The first commencement held on the new Dartmouth campus of SMTI took place in 1966. The campus was still under construction in the spring of 1966, with the first building, Group I (now the Liberal Arts building) about to be completed. Governor Volpe was publicly quoted as applying pressure to have it ready for the 1966 commencement, at which he was scheduled to give the main address. A number of events, in fact, were scheduled and took place that week: The Group I building dedication was Sunday, June 5th at 11 am. The Senior Prom was Wednesday, June 8th at 9 pm. President Joseph Driscoll’s investiture was Thursday June 9th, 2 pm. Class Day was Friday June 10th, 2:30 pm, and Commencement was Sunday June 12th, 2 pm.
For Joseph Leo Driscoll’s investiture on June 9, no state money was used to finance the festivities, which included a formal ball. It was funded by “private and faculty means.” The new building was used to stage the various groups participating in the processional. The processional marched from Group I to the large tent in the parking lot area, where the ceremony took place.
At Commencement, 218 degrees were awarded. 216 were bachelor’s degrees and two were graduate degrees in Textile Technology. This was SMTI’s second commencement, but the first to be held on the grounds of the new campus.