The Hampton Union and The Rockingham County Gazette
Thursday, June 18, 1959, Page 12
Last Friday's graduating class of 65 Senior at Winnacunnet High School was the last of the small classes, for beginning next June, they will reach 100 or more.
Although the Class of 1959 was the first to graduate from the new regional [Winnacunnet] High School, it had nothing on the Hampton Academy graduating Class of 1900 which set a new record for members in the class.
The following is an account of the graduation program printed in the The Hamptons' Union of June 12, 1900:
"Not for years has the Hampton town hall been so crowded as it was on Wednesday evening, when a class of ten pupils of the Hampton Academy and High School received the diplomas won by them through four years of earnest study in that well known institution.
"It was an occasion of more than usual interest. The unusually large number of graduates in the class -- several more than in any class in recent years -- and the fact that all three of the Hamptons, i.e., North Hampton, Hampton, and Hampton Falls -- had representatives in the class, together created an interest which far surpassed the usual commencement exercises. Our town hall, with a very large seating capacity, was entirely insufficient and those who had to stand reached back filling the upper hallway, the stairs, and entrance on the ground floor. Special cars were run from Seabrook, Hampton Falls and Hampton Beach to accommodate people from those places and the result was very large delegations. North Hampton, too, was well represented, four of the class being from that town. A good many were also present from the Bride Hill district, and from Exeter.
"In providing seats for the large audience two hundred or more were reserved for the school, past graduates, teachers of other schools, and invited guests. The remainder of the house was open to the public.
"The ushers were: Fred Blake, chief; Will Janvrin, Winfield Hobbs, Warren Hobbs, Charles Chevalier, and Walter Brown, assistants; Charles Palmer, class usher.
"On the stage were grouped the graduates: Sarah Belle Cockburn, Gertrude Louise Fogg, Austin Goddard Gill, Annie Winfred Hoyt, William Edward Leavitt, Nellie Lavina Marston, Lizzie Ardelle Moulton, Grace Belva Ring, Theda Augusta Taylor and Charles Chase White; Prof. Sanborn, Miss Anna May Cole, assistant; Mrs. Sarah Lord Bailey, teacher of elocution; Rev. J. A. Ross and D. H. Adams and Miss E. B. Norris of the board of education, and G. O. Wiggin.
"The costumes worn by the seven girl graduates were most appropriate. The class colors being white and crimson, the dresses were of material to harmonize. Each wore a pure white muslin, made simple and becoming, and each had a crimson rose on her bosom. Nothing could have been more suitable for the occasion or produced a prettier effect with the surroundings.
"The exercises opened at 8 with a march by Nason's Orchestra of Newburyport, the finest in the vicinity, and to its music entered from the lower hall, first the undergraduates led by Charles Palmer carrying the American flag, who took their places ins the reserved seats, then the graduates and others who were to occupy seats on the stage, preceded by C. Joplin, bearing a floral tray of which rested the ten diplomas. The program was then carried out in the following order:
"In executing the above, the work of the graduates was certainly above the average, especially in the delivery. There was no prompting whatever, the gestures were as easy and natural as could be and, except in one or two instances, the voice was heard in every part of the hall. It showed to splendid advantage the training which has been given the pupils by Mrs. Bailey, the instructor of elocution, and also that the class of 1900 has talent of exceptional merit. The class honors seemed to have been given with an appropriateness that was well apparent to the audience. Three of the principal honors are published in full in connection with this article and the remaining ones will be published next week.
"The reception given to each of the graduates was sincere and enthusiastic and was accompanied by the presentation of many beautiful bouquets to the girl graduates by admiring friends.
"The music by the orchestra was very fine indeed, the cornet and piccolo solos and the rendition of Verdi's "Il Trovatores" being especially so.
"The well earned diplomas were presented by Rev. J. A. Ross, president of the Board of Trustees, who, owing to the lateness of the hour, made only a brief address, stating that the wise things and witty remarks he had intended to say he could leave and turn directly to the presenting of the diplomas. He then briefly addressed the class and gave each the certificate of the honorable completion of the four years' course."