Friday, May 30, 2008
MI Graduation Ceremony
Just two weeks ago, the Medieval Institute held its annual ceremony to honor graduating students from undergraduate through Ph.D. levels. We have faculty in academic robes processing into the faux-medieval Alumni Hall Chapel, followed by a rank-by-rank initiation into the scholarly community of medievalists. The baccalaureate students kneel and profess academic fealty while the master's grads also swear to use their teaching skills only for good purposes. Ph.D. grads shed their master's robes and are re-vested with doctoral gowns. The whole ceremony is conducted in Latin, led by Tom Noble, the Institute's director, as the main officiant, and assisted by other faculty in the roles of praelector, chaplain, beadle, and proctor. The highlight is what we refer to as the "head-bonking." Graduates are tapped on the head with a Gospel book three times and wished the "fortitude of David, the wisdom of Solomon, and the charity of Mary." The first-time participants (whether students or faculty) sometimes assume that hoakiness will trump pomp and circumstance, but in fact, it seems to work in the other direction. Proud parents are not the only ones to get teary-eyed as we move through the solemnities, and ultimately adjourn in the courtyard for punch and cookies. The faculty/staff newspaper covered the event this year and published a story and picture at: http://newsinfo.nd.edu/content.cfm?topicid=27906.