Cap and Gown Pick-Up
You may pick them up at the CCM Campus Store on:
- Thursday, May 16, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Monday, May 20, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Tuesday, May 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Wednesday, May 22, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There is no fee for your cap and gown, which are yours to keep.
The History of the Cap and Gown
and What the Different Color Robes Mean
Ceremonial academic costumes symbolically link modern scholars with the oldest European universities, which in the middle ages required daily wearing of long, usually dark gowns by both faculty and students. In unheated medieval buildings, heavy gowns and hoods served not only protocol but practicality. The Renaissance brought color and ornament to academic attire. Some European costumes became very elaborate and even today may still include such frippery as neck ruffs, capes, and “lampshade” hats dripping with glass beads. Although English costumes remained relatively conservative, Oxford and Cambridge, until recently, required daily wearing of gowns. Most colleges and universities in the U.S. have followed, since about 1894, a common code for ceremonial garb. This code allows room for discretion, but its prescriptions for gown shape and hood design are precise and generally observed with care.
During the CCM Commencement, graduates are the second group to enter in the procession and the last to depart. They wear the light gray gowns prescribed for the two-year associate’s degree or the one-year certificate. A maroon satin collar signifies honors achievement in an associate degree program. In addition, members of the honor societies, Phi Theta Kappa and Alpha Beta Gamma wear honor stoles, NJ Stars students wear maroon honor cords and EOF students wear Kente cloths.
Faculty and administration members enter in an order reflecting rank. Gowns— representing the bachelor’s, master’s, or doctor’s degree — may be either black or the authorized color of the degree granting institution: a New York University doctorate, for example, may wear violet; a Rutgers doctorate, scarlet; a Columbia doctorate, slate gray; or a Seton Hall doctorate, blue. Shape of sleeve and length of hood are subtle but consistent indicators of the specific degree: pointed sleeve and 3-foot hood identify the Bachelor; oblong sleeve (with cutaway arc in front) and 3 1/2- foot hood identify the Master; bell-shaped sleeve and 4-foot hood identify the Doctor. Velvet trim on gown and either a velvet hat or a gold tassel on the “mortar board” hat further distinguish the doctoral degree.
The ornamental hood (worn draped from the shoulders) is always lined with the color(s) of the degree-granting institution for example, violet is for N.Y.U.; scarlet, for Rutgers; light blue with white chevron, for Columbia; maroon with white chevron, for Fairleigh Dickinson and red with white chevron, for Montclair State.
Velvet binding on the hood is in a color signifying the wearer’s discipline or subject: white for humanities, light blue for education, dark blue for philosophy, sage green for physical education, pink for music, apricot for nursing, orange for engineering, light brown for business, dark brown for fine arts, golden yellow for science, lemon yellow for library science.
The platform party, last to enter and first to leave, is composed of the most distinguished members of the college community and the honored guests. Academic hoods again signify degrees and institutions. Velvet-trimmed doctoral-style gowns, however, may betoken the honor of those who govern, and in this case do not necessarily represent degrees.