Faculty Senate Launches Regalia Program
September 4th, 2012 - Filed under: News
Everyday dress for UA faculty can range from jeans and a t-shirt to khakis or a suit, but for commencement, academic regalia are still the uniform of the day.
While imbued with the tradition of centuries, the European-influenced custom of wearing academic robes with colorful hoods, stoles, mortarboards or tams, is not without a price – as much as several hundred dollars. (Academic regalia can be rented, but for faculty who attend several commencements a year, every year, even renting can be costly.)
To enable faculty members to attend commencement in regalia, the Faculty Senate has begun a lending closet. The Karen Steckol Academic Regalia Loan Program is named in honor of the late Dr. Karen Steckol, who served several years as Faculty Senate president.
“Karen envisioned this project,” said Steve Miller, current president of the Senate. “We [the Senate] want to see it happen both to honor her and to encourage more faculty to attend commencement. Commencement is an opportunity to complete the circle with students.”
While faculty attendance at commencement is not mandatory, faculty are strongly encouraged to attend, and Miller would like to see more faculty at the event, the culmination of years of work for students and investment by their professors.
“It means a great deal to students to see their professors there,” Miller said. “It’s like tying together all that the last several years have meant to the faculty and students.”
The project is just getting underway and Miller and Linda Knowles, Senate secretary, expect to start lending regalia for the spring commencement. Now, the focus is on collecting regalia.
All different types and sizes are accepted, and donations will be stored in the Senate offices in Martha Parham West. Retired and current faculty wishing to donate regalia can contact Knowles at 348-6635 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She will make arrangements to receive donations, or pick them up on campus.
Faculty wishing to borrow regalia will be asked to fill out a request form that can be found on the Faculty Senate website, facultysenate.ua.edu.
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