Today’s opening convocation , at Grove City College, started off with a FANFARE…trumpet fanfare that is (did you notice the bold print…). Every year we start the opening convocation with a 7 trumpet fanfare that announces the procession of the academics from across the quad. When the procession arrives at the chapel, the trumpets lead the procession down the center aisle and announce the beginning of the ceremony from the front of the chancel area.

As we were progressing today, I thought it might be fun to explore the meanings about academic regalia worn at all of these types of ceremonies in today’s post. All official academic ceremonies such as graduations will have the teachers/professors all “fussied up” in some type of robe/garment. The visitors love to see the regalia and those that have to be in the pagentry usually can be found prior muttering something about having to wear them…

In brief, those with master’s degree will have a hood of 3 and 1/2 feet in length and the inside lining of it will have the colors of the university that bestowed the degree and the trimming (binding) of the lining will usually depict the discipline (arts/science, etc.). The master’s degree will also have long tams (fangs) that extend almost a foot from the bottom of the hand.

The doctoral robe will have piping (or belting) on the sides of the robe itself and the hood is full 4 foot in length and the robes do not have the arm tams. The hooding remains similar to the masters and doctoral costumes that include mortar caps may have a gold tassel on top. Doctoral robes also tend to be made of velvet or include velvet as a large part of the materials that make up the robe and cap

Although becoming rare in the U.S. anymore, some bachelor degree holders will have an academic robe with a 3 foot hood in the back.

There are many other ins and outs about academic costumes and regalia; you could devote an entire book to the history of the modern regalia used by institutions today (some have). Each country does something a little differently with regard to academic costuming so expect a lot of variation at a cosmopolitan school, college or university.

There is a great article about academic regalia at the Academic Costume Code & Ceremony Guide. If you are interested in this type of information, it’s a very informative and concise guide.

[tags] academic regalia, trumpet fanfare, academic robes [/tags]
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