Oakland Normal Institute was a private academy located at Yale in Itawamba County in the present-day Oakland community. Established during the early 1880’s this private academy provided students with a classical education teaching such courses as art and Latin, as well as business and education. Many graduates of this school became successful business people all over the midsouth.
The society has digitized a four-page 1895 graduation program from the academy and will be placing the images in the online archives.
The graduation program began on Thursday, June 13, 1895 with class work at 8 a.m. followed by a commencement sermon by Rev. T.H. Dorsey of Fulton at 11 a.m.. Class work resumed at 2 p.m. At 7 p.m. the drama, The Donation Party was performed by the students. On Friday class work resumed at 8 a.m. and at 11 a.m. the annual address to the graduating classes was delivered by the Hon. Stone Deavours of Pauling. At 3 p.m. recitations, declimations and original speeches were delivered by the following undergraduates and irregulars: Miss Marilla McKenzie, Miss Iva Thorn, John Mark, Miss Maud McKenzie, John McKenzie, Miss Lucendy Holley, Luther Patton, Miss Jessica Moorman, Lander Patton, E.M. Chilcoat, W.H. Cantrell, Charles Weaver, Miss Luvony Patton and S.T. Graham.
At 7 p.m. original speeches by the D.B. Course were presented. Included in the program were W.H. Brown, T.R. Williams, N.L. Hawhon, Miss M.O. Mark, Miss Alva Holley, H.W. McKenzie, E.F. Wheeler, G.H. Maxwell, D.D. Wright, J.H. Wright, W.A. Harrison, C.O. Farrar, C.L. Deavours, N.C. Waldrep, H.D. Waldrep and D.K. Robison. Original speeches were then given by Miss Rada Brewster and Miss Fanny Little, graduates of the B.S. course and speeches by C.L. Graham, C.D. Holley, and D.H. Streetman, post graduates. Awarding of diplomas followed. A meeting of the school’s alumni took place on Thursday, June 13 at 2 p.m.