Academic dress of the University of St Andrews

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Academic dress at the University of St Andrews is an important part of university life. The University of St Andrews was founded between 1410 and 1413, being the oldest of the ancient universities of Scotland and the third oldest university in the English-speaking world.

Use of academic dress[edit]

Academic dress is compulsory at official ceremonial occasions, such as graduation and the installations of Rector and Chancellor. Gowns are also required for formal high table dinners in the halls of residence and are traditionally worn to chapel, to 'Pier Walks', to debates of the Union Debating Society and, by some, to sit examinations. Gowns are also worn by University Ambassadors when conducting tours of the University grounds for prospective students and by the collegiate chapel choirs of St Salvator and St Leonard.

University officials[edit]

Chancellor: Black brocaded silk gown with long closed sleeves and a square collar, trimmed with gold lace and gold frogs worn with a black velvet trencher trimmed with gold lace and with a gold tassel.

Vice Chancellor: Black brocaded silk gown with long closed sleeves and a square collar, trimmed with silver lace and silver frogs worn with a black velvet trencher trimmed with silver lace and with a silver tassel.

Chancellor's Assessor: Black silk gown with long closed sleeves, each ornamented with two gold frogs worn with a black velvet trencher cap with a black tassel.

Rector: Purple-blue corded silk gown with full sleeves, tippet, and hood, faced and lined with maroon silk and with a maroon velvet collar worn with a black velvet trencher trimmed with silver lace and with a silver tassel.

Rector's Assessor: Purple-blue silk gown with long open sleeves and a maroon velvet collar worn with a black velvet trencher cap with a black tassel.

Principal: Purple corded silk gown with full sleeves, faced with purple velvet worn with a black velvet trencher trimmed with silver lace and with a silver tassel.

Vice Principal: Black corded silk gown with full sleeves, faced with purple velvet worn with a black velvet trencher trimmed with silver lace and with a silver tassel.

Deans: Silk gown of the colour of the hood of the principal degree of the faculty, with square collar facings of the colour of the lining of that hood worn with a round velvet cap of the colour of the hood.

Undergraduate Dress[edit]

Undergraduates of the United College of St Salvator and St Leonard (United College), that is to say, students in the Faculties of Science, Arts and Medicine wear a scarlet cloth gown of knee length with open sleeves half the length of the gown and a burgundy velveteen collar.[1] Undergraduates of 'New College of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary' (St Mary's College), that is to say, students in the Faculty of Divinity wear a black stuff gown of knee length with short open sleeves and with a violet cross of St Andrew on the left facing. It is traditional, for students in the United College of St Salvator and St Leonard (United College), for first-years (Bejants) to wear the gown high on the shoulders and for second years (Semi-Bejants) to wear it lower on the shoulders. Third year students (Tertians) wear it off the right shoulder if in the Faculty of Science or Medicine and off the left shoulder if in the Faculty of Arts. Fourth year students (Magistrands) wear it off both shoulders. As a general rule, it is considered bad luck to hook the fastenings on the undergraduate gown, or to wash it.

At formal occasions, undergraduates, especially those in the University's Chapel Choirs, use the gown as part of the subfusc outfit which is required on such occasions

Square caps or 'trenchers', now seldom worn by undergraduates also distinguish between year ranks. They are black cloth with coloured tassels: blue for Bejants, crimson for Semi-Bejants, yellow for Tertians and black for Magistrands. Folklore dictates only women students wear trenchers, however, men may carry them.

Postgraduate dress[edit]

Graduates wore the gown of the highest degree conferred upon them with or without the appropriate hood, depending upon the occasion. Doctors wore undress, a black stuff or silk gown with long closed sleeves, when teaching and during other informal occasions and full-dress, a silk gown of the colour of the appropriate faculty, on festal occasions. However, a new St Leonard's College gown has been introduced which is black and faced with burgundy so as to better integrate postgraduates into the gown tradition at St Andrews.

Graduation[edit]

All in attendance at graduation ceremonies are expected to wear subfusc, which comprises a dark lounge suit and a white shirt and white bow-tie for gentlemen and dark trousers or skirt and a white blouse for ladies. Gowns and caps appropriate to a person's degree or official position within the university are worn according to the rules set down by the Senatus Academicus.

