#ThrowbackThursday: USI’s First Graduating Class

*Post written by James Wethington, library assistant of the University Archives and Special Collections.

For some, graduation is a symbol of the end of the semester and a much-needed break; however, for others, it is the beginning of the rest of their lives. All of their hard work accumulates to this moment: walking across a stage facing in front of your fellow graduates and receiving recognition of your monumental achievement.

Grand Marshall Frank Stanonis and students at graduation ceremony, 1972. (Credit: University Archives & Special Collections)

At the University of Southern Indiana, our first graduating class occurred in 1971. Beginning as a satellite campus for Indiana State University in 1965, USI started at the Centennial School House, near the Mead Johnson company. After five years at the Centennial School, ISUE relocated to the university’s current location on the far-west side of Evansville; however, the first graduating class at ISUE walked in 1971 with a one hundred fifty-one candidates (University of Southern Indiana, 2017). The graduates created the Alumni Association and “… has gone to over 38,000 members” (USI Web Services, 2017).

To all of the 2017 graduates, Rice Library congratulates you and wishes you well on your future endeavors.

The video of the 1971 Commencement at Indiana State University-Evansville is available through the University of Southern Indiana’s YouTube channel.


University of Southern Indiana. (2017). USI 1965 Timeline. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from

USI Web Services. (2017). Graduate Student Information. Retrieved April 27, 2017, from