Graduation is a time for accepting and receiving an academic degree at which you will become graduates.
In 1909 a man named Arnold van Gennep coined a phrase ‘Rite of passage.’ Arnold believed that there were three steps included with the rite of passage.
- Separation from society
- Return to society in the new status
A ceremony known as the Baccalaureate Ceremony is considered to be the opening ceremony for the rite of passage. Depending on the school some will host the Baccalaureate ceremony on the same day as the graduation ceremony whereas others will host them separately.
The ceremonies usually follow a structure starting with the faculty or guest speakers making speeches. Some students are also requested to say a speech on graduation day. Once the speeches are over the students are called to the stage one by one to receive their diploma and shake hands with the giver. The students would then flip the tassel on their hat as a sign of recognition. Traditionally as song named “pomp and Circumstance” would be played whilst the students are called to the stage, some universities still follow the tradition.
On the day of graduation the students are expected to follow a dress code which consists of wearing a gown and cap. The clothing dates back to Celtic groups where at the time they were worn only by Druid priests to symbolise their importance and intelligence. It is now worn by students in order to identify their educational organization and degree. The tassels on the back of their caps often signify the student’s academic achievement.
Graduation gowns were traditionally the colour grey however colours were introduced in order to recognise the area of study the student is in. Over time students began to ask for their caps and gowns to represent their school colours. Their wish was granted and the trend caught on.
Graduation day is an important occasion for students marking the day that they leave a life of study and enter into the real world. It should be a proud day for you that you can share with family and friends. You should also be able to look back at your time in university and take away with you some fantastic memories along with your diploma.
However, your graduation will probably be only one in a number of awards ceremonies you attend, whither this is for sporting or academic achievement or even the achievements of others. These are equally important but conducted in different ways, usually with the presentation of corporate awards or sports trophies.