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Purdue University Historical Materials, Gala Week

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 56

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of Gala Week booklets, which contain the schedule of events, to less formal schedules of events in the form of flyers.  The schedules begin in the 1930s, but there are none for the 1970s, and there are many gaps.


  • 1896-2003
  • Other: Majority of material found in 1916-1939

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Access Information

This collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Some material in this collection are in the public domain, while other material copyrights are held by Purdue University. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Historical Information

The term "Gala Week" seems to have been coined in 1904 by a joint committee of students and faculty.  Prior to that time it was referred to as "Commencement Week." Gala Week is a time of open houses for alumni, when they come back to campus to meet former classmates and welcome the graduating seniors as new alumni. The week usually opened with baccalaureate ceremonies, followed by a campus open house to show the University in operation.  There were days for ROTC reviews, athletic events, banquets, and dances.  On the last day of Gala Week was the Founders' Day Banquet and the senior-alumni dance. Gala Week used to begin the week before commencement, but after 1940 it was changed to the first week in May to coincide with the anniversary of the passage of the law to establish Purdue, 6 May 1869.  In 1910, during Gala week the alumni adopted the song "Back to Old Purdue" and the official song for alumni.

Note written by Sources: Story of Purdue's Traditions / Mary Bowlby and Mary Gannon; Gala Week program, 1904


1.09 Cubic Feet (Three letter-size full-width manuscript boxes)

Arrangement Note

Chronological.  The materials are separated in into three series: schedules, souvenir booklets, and other Gala Week materials.

Physical Access Requirements

Some of the booklets are tightly bound, so please take care when viewing.

Acquisition Information

Collected by Purdue University Libraries staff, or through alumni and faculty donation. Donations from: Iden F. Richardson Sr. (1905 booklet); David L. Prentice (1908 booklet); Herbert C. Rose (1914 booklet)

Accruals and Additions

This collection will be periodically added to as materials become available. More materials added 4/26/2013.
Purdue University Historical Materials, Gala Week
In Progress
Elizabeth  Wilkinson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Third edition

Revision Statements

  • 09099999: Records updated 4/26/2013 Collection identifier updated from UA 34.03 to UA 56 as of December 8, 2016.
  • 2020-05-11: Collection description updated by Adelle Rogers.
  • 2024-02-08: Extents updated by William Niner.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States