Our Traditions“Traditions are important to us as they remind us of what we value, what we hold dear, and what we build from. We have a long history of traditions at UTB/TSC. Our heritage dictates that the traditions set out by our founders continue to serve for the greater good."
Dr. Juliet V. García, President
The Official Ring Ceremony
The design for the UTB/TSC class ring began with a survey asking students to tell us what campus symbols should be used. After putting those ideas together and working with the designers, the ring is rich with symbols that convey the spirit and pride of UTB/TSC.
Symbols include the historical years 1926 and 1991, indicating years of establishment of TSC and UTB; the Gorgas Hall building, which is part of the official seal of TSC; flags of the United States and Mexico with the words on the UTB seal “Disciplina Praseidium Civitatis," which translates to “Education, the Guardian of Society."
One of the oldest academic traditions is the wearing of academic regalia. Academic institutions throughout the world have created a wide variety of customs including distinctive dress, color and ceremony to indicate the accomplishments of scholars. The wearing of regalia dates from the Middle Ages, when the gowns had the practical purpose of keeping scholars warm in cold and drafty buildings. English traditions originating at Oxford and Cambridge led to the development of American academic regalia.
By the 20th century, institutions of higher learning in the United States had adopted a well-defined code of academic costume, which now includes the identification of different academic degrees by distinctive gowns, hoods and colors.
For instance, the baccalaureate gown is worn closed and is identified by long, pointed sleeves. Doctoral gowns may be worn open, and they are distinguished by velvet panels around the neck and down the front of the gown. Three horizontal black velvet bars, or the color representing the wearer’s degree, also mark the doctorate.
In America, the hood is the most colorful feature of the academic regalia. The bachelor’s hood, when worn, is comparatively short; the master’s a bit longer; and the doctorate, at four feet, reaches far down the back.
The outside of the hood is black and bordered with a 2-, 3- or 5-inch band of color representing the degree received. At UTB/TSC, the hooding is a special occasion because the master’s or doctoral hood, a symbol of the degree, is formally draped about the neck of the graduate by the dean.
Colors used in the academic regalia for master’s degrees are:
White: Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
Drab: Master of Business Administration
Light Blue: Master of Education
Gold: Master of Science, Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies
Orange: Master of Science in Nursing
The mace is an academic tradition that started out as a formidable weapon of warfare but is now a ceremonial staff used as a symbol of authority. Originally, the mace was a long-handled club weighted at the end, used primarily by knights during the Middle Ages to crush the armor of opponents. Royal bodyguards often carried maces to protect their monarch in processions. By the 14th century, maces had become more ceremonial in use and were decorated with jewels and precious metals, losing their war-club appearance. They were no longer used as weapons after the 16th century.
The ceremonial mace is usually three or four feet long. In the sessions of the British House of Commons, the mace is placed on the treasury table. In the U.S. House of Representatives, it is placed to the right of the speaker. A mace is often carried in ecclesiastical processions, particularly in English-speaking countries, and frequently before magistrates in Great Britain. The mace has become one of the major accessories at commencement ceremonies for colleges and universities.
At UTB/TSC, the mace bears the UTB seal on one side and the TSC seal on the other. It is carried by the most senior faculty marshal. The UTB/TSC mace is made from wood that was part of one of the original support beams uncovered during the renovation of Gorgas Hall. Built in 1868, Gorgas Hall was once the post hospital of historic Fort Brown. It was named in honor of 1st Lt. William Crawford Gorgas, whose work led to the eradication of yellow fever at Fort Brown.
Gorgas Hall maintains the distinctiveness of history and is the site of the offices of the President and other administrative departments.