Graduation season is nearly here, and schools everywhere are gearing up for their annual celebration of students. If you have ever wondered where all the “pomp and circumstance” of these events came from, we have assembled some interesting facts about graduation ceremonies that you may not know.
The origins of the graduation ceremony, including the wearing of the classic cap and gown, lie as far back as the Middle Ages. Institutions of higher learning were extensions of the Roman Church, and liturgical robes were worn by the students, who were monks.
Each graduate was required to give a sermon in Latin as they left the institution. Traditional speeches at ceremonies today can be traced back to this custom.
Throwing graduation caps in the air is a much more modern ritual. In 1912, excited graduates of the Naval Academy threw their midshipman’s caps in the air once they received their officer’s hats. Attendees loved the sight of the caps sailing through the air, and the practice immediately caught on.
Sir Edgar Elger, an English composer, wrote his life’s work, “Pomp & Circumstance Military March,” over three decades. When Yale University invited him to be a keynote speaker in 1905, they played a section of his composition during the student processional. Although now a graduation day standard, few realize that the popular song is a British military march!
Graduation ceremonies remain a critical rite of passage for millions of students each year, Robertson’s Flowers has the perfect gift to reward and recognize every graduate in your life – whether a floral arrangement or a gourmet gift basket, our gifts are sure to add a bit more joy to an already awesome occasion. Browse our website or give us a call – we’re ready to help!