Mortarboard tossing has become a customary scene of modern graduations and this week has seen our mortarboards used to break a Guinness world record!
The medieval hood consisted of three parts: the cowl, which protected the head; a cape, which covered the shoulders; and the tail, which was long enough to wind around the shoulders like a scarf. However, this was short lived and by 1450, influenced by the forces of popular fashion, it had evolved considerably.
With the advent of so many new universities, each requiring a distinctive system of robes, academic dress has changed significantly. However, for centuries it has been the shape of the sleeve that has served as an indication of the degree for which is represented and fortunately, this is a feature that remains today!