Traditions are the lifeblood of every college. Traditions connect the students to the past of the college while at the same time preparing them for the future. From the historic to the contemporary, traditions can express a spirit of unity and create a sense of community while providing for loads of fun. All students are encouraged to keep graduation traditions alive.With its formal graduation ceremony and baccalaureate services, graduation weekend follows traditions that are as universal and ancient as some of those from the very first medieval universities. Graduation is one of the most important convocations wherein all the graduates, undergraduates, alumni, faculty, and prominent guests gather to celebrate and honor their respective institutions. Depending on the college or institution, graduation day traditions can change.
Graduation day ceremonies and parties are held in every school and college to honor and celebrate the achievements of the students. It is the most special day in the life of students and marks the end of their academic journey. Graduation day has always been associated with gowns, caps, certificates, rings, hoods, tassels, and mementos. In the ceremony, every graduate will be awarded with hoods that bolize the scholastic excellence of each student. Originally, hoods ere used as coverings for the head in the colder seasons, but now they represent the graduate’s academic background concerning their respective degrees and institutions.
Then you have the class rings, which are presented from one friend to another. The rings act as a token of remembrance of the good old times that friends spend with each other. Class rings are generally personalized and are worn on the third finger of the right hand. Class rings are usually engraved with symbols such as the college or schools motto.
The graduation ceremony is also associated with the giving away of certificates to the students. These certificates bear the grades of the students and the remarks from different teachers or professors on the overall conduct and behavior of the student. Graduation day is that time of the year when ‘year books’ are handed out to all the students. The yearbook includes each student’s notable contribution in terms of achievements in curricular activities, academic excellence and the institutions development. It contains self-written poems, colorful photos and stirring speeches made by the students. Just like we keep personal diaries, similarly, the yearbook is the journal of the institution.
Over the years, the graduation day music has definitely changed. But, one of the most popular songs to be played on graduation day is Elgar’s ‘Pomp and Circumstances March’.
On graduation day, fresh graduates have to take a vow wearing their black gowns and caps. The wearing of these caps and gowns trace their origins back to the universities of medieval Europe and has since then become an integral part of American ceremony. From the beginning of the colonial times, the faculties of most American academic universities wore caps and gowns in keeping with their rich European customs and heritage. Black is the color of accomplishments, dignity and achievement. On receiving their certificates, all the graduates are required to toss their caps into the air and honor the spirit of the whole occasion.
Lastly, fresh graduates depending on the institutions rules and traditions generally wear tassels. Upon receiving the graduation certificate, the tassels are generally flipped to the left hand side.
Graduation day is special for each and every student. The memories of this momentous occasion will always remain alive and fresh in their minds. Thus, celebrating this occasion should be done in a special way.