Thurs 5/19 – 4-9:00 PM – Ahhh… time for graduations – did you wonder where this tradition with all its pomp and circumstance originated? University graduation ceremonies are part of an 800-year tradition which stretches back to the establishment of the first universities in Europe in the 12th century, when Latin was the language of scholarship. A universitas was a guild or union of masters (MAs) who had a license to teach. Both “degree” and “graduate” come from gradus, meaning “step”; the first step was admission to a bachelor’s degree, followed by the second master’s step which won the graduate admission to the universitas. Gowns and hoods were worn by clergy, with students adopting the same garb. In England, in the second half of the 14th century, the statutes of certain colleges forbade “excess in apparel” and prescribed the wearing of a long gown. In the 1500s Oxford and Cambridge first began prescribing a definite academic dress and made it a matter of university control. English academic traditions followed the American colonists in American universities, especially Princeton University, Brown University and Columbia University.
After the Civil War and a distaste for all things British, changes came, in part driven by students, and because of efforts by university leaders to adopt a standard academic dress system to provide some equality to all schools. In 1894 an American Intercollegiate Commission met to standardize the style and color for robes and hoods (though Harvard opted out). In 1932 the American Council on Education appointed a panel to review the academic code approved in 1895 and created a new code for academic garb. Then again in 1959 and 1986 the council made several revisions and updated the code further
Another time-honored tradition is the diplomas that are presented to students. Until the mid-1800s the diplomas were on dried and stretched sheepskin, after which paper was then used. Lastly, the tradition of the playing of the Pomp and Circumstance by Sir Edward Elgar. Although cliché it will be played at nearly every high school graduation. On an academic note, caps were worn to signify achievements in higher levels of education such as master’s and doctorate but have since been adopted to other levels such as bachelor’s degrees, high schools, and virtually any student of any age celebrating commencement. Like Christmas, this celebration is getting out of control.
Bikini Martini – CB Frost, coconut milk, pineapple juice, grenadine; Happy Youth – CB Frost, cherry brandy, sugar cube, top with champagne; Mint Julep – Courvoisier, mint, simple syrup, top with champagne; Luckytini – CB Frost, Midori, pineapple juice; Knockout – Absinthe, Douglas Fir, mint, dry vermouth; Cognac flight ½ price