Academic Chic

They come in black, red, blue, and even purple,
with hoods sporting an even broader rainbow of colors.
Some caps are square mortarboards,
others have more of a tam-o’-shanter look.

Academic robes came into vogue in Europe in the 12th or 13th century. The hoods may have been used to ward off the cold of unheated buildings. In the United States, academic regalia was first standardized in 1895. The style of sleeve, length of hood, and color of tassle are determined by the level of the degree—bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate. Universities may choose their own color of robe, but the academic degree represented in the hood trim is standardized, such as scarlet for the Doctor of Theology and light blue for the Doctor of Education. Here are some examples of “academic chic” from the La Sierra University faculty.

Academic robes came into vogue in Europe in the 12th or 13th century. The hoods may have been used to ward off the cold of unheated buildings. In the United States, academic regalia was first standardized in 1895. The style of sleeve,
length of hood, and color of tassle are determined by the level of the degree—bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate. Universities may choose their own color of robe, but the
academic degree represented in the hood trim is standardized,
such as scarlet for the Doctor of Theology and light blue for the Doctor of Education. Here are some examples of “academic chic” from the La Sierra University faculty.

Lourdes E. Moraless-Gudmundsson, Ph.D.

Professor of World Languages

Robe Represents:
Brown University

Academic Degree Represented by Hodd Trim Color:
Doctor of Philosophy

The brown Color of the robe represents the name of the university.

brown-hood

The field color of the hood is copper, representing the university color. The red chevron represents the university’s second color.

There are two tams, a velvet brown 6-sided and a velvet bloc 4-sided. Both have gold rayon tassels.

Two seals, dating back to 1833, appear on the front lapel and contain the red cross of St. George denoting learning and the mottow “in Deo Speramus” (In God We Hope).

Traditional practice is that a robe is worn throughout the year if one is in residence at the university, not just at special occasions. The red trim, however, is only for certain special days of the academic calendar.

Gary Chartier, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Zapara School of Business

Robe Represents:
University of Cambridge

Academic Degree Represented by Hodd Trim Color:
Ph.D. is from the Faculty of Divinity, but the hood is worn by all disciplines.

This gown is meant to be worn open rather than closed-a key difference from regalia worn in the United States

Raejin Lee, D.M.A.

Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Vocal Studies

Robe Represents:
Rutgers University

Academic Degree Represented by Hood Trim Color:
Pink-Doctor of Musical Arts

Facing Emblem dates back to 1766 when the university was chartered as the all-male Queen’s College in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The school was affiliated with the Dutch Reformed Church.

Fun Facts:

  • In 1825, the school was renamed Rutgers College in honor of its trustee and Revolutionary War veteran Colonel Henry Rutgers.
  • Rutgers University is the nation’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of only nine colonial colleges established before the American Revolution

Lawrence T. Geraty, Ph.D.

President Emeritus and Professor of Archaeology and Hebrew Bible

Robe Represents:
Harvard University

Field Represented by Hood Trim Color:
Scarlet-Theology

Harvard is the only university in the entire United States to use a black tassel for doctoral degrees.

Fun Fact:

  • Dr. Geraty earned his Harvard degree 43 years ago.

Kenneth Ray Crane, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology and Global Studies

Robe Represents:
Michigan State University

Academic Degree Represented by the Hood Trim Color:
Royal Blue-Doctor of Philosophy

Fun Fact:

  • One of the first Land Grant universities, Michigan State was established in 1862.
  • The university’s official colors, green and white, are incorporated in the hood.

The emphasis on agriculture at the time of its founding makes the green robe a natural fit.

EUGENE JOSEPH, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology

Robe Represents:
Morehouse School of Medicine

Inside of Hood:
White and Burgundy, the Morehouse official colors; hood trim is Royal Blue for Doctor of Philosophy.

Patches on the front highlight the Ph.D. degree in biomedical sciences

Robert K. Thomas, Ed.D.

Professor of Health & Exercise Science

Robe Represents:
Boston University

Academic Degree Represented by the Hood Trim Color:
Light Blue-Education, although program was Human Movement

The two patches harken back to when Boston University was Boston Theological Seminary, founded in 1867. In 1869, it became Boston University, keeping the Theological Seminary as its first department.

Krista Motschiedler Brand, Ph.D.

Lecturer II, Chemistry

Robe Represents:
University of California, Los Angeles

Academic Degree Represented by Hood Trim Color:
Royal Blue-Doctor of Philosophy

Fun Fact:

  • Krista’s robe is “vintage,” passed down from a friend and former faculty member who got a degree from UC Riverside, who got it from her aunt who had earned a Ph.D. from UCLA.

Robes for the University of California system are the same for all campuses.

Author: La Sierra

La Sierra University, an institution nationally acclaimed for its diverse campus and its service to others, offers a transformational experience that lasts a lifetime.

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