Graduation according to Google
The graduation ceremony is a cultural tradition termed as a "rite of passage." It dates back to the 12th century.
In the Middle Ages, scholars and the clergy wore long gowns to ward off the cold in unheated study halls. These gowns inspired the graduation gown traditions that formed in the 12th and 13th centuries with the formation of the first Universities.
The famous tune, created by Sir Edward Elgar, became a graduation ceremony mainstay in 1905 at Yale University. It was there that Elgar received an honorary degree from his friend, music professor Samuel Sanford. At Sanford's request, the ceremony paid homage to Elgar's various works, and "Pomp and Circumstance" played as the graduates filed out of the auditorium.
The class ring dates back to 1835, when West Point Academy students designed rings to celebrate their graduation. The practice caught the attention of other major universities, and before long, it was part of the complete graduation tradition. Class rings are generally seen as "rites of passage" accessories that symbolize achievement and skill.
Tossing of the graduation hat is a tradition signaling the end of the ceremonies. The flight of the hat symbolizes the flight of the graduates to whatever awaits them.
***Be Sure to pick the Journal's graduation issue next week, Wednesday June 6.
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