June 11, 1884
30 members of the Class of 1884 were awarded the bachelor’s degree in Commencement ceremonies in the Chapel. During the preceding program, senior orations on a range of topics were given. According to The New York Times, Mary Elizabeth Adams ’84, in a “Study of Nihilism,” averred that nihilists, generally, were “composed of unoccupied and restive spirits and disappointed men living in religious stagnation and amid a lack of Christian growth,” and in “The Theology of George Eliot,” Kittie Acer ’84 thought that “George Eliot deserves the Christian pity of those who have been taught a more inspiring faith.” The traditional opposing orations were doubled this year: Alice Blanchard ’84 and May Amanda Chapman ’84 thought, respectively, that Egypt belonged to the Egyptians or that it belonged to England, and Justina Merrick ’84 and Jessie Spafford ’84 debated, in their addresses, the success or failure of the public school system.
Daisies from the fields near Main were first used for decoration in the Chapel at Commencement. In 1889 they were used at the Class Day exercises.