I was so fortunate to return to Glasgow this past week! It was not just a regular visit of course, it was for my Masters Graduation. On Tuesday morning I graduated with my Masters in Letters Art History: Dress & Textiles degree from the University of Glasgow. I must admit, I was extremely excited for the graduation ceremony. Since the University of Glasgow was established in 1451 (making it the fourth oldest University in the English speaking world) the graduation ceremony has various medieval elements to the ceremony which I was excited to experience.
The graduation attire for the University of Glasgow is to wear either black or white under the black gown accompanied by the appropriate hood for your degree. The Masters of Letter hoods are purple, my favourite colour!!!! I chose to wear a black jumpsuit, as I knew it would be chilly… it was a classic Scottish day.. windy, chilly, and rained on and off (but what did I expect realistically???)
The graduation ceremony took place in Bute Hall or more commonly known as the Great Hall. I had only been in the Great Hall a handful of times as it is reserved for special occasions. The ceremony consisted of various medieval traditions like singing in Latin, being capped & hooded and reading a prayer in Latin. The “capping” and “hooding” part of the ceremony is when the Chancellor taps you on the head with a purple cap and then another person puts your hood on for you. It is similar to the North American tradition of switching the tassel on your hat after you receive your diploma. Once this is done you are handed your diploma in a red tube and return to your seat!
Following the ceremony all the graduates followed the bagpiper around the square in the centre of the university before meeting family and friends in the cloisters for drinks and photographs. For my ceremony they served mulled wine and mulled cider to warm everyone up! The main campus building has always looked like Hogwarts (it is actually the school that inspired J.K. Rowling as she came up with the appearance of Hogwarts) but all the graduates walking around the campus in the black gowns created even more of a Harry Potter effect.
One of the traditions at the University of Glasgow is that you are not allowed on the grass until you graduate, so one of the first things most students do after we parade around the square following the bag piper is go have your photo taken on the grass! Another tradition is once you are a graduate from the university you are allowed to get married in the chapel that is in the main building.
Following the reception in the cloisters my faculty “The School of Culture and Creative Arts” had a privet reception for us at our main building 8 University Gardens. This was a unique idea as the majority of the departments did not do this for their students. It goes to show how thoughtful our small department is, there were only twenty full time students in my program so we all got to know each other really well! Our main professor, Dr. Sally Tuckett, delivered a lovely prosecco toast to congratulate us on our success. I was so fortunate to be a student at this department at the University of Glasgow. It is filled with wonderful professors and fantastic classmates.
I am so thankful for my time at the University of Glasgow. I learned so much, met so many wonderful people, travelled all around Scotland and had so many incredible opportunities. My Glasgow chapter might have come to an end, but it is certainly not the end of my adventures or academic ambitions. Stay tuned to find out what my next chapter will be!