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University Archives Collections:


Graduating Class Photographs, 1912-1934

1919 class photo

Class of 1919 UH Archives, GC1919

From the first graduation from the College of Hawai'i in 1912 through 1934, the College/University created graduating class photographs, with the possible exception of 1931. In the first decade, the photographs varied between group pictures and composite photographs made of individual portraits, but after 1921, all photographs are composites. The Archives lacks original photographs for two years, 1922 and 1931; the Archives now has a digital copy of the class photograph of 1922, complements of the Patsy Mink Ephemera Collection in Congressional Papers Collections. The Ka Palapala, 1931 shows 130 graduating seniors. These photographs have the call number GC, plus the year.

First graduating class of the College of Hawaii, 1912, consisted of four graduates, a woman and three men, one a Chinese man. Three of the graduates, Leslie C. Clark, Yong Fook Tong, and Louise Gullick, contributed portraits for the composite graduating class photo. (University Archives, Photograph GC 1912)

class of 1912

The class of 1913 consisted of five graduates: William Meinecke, Valentine Marcallino, Lillian Boyd, Seigei Yogi, and Edward R. Tracy (l-r).

class of 1913

The class of 1914 included the first graduate degree, a masters of science awarded to Alfred Warren, sitting at left. Miriam Clark, standing, Paul Lemke, sitting center, and George Barnhart completed the class. (University Archives, Photograph GC 1914)

class of 1914

The class of 1915, the fourth graduating class from College of Hawaii, included the first woman to receive a Masters degree from CH, Alice Augusta Ball. She was also the first Black to graduate from College of Hawaii. The other two graduates are Yakichi Kutsunai and Tomoso Imai, both receiving bachelors degrees. The print also has the names of the graduates written in a later hand in ink on the top of the image and the class year along the bottom margin; it is unknown when this wording was added. A copy of the print without the added ink is also available as Photograph GC 1915. (ASUH Scrapbook, Vol 1, p.15)

class of 1915

Graduating Class, 1916, consisted of two men: Richard M.S. Goo and Harold E. Starratt (University Archives, Photograph GC 1916)

class of 1916

Graduating Class, 1917, consisted of only three men, Leslie A. Hicks, Donald Francis Nicholson, and A. Hebard Case. (University Archives, Photograph GC 1917)

class of 1917

The graduating class of 1918 was by far the largest to date in the history of the College of Hawaii with nine graduates. The composite photograph in this collection has no names connected with the image. Ka Palapala Hawaii, 1920, pp. 72-74, lists the graduates of previous classes, including the one of 1918. The class consisted of Fung Sun Tung (the only woman), Gustave C. Ballentyne, Robert Pahau, Tai Bun Hee, William N.L. Ho, Luke M. Tyau, Yong Woon Ow, John Chung Ming, and Jacob Y. Woo. (University Archives, Photograph GC 1918)

class of 1918

The class of 1919, shown at the top of the page, include Grace Harriett Morgan and Jannatt Victoria Sharp, sitting; and Ichiji Miyamoto, En Leong Wung, and Lee Pok Sil, standing.

Class of 1920 was the last class in which no women graduated as well as the final graduating class of the College of Hawaii. Seven men, Lionel Verner Brash, Edwin H. Bryan, Jr., George Cutter Bromley, Harry Lea Denison, Elbert D.W. Ho, Ernest Kong Tai Pong, and Charles Frederick Poole, made up the class.

class of 1920

The class of 1921 was the first after the expansion of the institution to the University of Hawaii. The data in Ka Palapala, the yearbook for the College and University of Hawaii, does not include information on the degree each earned nor the major of the graduates. This is the final group portrait of the graduating classes. (University Archives, Photograph GC 1921)

class of 1921

The class of 1922 composite photograph is available thanks to the Patsy Takemoto Mink Ephemera Collection in the Congressional Papers Collections at the University of Hawaii. (University Archives, Photograph GC 1922)

class of 1922

The Classes of 1923 and 1924 demonstrate the rapid growth in the size of the student body of the University of Hawaii. The class of 1923 includes at least three women who later became faculty members at the University: May Gay, who taught physical education and also wrote the university song, "In Green Manoa Valley;" Ruth Yap, who went on to Columbia University for a masters degree in education, returned to UH to teach mathematics; and Marie Hoermann, wife of the pastor of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu, who taught German at UH.

class of 1923
(University Archives, Photograph GC 1923)
class of 1924
(University Archives, Photograph GC 1924)

Over the years there are leaps in the number of graduating seniors between years. In 1921 eleven graduated (nine appear in the class photograph). In the composite photograph of the Class of 1922, seventeen graduates had their pictures taken, an increase of six. In 1923, twenty-seven graduated, a further increase of ten. The following year illustrates an even greater leap, from twenty-seven in 1923 to forty-seven in 1924. This large increase is attributable to the change in status from College of Hawai'i to University of Hawai'i, four academic years previous.

Between 1926 and 1927, another large increase in the number of graduates, going from fifty-four in the former year to eighty-five in the second year. The final increase demonstrated by the class photographs is not a one-time leap, but a steady increase, probably for two important reasons: 1) because of the nation-wide depression and 2) because of the merger of Territorial Normal School and the University, creating Teachers College, effective 1 July 1931. In 1930, 110 students graduated; two years later, 182 graduated; in 1934, two years later still, 204 students appear in the Graduating Class photograph. The 1934 Graduating Class photograph in the Archives was likely the final class photograph taken. So many graduates made up the class that a photograph of manageable size made each image so small as to be unrecognizable except when viewed very close up.

The composite photograph for 1933, in which the individual images are about 3" x 2", is so large it is been broken apart in multiple pieces, making it impossible to exhibit; yet parts are still so large it is difficult to store. (See enrollment chart for visual understanding of the growth in enrollment at the University.)

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