Academic Gowns, an 800 Year Tradition

This Friday (May 17) is graduation when we honor Moraine Valley’s newest alumni!

When a student graduates, it is traditionally the faculty to bestow the degree on the students. The faculty as the keepers of their academic disciplines confirm that the students have completed their course work and have earned the degree. This is why the faculty process into the ceremony in their fancy robes.

Of course, this always leads us to to the question about the crazy, colorful, and sometimes eccentric looking robes worn by faculty members and graduates. The academic regalia (as it is known) is an 800 year old tradition dating back to middle-ages Europe. At that time, monks were the keepers of knowledge, and they lived in old, drafty monasteries. Their robes were practical at first (to keep warm), but over time, the robes evolved into academic fashion statements.

If you are interested in learning a bit more about the meaning and history behind academic dress, take a look at this video from the UCLA Newsroom: Decoding Graduation Caps and Gowns

UCLA explores the meaning and mystery behind graduation attire.

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