Graduation Ceremony

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Graduation is the action of receiving or conferring an academic degree or the ceremony that is sometimes associated, where students become graduates. The graduation ceremony is a cultural tradition that is considered a rite of passage. The ceremony marks a transition from one stage in a student's life to another. Before the graduation, candidates are referred to as grandaunts. The date of graduation is often called graduation day. The graduation itself is also called commencement, convocation or invocation. In case of study and education graduation is the meaning of getting a higher degree of three years after 10+2 from a university or college, but that degree must come under the degree of graduation. Quite apart from that though, the graduation ceremony fulfills an essential human function as a ritual of transition, in this case marking the move from student to worker. The whole idea of graduation is believed to have started in the 12th Century, introduced by scholastic monks who wore robes during the entire graduation ceremony. It has kept on evolving ever since. Gill, L. (2012, January 15). Convocation and its importance. Graduation. Retrieved August 7, 2012. Scholars, especially anthropologists, consider graduation to be a rite of passage. A rite of passage is a ritual that marks a change from one stage of life to the next in a person’s life. The pomp and ceremony of the graduation ceremony can lend itself to accusations of irrelevance and elitism. Such criticisms I think miss the point. The occasion certainly wasn't irrelevant to the students and families who attended on the day. In fact it was laden with meaning. Many had shown remarkable fortitude in seeing through their studies often in the face of competing personal, family and financial circumstances. In a number of cases the students were the first in their families to have attended university. For many of them, the very fact of walking up to be capped by the Principal, rather than being elitist, strikes a blow against the system of privilege that universities once perpetuated. Quite apart from that though, the graduation ceremony fulfils an essential human function as a ritual of transition, in this case marking the move from student to worker. In an age when we maybe don't recognize the importance of marking significant transitions in our lives, graduation is a tangible and memorable way of doing so. There was also an inspirational aspect to the Principal's speech. He reminded new graduates that they had an obligation to make a difference to the world they were going out into, that academic knowledge had to coexist with and inform practice and that there might be times when they would have to challenge and put a stutter into dominant narratives. How true this is for those going into social work in its current state! Vargas, R. (2011, April 1). The graduation ceremony worldwide. Retrieved August 7, 2012,

According to Texas A&M University, the history of the cap and gown dates back over eight hundred years to scholars in Medieval Europe. During that time, everyone wore similar gowns that varied in color and style. As time went on, however, various trades, professions, and religious orders began designing specific robes that members of those groups or organizations wore. Around this time, students and professors began organizing themselves into guilds, and three distinct groups emerged: the apprentices (Bachelor of Arts,) the teachers (Master of Arts,) and teachers who had completed post-graduate work (doctorates.) The style of robes and dress became standardized as a gown with a hood. The cap and gown is considered standard dress for graduates at commencement ceremonies. The outfit has an interesting meaning and contains lots of symbolism. Like any ritual, the graduation ceremony has certain essential symbols. The one symbol that is used during this rite of passage is the mace. The mace is that thick stick that is usually carried by the...
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