Saint Louis University's commencement ceremonies stream live on this page and on stream and be archived on Saint Louis University's YouTube channel.
Congratulations, 2023 Graduates!
Wondering About SLU's Academic Regalia?
The colorful attire worn by graduates, faculty, trustees and officers of the University has historic roots in the distant medieval past. Dressed in cap and gown, the graduates and their professors are part of a long tradition that dates back to Paris and Bologna, Italy, to Oxford and Cambridge, England, in the days of their Catholic glory.
Academic attire began to appear on U.S. campuses in the late 1890s. Since that time, its use has become universal for solemn university functions, and its pattern is highly uniform.
Look closely and you'll notice the style of gown varies:
- Candidates for bachelor's degrees or those who have already received it that degree wear a yoked, closed-front garment with long pointed sleeves.
- Master's degree candidates or those who have already received that degree wear gowns with long and closed sleeves that are slit just above the elbow to allow the forearms to protrude
- Doctoral candidates or those who have already received that degree wear full, bell-shaped sleeves. Only the doctor’s gown is trimmed — with velvet panels down the front and three velvet bars on each sleeve.
The hood may at once have been worn over the head and attached to the gown. Later the hood was detached but retained and worn much as it is today. Each degree (bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral) has its special hood, which varies in length and, for the doctor, also in pattern.
The color or colors lining the hood are those of the college or university that granted the wearer’s degree. For example, Saint Louis University is known by blue chevron on a field of white. The colored velvet binding or edging of the hood, in different widths for bachelor, master and doctor, is determined by the field of study.
The cap, or mortarboard, has become the universally accepted style for colleges and universities in the United States. Many European institutions still retain distinctive forms of academic headdress.
The tassel is perhaps the most iconic souvenir of academic attire. The doctor, following graduation, has the right to wear a gold tassel on the mortarboard; black, however, is perfectly proper and perhaps more common.
A practice of varying the color of the tassel on the other mortarboards has gained acceptance:
- Arts: White
- Science: Gold-Yellow
- Philosophy: Dark Blue
- Education: Light Blue
- Business: Drab
- Nursing: Apricot
- Technology and Engineering: Orange
- Hospital Administration: Salmon
- Public Administration: Peacock Blue
- Social Work: Citron
- Law: Purple
- Medicine: Green
- Theology: Scarlet
- Allied Health Professions: Mint Green