Academic attire

PICK UP CAPS & GOWNS, APRIL 19 — You can pick up your graduation cap and gown at the grad fair on Wednesday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Union Atrium. Graduates can pick up their caps and gowns after filling out their graduation survey and phonetic name cards. A variety of commencement items will also be available at the grad fair: regalia accessories (such as unique stoles, tassels, key rings, and other items), diploma frames and alumni swag. A representative from Balfour will also be present with a display of class rings to order.

PICK UP CAPS & GOWNS AT BOOKSTORE — If you are unable to attend the grad fair, caps and gowns will be available for pickup in the Wagner College Bookstore. Please pick up your cap and gown before Monday, May 1. Pickup times are Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Students should pick up their regalia well in advance so that gowns can be pressed.

Cap and gown care instructions:

  • For the best appearance, the academic gown should be removed from its package immediately and placed on a hanger to allow the folds to fall out.
  • Hanging your gown in a high humidity area, like a restroom with the shower on (but not in the shower!), will speed up this process.
  • If you wish to press your gown, turn it inside out and press it with a warm, not hot, iron.

The commencement cap and gown are yours to keep.

It is important that all students wear proper attire for commencement. (For example, men should wear a white shirt and tie under their gown.)

The mortarboard cap should be worn squarely on top of the head with the flat surface parallel to the ground, tassel on the right side.

Academic costume

The use of the academic costume, which seems to have originated in the English universities of Oxford and Cambridge, has been traditional in university life since medieval times. In England and other European countries academic attire generally is distinctive with each university so that very colorful ensembles of diverse styles are commonly used abroad.

Unlike European academic apparel, the academic costume of American universities follows a regular pattern, the styles and colors having been established by an intercollegiate agreement in 1895. Cap, hood and gown are prescribed in style. Color variations indicate differences in the field of knowledge presented and the conferring institutions. You will see these differences in the academic regalia worn by members of our faculty, seated on either side of the stage, during commencement.

The mortarboard cap is identical for holders of bachelor’s and master’s degrees. For holders of the doctorate, the cap may be made of velvet and the tassel may be gold. Candidates for the bachelor’s degrees wear the tassel on the right of the cap, changing it to the left side after the degree has been conferred.

The bachelor’s gowns are designed with full sleeves. The master’s gown comes with a long, decorative attachment to the sleeves, called a “tail.” The doctor’s gown has bell-shaped sleeves with velvet bars and is faced with velvet around the collar and down the front edges.

Wagner College master’s students also wear hoods signifying their area of study: brown for business (including MBA and accounting), blue for education and yellow for the sciences (including microbiology, nursing and physician assistant).

Graduating students may purchase a Wagner Green gratitude stole, which they may wear over their commencement robe. After the commencement program, the gratitude stole is given to someone who has made a difference in the student’s academic career.

Bachelor’s students who have studied abroad, either for an Expanding Your Horizons course or for a semester or more, may wear a sash signifying the country in which they studied. Up to four countries may be signified on a single sash.