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Author Topic: William and Kate's graduation  (Read 1380 times)
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bumbershoot

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« on: October 27, 2022, 11:52:16 PM »

I just watched this video -- link below -- of William and Kate's graduation from St. Andrew's. Admittedly my experience has been entirely with American universities, so the customs are a little odd to me. What exactly is going on when someone -- maybe the dean -- hits each graduate on the head with a little red pillow? I get the hooding part, which happens at most US universities only for masters' and doctoral degrees. But the whap on the head with the little red pillow is a mystery to me.  Does this occur at all UK universities? And what about on the continent?
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bumbershoot

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« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2022, 11:52:44 PM »

Here's the video link.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrUJYYsG3r4
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jolene

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« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2022, 11:56:45 PM »

I attended a U of Glasgow graduation a few years ago and our friend was bopped on the head with the pillow and the grads all had to wear black and/or white. She explained it, but I can't remember now.  The pillow she was bumped with was bigger. Blush That campus is beautiful, by the way.
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Mariola

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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2022, 12:54:58 AM »

I just watched this video -- link below -- of William and Kate's graduation from St. Andrew's. Admittedly my experience has been entirely with American universities, so the customs are a little odd to me. What exactly is going on when someone -- maybe the dean -- hits each graduate on the head with a little red pillow? I get the hooding part, which happens at most US universities only for masters' and doctoral degrees. But the whap on the head with the little red pillow is a mystery to me.  Does this occur at all UK universities? And what about on the continent?

It is something called the Geneva Bonnet. My house mate tells that it is supposed to be a cap made from the trouser of the founder of the Presbyterian (sp?) church. He is not sure if the Geneva Bonnet is Edinburgh or Aberdeen but the ceremony is similar in both places. Each graduate is tapped on the head with this.
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bumbershoot

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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2022, 03:26:00 AM »

Wow, that IS a peculiar custom. I would never have guessed. Apparently Knox's trousers were red at St. Andrew's, however, because it's a red cushiony thing that bops graduates on the head there.
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Lady Liebe

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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2022, 04:16:44 AM »

'John Knox is considered the founder of the Presbyterian church in Scotland, but the 'Geneva bonnet' might refer to the great reformer, John Calvin, who settled in Geneva. John Knox also spent time in Geneva, along with two years as a French galley slave. These are Geneva vestments, complete with the Geneva collar. Often times the inner robe is bright scarlet. These are the vestments you might have noticed the Presbyterian clergy at HLM's various funeral services wearing.

Red is also the liturgical color for Reformation Sunday coming up on the 31st. Lots of red associations.




« Last Edit: October 28, 2022, 05:11:04 AM by Lady Liebe » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2022, 03:23:32 PM »

Thank you, bumber! Such a heartwarming video! I miss HM so much, but I have to say the present is surprisingly nice and the future might be bright.
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Mariola

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« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2022, 07:32:23 PM »

Wow, that IS a peculiar custom. I would never have guessed. Apparently Knox's trousers were red at St. Andrew's, however, because it's a red cushiony thing that bops graduates on the head there.

From The Guardian:

"The tradition at Edinburgh University is to tap the head of every graduate with a cap believed to be made from the seat of John Knox's breeches. John Knox was the renowned Calvinist, reformer and founder of the Presbyterian Church. The cap anoints the heads of 5,000 graduates a year and two years ago needed restoring. The restorers discovered a label inside, dated 1849. John Knox died in 1572, but the tradition continues. St Andrew's University also uses cloth claimed to be from a pair of Knox's trousers in its graduation ceremony".
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Eliza B

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« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2022, 08:19:52 PM »

Wow, that IS a peculiar custom. I would never have guessed. Apparently Knox's trousers were red at St. Andrew's, however, because it's a red cushiony thing that bops graduates on the head there.

From The Guardian:

"The tradition at Edinburgh University is to tap the head of every graduate with a cap believed to be made from the seat of John Knox's breeches. John Knox was the renowned Calvinist, reformer and founder of the Presbyterian Church. The cap anoints the heads of 5,000 graduates a year and two years ago needed restoring. The restorers discovered a label inside, dated 1849. John Knox died in 1572, but the tradition continues. St Andrew's University also uses cloth claimed to be from a pair of Knox's trousers in its graduation ceremony".

British upper class traditions tend to only make sense to me when I imagine them sitting in a room coming up with the rules after their 10am gin & tonic (light on tonic)
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bumbershoot

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« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2022, 10:04:25 PM »

Somehow I feel cheated. All I ever had was a black gown with a white collar and a mortarboard. These days it is often the custom for students to decorate the tops of the mortarboard and when a friend graduated from an art college, I made a wreath of white roses to go just below the flat part of the mortarboard. She looked pretty fabulous. But no bops on the head at an American college as far as I know.  I think at Mt. Holyoke, from which  Hillary Clinton graduated, there is some tradition with rolling hoops across the campus lawn. And another women's college in the US has a tradition of all the graduates carrying in a long daisy chain.
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