On June 9, 1957, Vice President of the United States Richard M. Nixon gave the commencement address at Macklin Stadium (now Spartan Stadium) to Michigan State’s graduating class. In a photograph from the Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, Nixon can be seen standing next to MSU President John A. Hannah after the ceremony.
Additionally, a 16mm reel of motion picture film of this event is also in the University Archives’ collections. The film, approximately 800’ in length (roughly twenty-two minutes long), contains moving image and optical sound elements from the Spring 1957 commencement. A :30 silent clip of the commencement can be viewed on YouTube.
If you would like to help preserve Spartan history and get this footage preserved and digitized for online access, please consider donating to the MSU Film and Video Preservation Fund (https://www.givingto.msu.edu/gift/?sid=1484). More information about the Film Fund can be found here: http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2014/msu-archives-preserves-spartan-history/.
Written by Matthew Wilcox, Audiovisual Archivist
Note: Commencement programs are available on the On the Banks of the Red Cedar website (http://onthebanks.msu.edu/Object/1-4-10E8/commencement-programhome-page/), including the 1957 commencement program.
Additional information about Vice President Nixon’s visit can be found in the Commencement Records (UA 13.1).