Clarkson to unveil new academic robes for commencement Saturday in Potsdam
Friday, May 10, 2013 - 11:57 am

Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Robert A. Meyer, who will serve as the grand marshal of the Clarkson University commencement procession, models Clarkson University’s new academic regalia.

POTSDAM -- Clarkson University will debut new academic regalia at its 120th commencement ceremony this Saturday, May 11.

The robe, cap and hood donned at commencement ceremonies are traditional garb derived from the medieval academies of Europe. They represents the university or college where one received a doctorate, as well as one’s academic discipline.

The new regalia, which will also be worn by the university’s trustees and other participants, is intended to embody the life and legacy of businessman Thomas S. Clarkson, whose family memorialized him by founding an engineering school in 1896.

The black robe, a news release from the university explains, symbolizes Thomas Clarkson’s work ethic, vision and integrity. Part of his favorite Biblical verse, “A workman that needeth not to be ashamed,” is also the university’s motto.

The green velvet and gold trim on the robe and the hood are the school colors, which represent goldenrod, Thomas Clarkson’s favorite flower. An eight-sided tam signifies the Clarkson University values of teamwork, caring, integrity, vision, diversity, service, growth and diligence. The university’s seal is embroidered on the front of the robe.

“Clarkson University desired regalia that affirm our place among those institutions that value research, as well as the traditions and values espoused by all Clarkson students, faculty and staff,” said Chezum. “This distinct combination will distinguish our graduates.”

The new regalia appear after more than a year of planning by a committee of faculty and administrators, with encouragement from the board of trustees.