The President’s Regalia

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At significant seminary convocations Fuller’s faculty wear, in most cases, the academic regalia of the institutions from which they earned their highest degrees. Also called academic dress, regalia is a modern representation of what was everyday dress for teachers and students in universities of medieval times. Long gowns and hoods were practical in that era and identified the wearer as a scholar.

Over time, the regalia evolved and became more symbolic than practical. Different designs and colors were developed to identify and represent various schools and degrees. Today, while most American graduate institutions typically use black gowns, European schools exhibit more variety in the colors and designs of their gowns, hoods, and caps. 

Having earned his PhD in theology from Cambridge University, in England, President Mark Labberton wears the traditional academic dress of that institution’s doctoral graduates: Black robe with scarlet facings, scarlet-lined hood, and black “doctor’s bonnet” (not pictured) with gold tassel. Beneath the gown, as required at Cambridge, he sports a dark-colored suit with white shirt, bow tie, and bands. Elegant!