At the University of Chicago, Ph.D.s get their degrees a day before undergraduates, and each division has its own graduation ceremony (ours is the Division of Biological Sciences, which includes the medical students). Since my student Daniel graduated today, I went to the ceremony to “hood” him. I’m not sure how cosmopolitan this ceremony is, but in the U.S. one’s advisor puts the “hood,” a cloth mantle, over the student’s cap and gown. It’s at that moment that the student magically attains the doctorate. (Daniel’s hood is in blue below.)
It was a touching event; how can one not feel good at the sight of so many young people officially completing the tortuous road to an M.D. or Ph.D.? And how can one not ponder the wingéd chariot of time as a bunch of old scholars literally transfer their mantle to the next generation?
But enough of this musing. Here I am with the newly-coined Dr. Matute, resplendent in our academic regalia. My own, kindly loaned by Dr. Neil Shubin, is the Harvard “crimson” robe (everyone told me it looked PINK), while Daniel is in Chicago maroon.
Kudos to Daniel, and may I take paternal pride in adding that he won the award for the best doctoral thesis in the entire Division of Biological Sciences (he’s holding his certificate).
UPDATE: My friend Carolyn Johnson sent me some photos she took of the hooding. Here’s the very moment that Daniel became Dr. Daniel:
And, a happy Ph.D. with his certificate and cash award: