Graduation Ceremony

Academic Regalia

Traditional academic attire is worn by both graduates and faculty participating in Hawai'i Pacific University's commencement ceremonies. The caps, gowns, and hoods follow the American academic apparel uniform code established by a special commission in 1895.

The cap, Oxford type or mortarboard, is always black and of any appropriate material except velvet, which is reserved for the doctorate level. The tassel worn with the cap may be black for any degree, or the color of the degree program in which the degree is granted, or of gold metallic thread reserved for doctors and governing officials of institutions.

In accordance with the code, the gowns are black. The bachelor's gown is simple, falling in straight lines from an elaborate yoke, with oblong pointed sleeves. Master's gowns have long sleeves with an opening at the wrist, with the remainder of the sleeve hanging to the wearer's knee and coming to a square end into which a semicircle is cut. The doctor's gown is elaborate, with velvet panels down the front and around the neck, in addition to three velvet bars on the bell-shaped sleeves. It is cut fuller than other gowns. The paneling and sleeve bars may be ornamented in the program color for which the degree was awarded.

Hoods clearly show the level of the degree, the program in which it was given, and the institution which awarded it. Level is determined by the hood size, width of the velvet trimming, and, in doctorates, by the shape. The bachelor's, master's, and doctor's hoods are three feet, three and one-half feet, or four feet long, respectively. The velvet trimming is two, three, or five inches, extending all around the hood on the exposed edge. This same trimming identifies the program in which the degree was awarded. The colored lining indicates the institution which awarded the degree. The colors seen most often in Hawai'I Pacific University processions with the fields they represent are:

Colors Fields
White Arts, Humanities
Drab Finance, Business, Accounting
Light Blue Education
Apricot Nursing
Gold Science
Citron Social Work
Black Associates