Graduation Adds Pomp

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Blue and green text on blue background with yellow star illustrations.

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Pomp and Circumstance is part of a larger orchestral piece, “Pomp and Circumstance in D Major, Op. 39, No. 1.”, that is typically played at graduation ceremonies. Although it was not originally written to be played at this ceremony when it was composed in 1901 by Sir Edward Elgar, the piece was used as a central theme for Edward VII's coronation and gained popularity. In 1905, Elgar's tune played as a recessional at a Yale graduation after he was awarded an honorary doctorate, making it the song everyone wanted to graduate from then on. The original title comes from the Shakespearean play, Othello.

Hallmark began in 1910 when Joyce Clyde Hall started selling postcards. He had little money—not even enough to take a horse-drawn cab to his lodgings at the YMCA—but he had an entrepreneurial spirit and the determination of a pioneer. Hall quickly made a name for himself with the picture postcards he sold. Rollie Hall joined his brother in business, and the company was named Hall Brothers. On January 11, 1915, a fire destroyed their office and inventory. They took the only salvageable item, their safe, and set up shop again. With $17,000 in debt, they decided to press onward. As postcard sales declined, they recognized the public’s desire for more privacy in their communication, so they started offering high-quality Valentine’s Day and Christmas cards mailed in envelopes. The fateful fire resulted in the Hall brothers’ decision to buy printing presses and begin producing their own greeting cards in 1915. Hallmark eventually made the move to manufacture and sell collectable memorabilia including pin-back buttons, most of which revolve around holidays and other special events.


Hallmark. (n.d.). Founding: 1910s.…

Harris, R. (2020). The history behind 'Pomp and Circumstance' and other graduation traditions. Retrieved 20 February 2021, from…

Catalog ID EV0877