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Commencement Regalia

(UNG: University of North Georgia)

 [Music playing]

(Academic regalia dates back to the Middle Ages and has evolved as ceremonial garments that symbolize level of degree, academic field and institution.

(We asked UNG faculty: What's special about your academic regalia?)

Teresa Conner-Kerr, Dean of College of Health Sciences & Professions: We're all in our academic regalia reflecting traditions that date back to the 14th century. If you look at the balloon sleeves, which are characteristic of a doctoral robe, these actually come from a time where we would just use daggers or swords to protect ourselves on campus. We could put our books here.

Jeff Marker, Head of Department of Communication, Media & Journalism: I was a first generation college graduate and before I ever finished my bachelor's degree I wasn't very excited about going to college and the only reason the only person who really prodded me way back then was my mother. She bought my regalia for me in lieu of a class ring and so every time there's a commencement I think of my mother poking and prodding me to go to college in the first place. And without her I wouldn't really be here.

Jack Broman, Director of Choral Activities, Professor of Music: When I first came here my colors were white. Joe Chapman came up to me and said "Jack, you have the wrong colors on. White is for arts. Pink is for music." I think personally that I look like a huge jar of Pepto Bismol.

Catherine Rosa, Assistant Professor, College of Education: I actually didn't walk for my graduation and this belongs to a dear friend of mine who also didn't walk for her graduation. It's the first time being used and we graduated way back in 2003.

Chris Jespersen, Dean of College of Arts & Letters, Professor of History I got my PhD in history from Rutgers University and I went to Rutgers because it has the most beautiful robes you've ever seen. The university is known as the Scarlet Knights and so they went with a scarlet bright red theme for their robes and that's what I've got right here. Whereas other robes are somewhat dull and drab, mine happen to be bright red. So I can either go to graduation or I can go visit the Pope and get into the College of Cardinals.

Mark Spraker, Executive Adviser to President, Professor of Physics: First of course I got my PhD from Indiana University which is the reason that on the back here I've got this very bright red. And I've twice won the Alumni Association Outstanding Professor, so I wear a couple of these medals.

Debra Prosser, Dean of Libraries: My regalia is from the University of Pennsylvania and in keeping with my role as the dean of libraries I did some research on my regalia. "The trustees approved in principle the sample gown shown at the meeting." So that was May of 1963 and the next year in February they approved the gown that I'm wearing. So it has been in place for a little over 50 years.

Donna Mayo, Dean of Mike Cottrell College of Business: I think that every time I put on my regalia I am reminded of how fortunate I am in life actually. My husband and I both went to graduate school together to earn our PhDs and when we got out of graduate school we could only buy one hood and one mortar board and so we did that for several years and shared that. In 2012 our house burned to the ground and all of everything we had was gone but my husband had in his office the mortarboard we shared and our hoods.

Adam Jordan, Assistant Professor, College of Education: This is my doctoral regalia from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which is why it is this beautiful baby blue color. It has the crest from the University North Carolina on the seal and the velvet represents the degree which would be the PhD in education.

David Broad, Professor of Sociology: I'm probably the only faculty member at the University of North Georgia whose hood, doctoral hood is trimmed in red. It's because my first doctoral degree is in divinity. My last regalia feature which is a little unusual is my mortar board, which is some people look at it and say "Gee, that's kind of faded Dave." And the corners are wearing out. But I don't want to give it up because I got it from the Students Against Drunk Driving and I like that message

(As 1 of 6 senior military colleges in the nation, UNG commissions new officers at each graduation. The active-duty commissioning officer's "regalia" is a uniform.)

Lt. Col. Greg McMahan, Department of Military Science: As a faculty member and commissioned officer of the United States Army, I wear the Army service uniform to administer the oath of office. Like the academic faculty, the uniform itself and each insignia on the uniform means something. The castles on my uniform indicate I'm an officer of the Corps of Engineers. The shoulder boards include the rank insignia of a lieutenant colonel and the background and piping are the branch colors of the Corps of Engineers. Additional insignia on the uniform include the Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, Engineer Regimental Crest, and various personal and unit awards and decorations.

(UNG: University of North Georgia)

(Produced by the Office of University Relations)

(Copyright University of North Georgia July 2016)

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