May 19, 2013 § 2 Comments
Last Sunday I had the privilege of delivering a speech at Syracuse University’s 159th commencement in the Carrier Dome, welcoming the graduates into the SU alumni family. And what a family we are! I am proud to say that we are a group of 245,000 strong that “bleed orange.” And speaking of “bleeding orange,” if you haven’t had an opportunity yet to hear the student speech by University Scholar Jaime Bernstein, I strongly encourage you to do so. Quite simply…it was spectacular.
Being a part of commencement was truly an amazing experience and something that I will always treasure. Now, I have to admit I was a little intimidated with the prospect of speaking in the Dome in front of thousands of people, but if truth were to be told, it really wasn’t quite as scary as I thought it might be. Maybe it was my degree from Newhouse that helped prepare me, or maybe it was seeing all of those smiling faces in the audience. Whatever the reasons may be, I just felt so honored to be representing the SU Alumni Association that I just relaxed and enjoyed the moment.
I had the pleasure of sitting next to Newhouse Dean Lorraine Branham during the commencement. Her gown was a beautiful crimson color, and this got me thinking about the history of academic regalia. What I found out was that the gowns, caps and hoods worn by faculty members and graduates date back to the Middle Ages when universities were being established in Europe. Long gowns were seen as a necessity to keep warm in the unheated buildings and were worn on a daily basis. The tradition carried over to American universities, but the gowns, caps and hoods were only used during commencement. By the late 1800’s, the assignment of colors to signify different fields of learning came into existence…Architecture–Blue Violet, Arts–White, Communications–Crimson, Education–Light Blue, Engineering-Orange, Fine Arts-Brown, Law-Purple and so on.
Congratulations to the Class of 2013! As I told the graduates, always remember our connection to Syracuse University never ends…we are Forever Orange!