For the inauguration of a new president, it is appropriate to invite certain alumni, faculty, donors, students, community leaders, and delegates from other universities to march in the inauguration procession. Delegates march in the procession wearing their school’s regalia and ordered according to their organization’s founding date, with oldest first. The final member of the inauguration procession is the new president, who walks alone.
The colorful attire worn by participants in the inaugural procession, as well as commencement processions, has its roots in medieval traditions that reach back to the earliest universities of Paris, Bologna, Oxford and Cambridge. Medieval students enjoyed the status of clerics during their university years, so we can assume their attire was inspired by the clerical dress of the time. The ceremonial robe began as a monk’s robe to stave off the cold in monasteries. They have since been modernized, using hoods, color and varying sleeve lengths to denote degree levels and fields of study. See also, these traditions:
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