Cameron prepares to celebrate master’s graduates at annual hooding ceremony

Cameron University will honor students who earned a master's degree during the 2008-2009 academic year at the sixth annual CU Hooding Ceremony on Friday, May 8 at 3 p.m.  The ceremony will take place in the University Theatre located on Cameron's main campus in Lawton.

"Cameron's annual Hooding Ceremony is the culmination of many years of hard work and sacrifice by our graduate students," says Cindy Ross, CU President. "Hooding is a tradition that symbolizes high academic achievement. It is a joyous occasion when faculty, staff, students, and families come together to celebrate individual achievement in higher education."

Graduates and their guests should arrive no later than 2:45 p.m. Graduates will assemble in the Studio Theatre, located inside the University Theatre, where they will don their academic regalia. Graduates must bring all regalia, including hood, gown and cap. Hoods are to be carried draped on the right arm.

Following the ceremony, a reception will be held for graduates and their guests at 4 p.m. in the Fine Arts Courtyard. 

About the Hooding Ceremony and Academic Regalia

The origins of academic regalia are obscured in history, but are believed to have originated in the 12th and 13th centuries. The wearing of distinctive regalia for universities consisting of a cap, gown and hood began in England in the second half of the 14th century. Although originally attached to the robe, the hood subsequently became separated. The earliest hoods for undergraduates were a somber black and had no lining. Upon completion of a bachelor's degree, bachelors had an optional woolen or badger skin lining added to their hoods. Graduates of higher degree and individuals of high birth had hoods lined with silk, sandal, or fur. Later, undergraduates abandoned the hood altogether, and the hood became the distinctive mark of having attained a college or university degree. Over time, distinctive colors were adopted by each discipline to distinguish them from their colleagues in other fields of learning.

The tradition of special academic dress seems to have entered the United States through King's College (now Columbia University) in colonial New York. The costumes, colors, trimmings, and patterns worn during hooding are all traditional and reflect both the degree and the field of learning.

Both bachelor's and master's gowns are untrimmed. The bachelor's gown is designed to be worn closed and has pointed sleeves; the master's gown can be worn open or closed and has an oblong, open sleeve which hangs down in traditional manner. The colors in the hoods and gowns represent the various fields in which the degrees were earned.

The colorful hood is reserved for those individuals who have attained academic degrees beyond the bachelor's degree. The hood is a special part of the academic regalia that denotes scholarly and professional achievements.

The hoods are lined with the official colors of the university or college conferring the degree, usually with one color forming a chevron pattern over the other. Hoods are edged and bound with velvet of the color appropriate for the degree. Colors and corresponding fields of study are:

Brown: Fine Arts
Crimson: Journalism
Dark Blue: Philosophy
Golden Yellow: Science
Lemon Yellow: Library Science
Light Blue: Education
Pink: Music
Purple: Law
Sage Green: Physical Education
Scarlet: Theology
White: Arts, Letters, Humanities
Yellow Brown: Commerce, Business, Accountancy

The hooding ceremony at Cameron University signifies a scholarly and personal achievement. As chief academic officer, the Vice President for Academic Affairs calls forth the master candidate. In a symbolic gesture of being tonsured (a nod to the ceremony's monastic origins), graduates remove their mortarboards just prior to being hooded. A graduate faculty member or the Dean of the academic school in which the student attains the degree places the hood on the student as a symbol of passage from student to "master."


May 4, 2009