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Graduate in Style with the New Graduation Robes!

  • August 19, 2011
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SNU has redesigned its graduation robes for the first time in 65 years

SNU's current robes are the same as those worn at the first graduation ceremony in 1947, used as formal ceremonial dress for the last 60 years without change. The black, simple and rather convenient ceremonial robes have been under criticism that they do not properly reflect the university's identity.

 In an attempt for a more Korean design, motifs from the aengsang, hakchangui, and shimui, all of which were Korean traditional dress for scholars, were used in creating the new robes.

Since last winter's graduation ceremony, the Division of Academic Affairs has worked to upgrade the graduation ceremony into a"reverential and moving" event. The project to redesign and improve SNU's graduation robes was also part of this plan.

The current SNU robe (picture left) and a design draft of new robe for PhD

Professor KIM Minja of SNU's Department of Clothing and Textiles, an authority on Korean clothing, lead the project. A total of 4 months was spent on the research and designing process leading to the renewed graduation robes for undergraduates, graduate students and doctoral candidates. The new robes received favorable comments at an occasion on August 4 when first revealed to the deans of each college.

The designs for the new graduation robes were focused especially on symbolically representing 'SNU's identity.' In a survey targeted at students by Professor Kim during her execution of the research and designing project, 70.9% of the respondents answered that the most important factor was a design that would show the SNU identity. In order to satisfy such a demand among the students, the SNU UI (University Identity) System, organized in 2006, was applied to the new robe designs. A modified version of 'SNU Blue' was used as the main color, and the traditional emblem inscribed with Latin was placed in the middle of the robes. In an attempt for a more Korean design, motifs from the aengsang, hakchangui, and shimui, all of which were Korean traditional dress for scholars, were used in creating the new robes.

In the same survey, 20% of the respondents answered that the robes should also be of 'a universal design.' Therefore, further work was carried out in order to design the robes according to a certain global standard. The designs of Columbia University, MIT, Stanford University, and other foreign universities with unique graduation robes were referred to.

As for the material for the robes, velvet was used to increase durability while at the same time making the robes look more luxurious. The design also employs draping for an elegant and refined air.

The colors for the hoods worn over the graduation gown for graduate students and above were also modified. Graduate students of the sciences and the humanities will be wearing yellow or sky blue hoods, respectively. Doctoral candidates will be wearing different colors according to their affiliated colleges -- for instance, white hoods if they are from the College of Humanities, navy blue if they are from the College of Social Sciences and so on.

Students will be wearing the new graduation robes for the first time at the February 2012 graduation ceremony.

Written by KIM Eun Young, SNU English Editor, bittersweet@snu.ac.kr   ?
Proofread by Brett Johnson, SNU English Editor, morningcalm2@gmail.com
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