A graduation is the awarding of a diploma by an educational institution.[1][2] It may also refer to the ceremony that is associated with it, which can also be called commencement, congregation, convocation or invocation. The date of the graduation ceremony is often called graduation day.

Students lined up at a graduation ceremony in the United States in the early 20th century
Graduation hats being tossed by fresh graduates of ISB (Hyderabad, India)
Medical student graduation in Avicenna Mausoleum, Hamedan, Iran
King's College London graduands wearing academic dresses without caps

History edit

Ceremonies for graduating students date from the first universities in Europe in the twelfth century. At that time, Latin was the language of scholars. A universitas was a guild of masters (such as MAs) with license to teach. "Degree" and "graduate" come from gradus, meaning "step". The first step was admission to a bachelor's degree. The second step was the masters step, giving the graduate admission to the universitas and license to teach. Typical dress for graduation is gown and hood, or hats adapted from the daily dress of university staff in the Middle Ages, which was in turn based on the attire worn by medieval clergy.[3]

The tradition of wearing graduation hats in Sweden has been in place since the mid-eighteenth century. The cap is typically a white sailor hat with a black or dark blue band around it, a crown motif, and a black peak at the front. The graduation hat tradition was initially adopted by students at Uppsala University. The headgear then became popular across several other European nations as well.[4]

Ceremony edit

Usually, the ceremony and name apply to university or college degrees: Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degrees.

In a graduation ceremony for a college or university, the presiding officer or other authorized person formally confers degrees upon candidates, either individually or en masse. However, some graduates may physically receive their diploma later at a smaller college or departmental ceremonies, or even through the mail.[5]

Ceremonies often include a procession of some of the academic staff and candidates and a valediction. The academic staff will usually wear an academic dress at the ceremony, as will the trustees (if applicable) and the degree candidates. Graduates can be referred to by their year of graduation.[citation needed]

Graduation in absentia edit

When a student graduates without attending the graduation ceremony, then it is called graduation in absentia.[citation needed]

Non-tertiary graduations edit

In the United States and Israel, completing high school is also referred to as "graduating", with a high school diploma or, in Israel, a Bagrut certificate.[6][citation needed]

Graduations from high school can occur between the months of June and August. Occasionally, the completion of middle school or kindergarten is also marked by a graduation as well. This has been the case for the passing from one school year to the next, which has been a recent development.[when?][citation needed] This has received criticism, being described as "just a way of celebrating mediocrity".[7][undue weight?discuss] In some places[where?], graduation parties celebrating graduation from school, college or university are popular.[8]

By country edit

Female Finnish students graduating from high school, in 1906

The procedures and traditions surrounding academic graduation ceremonies differ around the world. Whereas in the United Kingdom a graduation usually only occurs at university level, in the United States and many other countries graduations also occur at high schools where no higher education qualifications are conferred upon the graduates. In a graduation ceremony the students wear formal academic dress, such as square academic caps and gowns that are used for such occasions.

In Sweden, most universities are research-oriented and may present their students with bachelor's, master's, and doctor's degrees covering all academic streams. Universities across the country are based through the Higher Education Ordinance. Most of the national programs provide Swedish, English, math and science among degree courses.

In Zimbabwe, graduation ceremonies are often associated with the guest of honor who most often is the ceremonial head of the institution. At state universities the president of the country officiates as chancellor and guest of honor. Every graduate of a state university in Zimbabwe can claim to have shaken the President's hand. The person most associated with graduation at those institutions is Zimbabwe's late ex-president Robert Mugabe. At other state institutions of higher learning, the vice presidents or other senior government officials may preside.[9]

Otherwise, in countries like Argentina and Uruguay, enthusiasm prevails over moderation, as well as taking part in an authentic carnival as part of the celebration that is mostly spontaneous, anarchic, and barely planned in the middle of the streets: hundreds of graduates, familiars and friends gather in an open place, carrying alcoholic drinks, eggs, flour and other messy food; pelting it all over the graduates; whereas the party is public and open to excesses that carry the complaints of all sorts of commerce, neighbours and authorities in the zone due to the concentration of public disorder and filth that lasts until the aftermath and overwhelms the municipal services.[10]

See also edit

Notes and references edit

  1. ^ "Definition of GRADUATION". www.merriam-webster.com. 24 December 2023. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  2. ^ "graduation". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/OED/1631505398. Retrieved 9 January 2024. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  3. ^ "Graduation through the ages". Archived from the original on 25 October 2017. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  4. ^ Elin Olsson. "Swedish high school graduation day". Academia.edu.
  5. ^ "Can you receive your high school diploma without attending graduation?". Quora.
  6. ^ Lomsky-Feder, Edna (1 December 2012). "High School Graduation Ceremonies: Intergenerational Relations and Models of Social Order". Social Analysis. 56 (3): 49–68. doi:10.3167/sa.2012.560304. ISSN 0155-977X.
  7. ^ Parkinson, Justin (23 July 2014). "Do four-year-olds need a graduation ceremony?". BBC. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  8. ^ Collins, Bob (30 May 2013). "The curse of graduation party season". NewsCut. Retrieved 9 January 2024.
  9. ^ "President Mugabe caps 1 986 at Nust | The Herald". www.herald.co.zw. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Polémica entre vecinos y egresados de Medicina por festejo en Mercado del Puerto". 19 July 2019.

External links edit