As graduation season arrives and nearly 6 million students prepare to receive a diploma – did you ever wonder where these lavish – and long – ceremonies originated? Here is some interesting trivia about graduation ceremonies that should help you to understand the rituals at any Fort Worth area graduations you attend this year.
The first graduation ceremonies, as well as the customary cap and gown wore during them, have their roots in the educational system of the Middle Ages. Education was strictly the domain of the church, and clerical attire was worn by the students; the tradition of the contemporary cap and gown is directly derived from that tradition. Each student who had completed the institutions course of study was expected to deliver a sermon in Latin at the final ceremony. We can be thankful, especially at large schools, that the tradition has evolved into only one or two people speaking!
Throwing caps in the air at the end of the ceremony is a much more recent tradition and didn’t even begin with the graduation mortarboard. In 1912, at a Naval Academy graduation, the class members threw their midshipman’s hats – they had worn for 4 years – into the air; an act of celebratory advancement, as the caps were soon to be replaced with officer’s hats.
English composer Sir Edgar Elger wrote what would become his life’s opus over the course of 30 years. When he was invited to speak at a Yale commencement ceremony in 1905, they played portions of his British military march as a tribute. The “Pomp & Circumstance Military March” was such a hit that 100 years later, it is played at virtually every graduation, whether on a tape recorder or with a full orchestra.
For hundreds of years, academics have considered the graduation ceremony an important rite of passage, signaling the move from one phase of life to another. For each of the nearly 6 million graduates annually, it is one of the most important events of their life to date. Gordon Boswell has the floral arrangements, green plants and gourmet gift baskets that will recognize and reward every graduate you are honoring. Consult with our expert floral designers about the special meanings behind flowers, and create a bouquet that represents achievement, victory, success or admiration. We look forward to helping you celebrate this important milestone with your loved ones!