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Tarleton's First Graduating Class

By Frank Chamberlain

The first group of students to graduate from the John Tarleton College was the class of 1903. There were only five graduates at this commencement. Still, three days of activities were held to mark the occasion on May 13-15. On the first day, a sermon at the Methodist church was held for the graduates and their friends followed by a reception in the college chapel. That night, the elocution and music classes entertained the graduates at the Crow Opera House in downtown Stephenville. The following night, the students returned to the opera house where the campus literary societies staged a competition. The actual commencement exercises were held on the final day at the opera house. State superintendent of public instruction Arther LeFevre was the guest speaker at the event. The next graduation ceremony would be held two years later in 1905, as there were no qualifying students the following year (King 55-56).

The first graduating class at Tarleton was:

- William M. Bowman: Ample, TX (A.B.)
- Monnett P. Chambers: Denton, TX (A.B.)
- M. Pearle Mulloy: Dublin, TX (B. Lit.)
- Walter L. Powell: Tolar, TX (A.B.)
- William B. Williams: New Mexico (A.B.)

King, C. Richard. The John Tarleton College Story: Golden Days of Purple and White. Austin, TX: Eakin Press, 1998.