Ordinary Graduands wear a black stuff or silk gown cut in the Cambridge M.A. style with the crescent-cut sleeves facing backwards, carry the hood proper to the degree to be conferred.

Honorary Graduands wear undress, a black, silk, full-sleeved cassock with buttons and cincture of the appropriate faculty colour and carry the hood proper to the degree to be conferred. They can wear either a black cloth mortar board with a black tassel or in the case doctors receiving honorary degrees, a velvet birretum.

Doctors in full-dress wear a silk gown, similar to the Cambridge Mus. D. pattern, of the colour of the appropriate degree hood and carry a black velvet John Knox cap.

Graduates (other than doctors) wear the gown and hood appropriate to their highest degree and carry a black cloth square cap.

Undergraduates wear the gown appropriate to their college and carry the cap appropriate to their year of study.

Hoods[edit]

Hoods of graduates in all faculties are in a modified London pattern, with rounded corners to the cape and an angled liripipe.

Doctor of Divinity (D.D.): Violet silk or cloth lined with ermine or white satin.

Doctor of Languages (D.Lang.): Brunswick Green silk lined with white satin.

Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.): Saffron yellow silk lined with ermine or white satin.

Doctor of Medicine (M.D.): Medici Crimson silk or cloth with an ivory white lining.

Doctor of Music (Mus. D.): Sky blue silk or cloth lined with ermine or white satin.

Doctor of Laws (LL.D.): Pimento silk or cloth lined with ermine or white satin.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.): Spectrum blue silk lined with white satin.

Doctor of Science (D.Sc.): Purple-lilac silk or cloth lined with ermine or white satin.

Master of Arts (M.A.): Black silk with cherry silk lining.

Master in Chemistry (M.Chem.): Black silk with a three inch lilac silk or cloth border.

Master in Mathematics (M.Math.): Black silk with a three inch lilac silk or cloth border.

Master of Letters (M.Litt.): Black silk lined with saffron yellow silk or cloth.

Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.): Black silk lined with gold silk or cloth.

Master in Physics (M.Phys.): Black silk with a three inch lilac silk or cloth border.

Master in Science (M.Sci.): Black silk with a three inch lilac silk or cloth border.

Master of Science (M.Sc.): Black silk lined with lilac silk or cloth.

Master of Theology (M. Theol.): Black silk lined with violet silk or cloth.

Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.): Violet silk or cloth bordered with white fur.

Bachelor of Letters (B.Litt.): Saffron yellow silk bordered with white fur.

Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil.): Gold silk bordered with white fur.

Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.): Magenta silk or cloth bordered with white fur.

Officers & sabbatical officers of the Students' Association and Athletic Union[edit]

The University of St Andrews Students' Association has several elected positions which entitle the holder to wear - on formal occasions - a gown emblazoned with the coats of arms of the Students' Association and of the University.

Association President: Full length red gown with blue facings and collar.

Director of Events & Services: Full length black gown with purple facings and collar.

Director of Representation: Full length black gown with blue facings and collar.

Director of Student Development & Activities: Full length black gown with blue facings and collar.

Association Chair: Full length black gown with red facings and collar.

SSC Charities Officer: Full length navy blue gown with rainbow facings and collar.

SSC Debates Officer: Full length blue gown with pink facings and collar.

SSC Volunteering Officer: Full length blue gown with green facings and collar.

SSC Music Officer: Full length blue gown with blue facings and collar.

SSC Postgraduate Officer: Full length red gown with red facings and collar.

SSC Societies Officer: Full length black gown with purple facings and collar.

SSC Member for Societies Elections: Full length black gown with purple facings and collar.[citation needed]

SSC Theatre Officer: Full length blue gown with blue facings and collar.

SRC Accommodation Officer: Full length black gown with yellow facings and collar.

SRC Education Officer: Full length black gown with yellow facings and collar.

SRC Environment & Ethics Officer: Full length black gown with green facings and collar.

SRC Equal Opportunities & Welfare Officer: Full length black gown with thin blue facings and collar.

President and Vice President of the Athletic Union: Full length black gown with sky blue facings emblazened with Full Blue and Half Blue crest.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ For a comprehensive account of this topic see: Cooper, J. C. ‘The Scarlet Gown: History and Development of Scottish Undergraduate Dress’, Transactions of the Burgon Society, 10 (2010), pp. 8-42.

External links[edit]