Inauguration of President Kelly, December 1937

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Inauguration of President Kelly, December 1937





Length: 00:35
Black & White, Silent

Academic procession of officials and representatives of the State Department of Education, Presidents of other State Teachers Colleges, invited guests, members of the clergy, and members of the Bridgewater College faculty walking towards the entrance of the Horace Mann Auditorium for the Inauguration of John J. Kelly as president of the college on December 14, 1937. At 00:17, Kelly is visible at the rear of the procession, on the left. The final two seconds show President Kelly standing in his office.


John J. Kelly (1883-1951) joined the Bridgewater Normal School faculty as an instructor in practical arts in 1918. His teaching program expanded to include the history of education, school law, and ethics. In 1924 he was appointed Dean of Men, serving in that capacity until 1937 when he was chosen to succeed Zenos Scott as president of the college. Kelly served as president until his death in 1951. During the Kelly administration the general education program of the college was strengthened, making the first two years almost exclusively liberal arts. The full-time graduate program, continuing studies program and the summer school program were all instituted during Kelly’s term.

This excerpt is from a 50-minute 16mm compilation film that was made in the early 1950s. The compilation film consists of both color and black & white segments, most filmed without sound, dating from 1935 to 1950. The BSU Archives and Special Collections has not uncovered any documentation or additional information about the compilation film and who produced it.

Sometime in the mid-1980s a VHS video recording was made of the projected 16mm film in an attempt to archive it, and the original film reel was probably discarded. The VHS recording was transferred to a digital format in 2015.

Inauguration of President Kelly, December 1937