The origins of the standard graduation caps and gowns, dates back to the first universities that started to appear in Europe during the 12th century.
Let’s see the gown first.
At the time, both professors and students were mostly priests and monks. Because universities didn’t have any form of heating system, scholars attending the classes wore their traditional long robes so they could keep warm in winter’s cold. Due to the fact that all the scholars were already wearing their gowns and in an effort to limit excessive apparel, in 1321, Oxford and Cambridge established the monk gown as the official clothing of the graduation ceremony. (the article continues after the ad)
The graduation hat (Mortarboard cap) appeared in the 15th century and it was, again, inspired by the monks’ clothes.
They are actually the evolution of the birettas, the hats that were used by the priests and monks at the time. The reason why the cap is square in shape is debatable among historians.
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Photo: Kivensilence / Pixabay, Creative Commons
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