cap and gown, ceremony, commencement, england, facts, good luck, graduates, graduation, hat, history, intern, land of hope and glory, lions pride, Naval Academy, office, outfit, pomp and circumstance, sir edward elgar, traditions, uwsp
Bom bombombom bom bom… bom bombombom bom
Wow! It’s hard to believe but another school year has come and gone (although students may or may not agree with our sentiment). This weekend, thousands of students across the country will be putting on their caps and gowns and preparing for the next phase of their lives as graduates. To celebrate their enormous accomplishment, we thought it would be fun to compile a few interesting facts about the graduation ceremony:
- Pomp and Circumstance
Sir Edward Elgar composed the famous commencement tune, also known as “Land of Hope and Glory” in 1901. At its England premier, the conductor proclaimed, “The people simply rose and yelled. I had to play it again – with the same result…” Today, this piece is played at graduation ceremonies all over the words as processionals and recessionals.
- Caps and Gowns
The traditional graduation outfit is, of course, the cap and gown. Its use first began in the 12th Century. At that time, heating systems had not been created, so graduates were forced to try and keep warm during the ceremony. Scholars began wearing long robes with hoods to preserve their warmth. Before long, the century gown became the official attire of academics.
- Throwing of the Caps
Anyone familiar with graduation ceremonies knows that once all of the graduates receive their diplomas, they proceed to throw their caps in the air – but why? It turns out this tradition was started in the Naval Academy in 1912. Prior to graduation, academy graduates had to serve two years in the fleet before being commissioned as Navy officers. The graduating class of 1912 was commissioned during their commencement ceremony and received their officers’ hats. Since their midshipmen hats were no longer needed, the graduates threw their hats into the air without having to worry about getting them back. The tradition caught on at other institutions and the action is now regarded as a symbolic gesture to signify the ending of a monumental chapter.
Our Lions Pride office intern, Kirsten, will be graduating from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point with a degree in business management. She spent nearly two years with our organization and will miss her dearly, but know that she has a bright future ahead. We’d like to wish her and all upcoming graduates congratulations and best wishes in all future endeavors. You did it!