In honor of this University of Illinois graduation weekend, here are some items from the University of Illinois Library's Mapping History Project.
The above photo is not the first commencement, it's from 1915.
But here are photos of the first graduating class from Illinois Industrial University, circa 1872, and their bios.
From the Mapping History Project, "The University’s earliest students were mostly white, of European descent, Protestant, and from adjacent counties." Women were first admitted in 1870, the first African American student in 1887, and the first Native American student graduated in 1884.