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Academic Dress & Heraldry

You will see that the colors worn by members of the procession at UL Lafayette reflect its academic diversity; faculty have earned advanced degrees from institutions across the United States, as well as abroad.

The Bachelor's gown is a vibrant vermilion red embroidered with UL Lafayette's fleur-de-lis on the chest. The Master's gown is a bold black also adorned with the University fleur-de lis. The Doctor's gowns are a beautiful blend of the bold black with accents of the vermilion red.

The design of the academic regalia and the colors worn are significant. The distinguishing mark of the gown is the sleeve. Bachelor's gowns have pleated fronts, semi-stiff yokes and long pointed sleeves. Master's gowns have an oblong sleeve with an opening at the wrist. The Doctoral gown's sleeves are bell-shaped with three velvet bars placed on the upper arm of a squared sleeve.

The most notable feature of academic dress is the hood. The colors of the lining, folded so that they are exposed in the back, are the official colors and patten of the University. The Master's hood is three and one half feet long, the Doctoral hood is four feet long. The color of the velvet border on the hood indicates the academic discipline of the degree.

The academic dress worn by the faculty and administration in the procession today originated in the medieval universities in Europe, where instructors were priest and members of religious orders. Students were clerks in holy orders, monks or priest themselves, In the unheated buildings they wore habits with cowls, or hoods, that could be pulled over their heads for warmth. In 1894, a commission of American educators met at Columbia College with the leading supplier of academic robe. They created a dress code that was eventually accepted by almost all universities and colleges in the United States. The code was modified slightly in 1932 and remains in use today. Typically, degree candidates wear black gowns.