Hooding: What is it and why do we do it? Information...Hooding: What is it and why do we do it? ...…

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Hooding: What is it and why do we do it? Hooding ceremonies are carried out by institutions of higher education to recognize students who have earned an advanced degree beyond the bachelor's degree. The ceremony is a time when individual schools and programs can recognize the individual accomplishments of their graduates in a more personal way than is permitted at the universitys general commencement. During the ceremony each graduate comes forward and has their hood placed over their head by the department head as their names are read. The colorful hood of each university is reserved for those who satisfy the requirements or advanced degrees. It is a special part of academic regalia and denotes scholarly and professional achievements. The pageantry of commencement has its roots in medieval times, dating to the early tradition of Europe's first universities. Origins of academic attire are obscured in history, but it is likely that the scholar's distinctive dress was based on modifications of ecclesiastical costumes of the times. In 1895, the United States set for its universities a uniform academic costume code, which is reflected in most of the regalia worn today. Meanwhile, European universities maintained their right to variety. The vivid diversity of regalia for European degree holders brings to the American commencement such visual pleasures as sable berets, cardinal robes and other distinctive garb. The cap, the hood, and the robe are the visual components of the academic costume. The mortarboard, as we see it now, comes from joining the elements of a square bonnet and a skull cap. As early as 1600, scholars at Oxford University began using lightweight boards to hold out the corners of the bonnet. Gown designs represent the levels of academic degrees. The master's gown has sleeves with a slit to allow the arm to emerge at the elbow of the gown. The tassel color for our master's degree students is black. Color is allowed to break through in the hood. The outer binding of the master's and doctoral hoods represents the field of study in which the degree was received. Social works color is citron. Compiled and edited by Dr. Tossey from several sources