The History of Graduations


Graduation has already happened for most, and is coming up for the rest of the graduates. Although we never think about who came up with the idea to celebrate students who have completed all their years in school, there were actual purposes for the celebration. Earliest graduation ceremonies started in the 11th century when the first universities were made in France. There was a dilemma on how the master should congratulate the apprentices, thus created the ceremony.  The gowns were first made to keep the students warm, but has now become a tradition in modern society. Along with the cap, the two are made to signify intelligence and superiority among others and use specific colors to represent different areas of study. Tossing of the caps came later when graduates of the Naval Academy no longer needed their hats, so they all threw them up. The tradition caught on with other universities and became a tradition over the years. Another ritual we do is the turning of the tassel. The movement from one side to the other represents the movement of the individual from student to graduate. Leaving the tassel on the right side is when they are still a student and once they get their diploma they can put it on the left side symbolizing their graduation. There are also different types of dress when getting a Bachelor, Associate, and Master degree. A cowl is usually worn for an Associate’s degree and is a large, velvet hood that someone would where the whole night of graduation. Tams, a large, loose hat, are worn when achieving a Master’s Degree. These are all still worn today and are still being revised by colleges. Color is also a tradition for colleges. Although they can change it each year, the color usually stays the same as the normal school colors. Back in the 11th century, men and women would have to where different colors of robes due to men’s superiority to women. This made them more “intelligent” and respectable, but over centuries the colors are now the same for everyone. Graduations have had quite a history, and traditions are still being added onto today.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s