family and friends gathered along the path to cheer on the soon-to-be graduates and the Purdue Military Band provided musical accompaniment for the ceremony.  More than 600 students received their degrees that day.

The inside of Memorial Gym, set up for the 1929 graduation ceremony.

This was a tough one!  Congratulations to all who participated!

9 Responses to “From the Archives Photo Challenge Part 4”

  1. Carol Brock

    I am guessing 1948.

  2. Ally Goodrich

    I think this might be Memorial Mall, leading into Stewart Center – but not sure about those train tracks. 🙂

  3. Jeff Rattray

    There used to be a rail spur running up to the North Power Plant; when I first came here [redacted] years ago, there were still rails across State Street, stopping at the sidewalk on either side. I’ll vote for Memorial Mall.

  4. Melanie Linds

    Oval Drive, train tracks were the clue. I’d guess mid 40’s due to the ladies hats

  5. Gene Carlson

    Mid to late 40’s, roughly where the fountain that use to be in front of Hovde Hall currently is now.

  6. Ryan B

    I think it was taken from the second floor of The Memorial Gymnasium ( aka CS Building aka Felix Haas Hall) facing South. Commencement Ceremonies were held there from its opening in 1908 to 1938 when Lambert Fieldhouse was completed providing twice the seating of the Memorial Gym. Graduations weren’t held in Elliot Hall of Music until it was built in May of 1940.

    The tracks crossed State Street between what are now Stone and Matthews Halls. The tracks curved east in front of the Memorial Gym and headed to the North Power Plant over the ground that is now occupied by the Psychology Building and the Bell tower.

  7. Mary Padget

    I am guessing 1920’s based on the ladies dress and I think it’s Memorial Mall.

  8. Ellen R.

    am guessing they’re walking to Stewart Center for the ceremony so that means Elliott Hall of Music wasn’t built yet (came online in 1940). So late 1930s?

  9. Pete Swinford

    Maybe the Recitation building. The train tracks went from the North Power Plant to what used to be Transportation.

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