As commencement approaches this year, I look back on commencement of 100 years ago. At that time there were two textile schools, Bradford Durfee Textile School (BDTS) and the New Bedford Textile School (NBTS). One graduated 32 day students with diplomas from one of the courses of study offered at that time. The other graduated 27. BDTS had five courses of study: General Cotton Manufacturing, Designing and Weaving, Chemistry and Dyeing, Engineering, and Freehand Drawing and Painting. NBTS had six: General Cotton Manufacturing, Chemistry, Dyeing and Finishing, Designing, Carding and Spinning, Seamless Hosiery Knitting, and Latch Needle Underwear Knitting. There were a total of only six women across both day schools. Women at that time generally took the freehand drawing and textile design classes, which today we would refer to as “surface pattern design.” NBTS, however, graduated one woman in Chemistry, Dyeing and Finishing. Each school also offered night courses for factory workers. These programs graduated far more students than the day schools: over 400 between the two schools. The programs of study, leading to a certificate, varied from one to two years. And finally, both day and evening classes were tuition free for Massachusetts residents.
Graduation/Commencement programs for all years at both schools, plus all of their descendant schools, including Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute, Southeastern Massachusetts University, and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, are available online in our digital archives, at https://umassd.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/discovery/collectionDiscovery?vid=01MA_DM_INST:umassd_library&collectionId=81121760040001301
Yearbooks and the annual catalog are online at the Internet Archive at www.archive.org