|A procession of clerics heads toward the Coe Library|
on May 11, 1947, for its formal dedication and blessing. MSMC
students in academic garb ring the Circle. Picture by Meriman Photo Art.
|The Residence Life Council with their bachelor's hoods|
waits for Commencement ceremonies to start.
Photo is dated June 1964, and the site is what is now
the Porch area of the first floor of the Coe Library.
In the early decades of the College, entering Mount freshmen had to endure various forms of orientation, both sacred and silly. The most cherished was Convocation, when gowns and mortarboards were handed out in a solemn ceremony welcoming the young women to academic life. Students were expected to wear their academic garb at events throughout their four years -- all school assemblies, formal presentations and liturgies, even daily Mass. A white collar was attached at the neckline, and the famous Mount bachelor's hood of white velveteen with purple and gold lining only came out at Commencement. So if you come across an old photo with caps and gowns galore, don't assume it's about graduation.
|Mary Thompson '38 donated|
her mortarboard and gown
to the College Archives.
|Cottrell & Leonard|
set the standard for
The mortarboard is even more astonishing. The headpiece is a real hat. It was made to size -- Miss Thompson was a 6 3/4 -- of shaped felt with a stiffener and bordered in silk grosgrain ribbon. The board is heavy cardboard or thin wood with a covering of black wool. It was evidently a tasty treat for carpet beetles or crickets but looks surprisingly good for its venerable 75 years.
|Harry Potter in the|
gown of Hogwarts.
Talk to students today in the Coe Library's gothic Reading Room about the old Mount cap and gown tradition, and you'll be met with surprise and enthusiasm. They'd love to have academic gowns to wear around campus, not just the day they graduate. Credit Harry Potter with making flowing black gowns very cool on campus once again.