At the commencement ceremony, graduates faced a final test: publically defending or disproving a thesis, or proposition, drawn from the subjects they had studied. The theses were printed and posted ahead of time. Some controversial or difficult ones were assigned to specific individuals; the others were fair game for all the graduates. In the Yale College broadside from 1783, theses for ethics included “Temptation does not lessen the crime”; for technology (a subject that included the theory of arts and sciences), “A free press serves the health and benefit of a republic”; for metaphysics, “Only one system for the subjects of a university is possible.”


To next section, Pomp and Circumstance.  
  the Exhibition may be seen in the reading room from April 2014 through october 2014.