If you are graduating this spring and participating in the ceremony at the DECC (noon, Saturday, May 15 for undergraduates) or Romano Gym (7:00 pm, Thursday, May 13 for graduate students), then you know you will be wearing a cap and gown. But you may not know why, or what those colored tassels and hoods signify.
|UMD undergraduates at commencement.|
|UMD graduate student "being hooded" at commencement.|
A black tassel is worn for all graduate (master's) degrees. At UMD, graduate students receive their hoods at the graduation ceremony, a moment usually referred to as “being hooded.” However, at other universities, the hood may be fastened in place prior to the opening procession. All hoods are black and lined in the color that denotes the degree earned. At UMD, those colors are light blue, brown, citron, drab, gold, light grey, mint green, orange, pink, purple, and white. Students graduating with a Ph.D. receive a royal blue hood, regardless of their field of study.
At commencement, the students aren't the only ones wearing black gowns. Faculty and administrators will be wearing them as well. The gowns of faculty and administrators who have earned their doctorates are distinguished by a facing of velvet running down the front of the gown as well as three bars of velvet on the sleeves. This velvet may be black or in the color of their chosen discipline. The ACE code specifies that only one hood may be worn at a time. Usually the hood worn denotes the highest degree attained. Some faculty and administrators may not wear mortarboards, but rather Tudor bonnets or tams which, of course, harkens back to the time of Henry VIII. Gold metallic tassels may be worn by faculty and administrators who have earned their doctorate. Some faculty and administrators may also wear cords, sashes, stoles, medals, or medallions, signifying special honors.
On graduation day, wear your cap and gown proudly. They are outward symbols of all that you have attained and achieved. You’ve earned that tassel. You’ve worked hard for that hood. Congratulations.
If nothing else, seeing you all dressed up like that will make your family very, very happy.
For more commencement information, visit http://www.d.umn.edu/commencement/
Written by Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, firstname.lastname@example.org
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