It’s graduation season, and anticipation is in the air. As nearly 6 million students prepare to move onto the next phase of their lives, their friends and family are preparing to sit through countless graduation ceremonies, here in Port Charlotte and across the country. But have you ever wondered where the traditions and rituals that we observe came from? Here are a few graduation trivia facts you can share as you wait for your graduate’s name to be called.
Caps & Gowns – In the 1400’s, the only institutes of higher learning were run by the Church, and the only students who qualified were monks. Graduation gowns are direct descendants from their liturgical robes, and the caps are modeled after the biretta, a Catholic hat worn by clergy.
Pomp & Circumstance – The iconic processional march is written by an English composer named Edgar Elgar. When Elgar was asked to speak at the 1905 Yale commencement ceremony, they played a portion of his life’s opus, a military march – and the rest is history.
Diplomas – As recently as 100 years ago, graduation certificates were printed on sheepskin, rolled into a cylinder and tied with a ribbon. Now that paper diplomas are distributed, the tradition of a tied scroll is still recognized.
Throwing Caps in the Air – This custom began in 1912 at the US Naval Academy. When graduates received their officer’s caps, they threw their midshipman’s caps in the air in celebration. The impressive sight quickly became a tradition.
For millennia, flowers have been used to crown victors and give accolades to those who have achieved their goals. This year, make sure your graduates know that their accomplishments are worthy of recognition – with an elegant floral arrangement or cheerful bouquet from Port Charlotte Florist. Elementary to college, we have a gift for everyone.