Ceremonial Symbols and History

The special occasion of commencement at Texas A&M is distinguished by the use of meaningful symbols:

  • Academic Regalia & History

    Academic institutions throughout the world have created a wide variety of customs including distinctive dress, color and ceremony to indicate the accomplishments of scholars.

    The dress worn by faculty and graduates during commencement ceremonies is based upon costumes used in fourteenth and fifteenth century universities, particularly Oxford and Cambridge in England.

  • Ceremonial Mace

    The University mace leads the academic procession at commencement and on other special ceremonial occasions.

  • Gonfalons

    The gonfalon, a flag that hangs from a crosspiece or frame, originated in the medieval republics of Italy as an ensign of state or office. Gonfalons have been adopted in many universities around the world as college or institutional insignias.

  • Honorary Degrees

    Texas A&M University awarded honorary degrees from 1934 to 1956. The practice was discontinued in 1956 and reinstated in 1989. 
  • Special Awards

    Historically students, faculty, and inspirational influences were presented awards during Commencement Ceremonies.

  • Past Commencement Index

    Information regarding past commencement ceremonies held at Texas A&M University.