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Why do grads wear caps and gowns? The meaning behind commencement regalia

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When graduates participate in commencement on Sunday, May 7, everything they wear, from their hoods to their caps to their sleeves, will be rife with symbolism. Regalia tradition dates back over 800 years. In that time, though, some knowledge of its ceremonial significance has been lost.

Luckily, William Fowler, distinguished professor of history, emeritus, at Northeastern, who served as a commencement marshal for 35 years before his retirement in 2017, is still a keeper of that knowledge—where regalia traditions come from, what they mean, and how he saw them change in the three decades he was involved in commencement.

Continue reading at Northeastern Global News.

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