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1912: First Graduates

Larger Version

The University’s first class of graduates convoked on 1 May1912.    The University of Saskatchewan had from its inception intended that women should have access to higher education.  The University Act reinforced that aim, stating “no woman shall by reason of her sex be deprived of any advantage or privilege accorded to male students of the university.”  Three students from the class of 1912 earned graduation honours, including both women: Mary Oliver, high honours in Classics and the Copland Scholarship, and Marion Pettit, honours in English and History.  David Hossie earned honours in Latin and English, and was Rhodes Scholar. 

Larger Version

Might Mary Oliver, the best student that year, have been a favourable contender for the Rhodes Scholarship?  It is, of course, impossible to say, and in any event it was a privilege out of her reach.  Oxford University, host institution for the Rhodes, did not confer degrees on women until 1920; and the Rhodes remained unavailable to women until 1976.

Related Collections

Office of the University Secretary, RG 2009
Registrar’s Office, RG 2011
University Publications Collection, RG 2129


1912a: First graduating class. Photograph Collection, A-3638.
1912b: Convocation programme, 1912. Publications Collection.

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