In sweltering heat, the Class of 1963 received their degrees from the University of Connecticut in an outdoor ceremony held in Memorial Stadium.

The commencement speaker was Raymond Baldwin, who, 24 years earlier, while serving as Governor of Connecticut, signed the legislative act turned Connecticut State College into the University of Connecticut.

Before starting his address, Baldwin joked about the event that occurred on May 26, 1939. He recalled that he signed the bill with a quill pen, and told the commencement audience that he believed it was probably the last document in Connecticut that was signed with a quill pen.

“I’m not sure but I think the School [sic] of Agriculture produced that pen from some goose. Anyway, it worked pretty well. Actually, there is an aftermath to that. Today the question came up as to who had the pen, and President Babbidge and the Provost of the college looked at me with some suspicion and I want to assure you that I didn’t keep the pen. I gave it to Al Jorgensen and you’ll have to look him up for that.”

“Al Jorgensen”, of course, was former UConn President Albert N. Jorgensen. And there was no need to check with him.

The quill pen was, and is, part of the University Archives collection.

Quill pen used by Gov. Raymond Baldwin in 1939 to sign legislation that changed Connecticut State College into the University of Connecticut.

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