Laurie Taylor Column

June 25, 2004

From : Jamie Targett (). Director of Corporate Development.

To : All Academic Staff. Subject: Optimising Functionality of Graduation Ceremonies.

I'm sure you will agree that the upcoming graduation ceremonies provide an unrivalled strategic opportunity for this university to present a positive public image as a progressively oriented institution. In order that this vision is successfully promoted all members of staff are asked to follow the instructions below so as to avoid practices that have in the past facilitated the development of a negativistic image going backward.

1. Ensure that all items of academic regalia are correctly worn. (Hoods should be pinned rather than knotted round the neck. Hats should be worn on the crown of the head rather than beret-style. Gowns should be free of badges expressing political predilections.) 2. Members of staff who were incorporated into the university from the former Poppleton College of Dance and Drama and lack formal degrees should wear the full Poppleton regalia: gown: Mazarin blue, shot with tangerine; hat: black silk, edged with Navajo white; hood: vermilion and green, shot with periwinkle.

3. Staff who are required to cross the stage should do so in a brisk, efficient manner. Avoid slouching or goose-stepping.

4. Avoid all overt exclamations of astonishment or disbelief at the degree classes obtained by any of your former students.

5. Do not join in the singing of Jerusalem unless you have some minor musical credentials.

6. Note the following phrases in the Chancellor's speech to the new graduates together with appropriate staff responses: "Step boldly onto the broad highway of life" (short burst of applause); "For you are now the raw material from which the future of our great nation will be knitted" (medium burst of applause); "Pull the other one, it's got bells on" (sustained laughter).

I trust that all members of staff will abide by these normative parameters and thus help leverage our traditional graduation ceremonies into a win-win situation going forward.

Jamie Targett ()

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