Commencement trivia 2009

Estimated number of graduates, 2009*
*Includes May graduates only; Does not include Dec. and Aug. 2008 graduates.
941 Undergraduates
150 Graduate School (both campuses)
159 School of Law
108 Babcock Graduate School of Management
22 Divinity School
152 School of Medicine (including Physician Assistant Studies)
4 Number of graduates in first graduating class, 1839
1 Number of graduates in 1843
1964 First black graduate, Edward Reynolds
20 Number of graduates in the Divinity School’s first graduating class, 2002
Honorary degrees
8 Number of honorary degrees awarded this year
11 Number of honorary degrees awarded in 1934, the most ever
1849 Year first honorary degree was awarded, to Wake Forest founder and first president Samuel Wait
12,000 Number of chairs set up on Hearn Plaza
50’x100′ Size of striped tent
1989 Year a rain and wind-storm knocked down the tent the night before Commencement; the program proceeded on schedule, without a tent
3 Number of times rain has forced Commencement inside (1991, 1983, 1973)
1 Number of times Commencement has been held off campus (1991, Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum)
1957 First Class to graduate on the “new” campus
1966 First year Commencement was held on the Quad (from 1957 to 1965 Commencement was held in Wait Chapel)
2.5 hours Approximate length of Commencement
2 hours Length of Commencement speech delivered in 1858 by Solomon Satchwell
10,000 Number of programs printed
39 Consecutive years Sun Printing Company of Winston-Salem has printed the Commencement program
8,500 Number of bottles of water distributed in 1993, when temperatures soared to the high 90s during the ceremony
52 Temperature during the ceremony in 1999 (plus a cool, rainy mist)
1987 Last class to graduate under the elms before the last of the diseased elm trees were removed and replaced with ash trees.
1981 Last class to receive sheepskin diplomas
$40 Cost of an optional sheepskin diploma in 1982
1975 First woman and first black, U.S. Representative Barbara Jordan (D-Texas), to speak at Commencement
2 Number of black women who have spoken at Commencement (Barbara Jordan, 1975, and Maya Angelou, 1985)
2 Number of times Bill Moyers has given the Commencement address (1970 and 1984)

Categories: Commencement