After many years of hard work, graduation is a time of celebration for students who have completed their respective degrees. Keep reading to learn more about American graduation traditions and student blogger Katie Overby’s graduation.
The Graduation ceremony often depends on the size of the graduating class. Because LSU is a really large school with over 30,000 students, the graduation was broken up by senior college, meaning I graduated with other students also graduating from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. During the event, the Dean of our college, along with other guests, gave speeches and then proceeded to call out the names and majors of the graduating class. We went on stage and received our diplomas and had our photos taken.
Cap & Gown
The cap and gown are worn by most graduates at their graduation ceremony. The gown is a long robe often in black or one of the school colors. Depending on the degree the student is receiving, they may wear a special hood. Certain schools also allow stoles, which often display the organizations a student was involved in. Finally, there are cords that often signify a student is graduating with Latin honors. This means a student had a certain grade point average or was in the top portion of their class and was honored as either cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude. The cap is usually a square-shaped cap, with a tassel attached. The tassel is flipped from the right side of the cap to left after the graduation ceremony. Some students like to get creative and decorate the tops of their caps. Again, depending on the degree caps may vary in style. For example, those receiving a doctorate degree at my school, Louisiana State University, may wear an octagon-shaped cap. After graduation, some classes may simultaneously throw their cap in celebration.
The Class Rings
Another popular tradition for graduation is to buy a class ring. This is optional for grads, but during the last semester before graduation, many students like to participate in the tradition which also include a ring ceremony. The rings come in many different styles and often include motifs unique to that college. One tradition unique to my school is that night before the ring ceremony, the rings that are to be handed out spend the night in our mascot, Mike the Tigers’ cage. The ring is a material reminder of one’s alma mater that you’ll be able to carry around even after graduation.