Friday, June 10, 2011


Yesterday, I attended the annual commencement ceremony at the college where I work.  As I got myself robed and helped a number of my colleagues into their own regalia, and as I watched the proceedings, a few things occurred to me:

  • There is little if any agreement across institutions about the appropriate position of the tassel that attaches itself to the academic cap, whether Tudor bonnet or mortarboard.  This needs to be corrected.
  • A number of the people at the event were unsure how to wear their regalia.  Since the ceremony is a recurring event, and one at which attendance is seemingly compulsory, there ought to be at least a handout given regarding the appropriate display of academic honors.  I would benefit from knowing more about this, myself; I have a lot of regalia from several graduations, and I would like to know what I am allowed to wear and what I probably ought to never display again.
  • New York likes to have people wear hoods.  I know that there is a prescribable bachelor's hood, shorter than the master's, and I have no problem with people wearing it (although I do find it strange, coming from schools where the practice is not current).  I had not been aware that there is a hood (or something very much like it) for the associate's.  Is this simply a local custom, or is this something that had been ongoing and I was simply unaware of it because of unfamiliarity with the associate's, generally?
These are the kinds of thoughts that come to me at odd moments.  Information about the things I bring up will be appreciated.

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