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Purdue University Historical Materials, Gala Week


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description



Other Gala Week materials

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Purdue University Historical Materials, Gala Week, 1896-2003 | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

By Elizabeth  Wilkinson

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Collection Overview

Title: Purdue University Historical Materials, Gala Week, 1896-2003Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1916-1939

Extent: 1.2 Cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: Chronological.  The materials are separated in into three series: schedules, souvenir booklets, and other Gala Week materials.

Subjects: Purdue University--History

Forms of Material: Programs

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection consists of Gala Week booklets, which contain the schedule of events, to less formal schedules of events in the form of flyers.  The schedules begin in the 1930s, but there are none for the 1970s, and there are many gaps.

Collection Historical Note

The term "Gala Week" seems to have been coined in 1904 by a joint committee of students and faculty.  Prior to that time it was referred to as "Commencement Week."

Gala Week is a time of open houses for alumni, when they come back to campus to meet former classmates and welcome the graduating seniors as new alumni.

The week usually opened with baccalaureate ceremonies, followed by a campus open house to show the University in operation.  There were days for ROTC reviews, athletic events, banquets, and dances.  On the last day of Gala Week was the Founders' Day Banquet and the senior-alumni dance.

Gala Week used to begin the week before commencement, but after 1940 it was changed to the first week in May to coincide with the anniversary of the passage of the law to establish Purdue, 6 May 1869.  In 1910, during Gala week the alumni adopted the song "Back to Old Purdue" and the official song for alumni.

Subject/Index Terms

Purdue University--History

Administrative Information

Repository: Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections


This collection will be periodically added to as materials become available.

More materials added 4/26/2013.

Alternate Extent Statement: 3 mss. boxes

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Physical Access Note: Some of the booklets are tightly bound, so please take care when viewing.

Acquisition Source: Donations from: Iden F. Richardson Sr. (1905 booklet); David L. Prentice (1908 booklet); Herbert C. Rose (1914 booklet)

Acquisition Method: Collected by Purdue University Libraries staff, or through alumni and faculty donation.

Finding Aid Revision History:

Records updated 4/26/2013

Collection identifier updated from UA 34.03 to UA 56 as of December 8, 2016.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Schedules, 1896-1901, 1903-1924, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s],
[Series 2: Booklets, 1900, 1904-17, 1919-22, 1924-30, 1932-33, 1935-36, 1939, 1941],
[Series 3: Other Gala Week materials, 1913-1924],