cap and gown

Victor Rogers

Academic regalia, also known as the “cap and gown,” varies according to the degree conferred and the level of scholarship attained. The bachelor’s gown is a simple robe that covers the entire body. The master’s gown has longer, closed sleeves. The doctoral robe usually is the most elaborate; it is made of velvet, has three stripes on the arms, and includes a hood.

For faculty and doctoral robes, the robe itself is usually specific to the university, while the hood trim indicates the academic discipline. In addition, the faculty member wears the robe indicative of his or her highest degree. If the highest degree is an honorary degree, the faculty member has a choice of wearing the robe of the school that conferred the honorary degree, or the one that conferred the highest earned degree. Bachelor’s and master’s candidates wear a square mortarboard. Doctoral students and faculty usually wear a tam.

In this feature we look at the details of faculty regalia — explaining why they wear what they wear.

Let’s commence!

Georgia Tech Faculty Regalia


Ángel Cabrera


Ph.D., Cognitive Psychology • Georgia Institute of Technology • School Colors: White and gold


Details: 1) The president wears the Institute Medallion, which bears Georgia Tech’s “Progress and Service” motto. The medallion’s chain has the initials of each of Tech’s 12 presidents. 2) The president’s traditional tam is finished off with a gold tassel. 3) Four velvet stripes adorn the sleeves of the president’s gown.


The president also has traditional Spanish regalia from his other alma mater, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, where he received an honorary doctorate in 2018. The regalia has lace-covered sleeves and is worn with white gloves and a white bowtie.

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Steven W. McLaughlin

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Ph.D., Electrical Engineering • University of Michigan • School Colors: Blue and maize


Details: 1) He wears a six-sided tam with tassel. 2) His hood is blue and maize.



Kaye Husbands Fealing

Dean and Ivan Allen Chair, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts

Ph.D., Economics • Harvard University • School Colors: Crimson

kaye husbands fealing in regalia

Details: 1) The crimson gown has black velvet lapels and arm bands. 2) The color of the crow’s-foot lapel emblem represents the school granting the degree.

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Ellen Bassett

Dean and John Portman Chair, College of Design

Ph.D., Urban and Regional Planning • University of Wisconsin-Madison • School Colors: Cardinal and white

dean bassett

Details: 1) She wears a traditional gown with a tam. 2) Her hood is cardinal and white for Wisconsin, and the sparkly shoes are white and gold for Georgia Tech. 3) She wears a Wisconsin pin and vintage Yellow Jacket earrings.

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Maryam Alavi

Elizabeth D. and Thomas M. Holder Chair and Professor, Scheller College of Business

Ph.D., Information Systems • The Ohio State University • School colors: Scarlet and gray


Details: 1) Her hood is scarlet and gray. 2) She wears a six-sided tam with a gold tassel.



Susan Lozier

Dean and Betsy Middleton and John Clark Sutherland Chair, College of Sciences

Ph.D., Ocean Sciences • University of Washington • School Colors: Purple and gold


Details: 1) Her tam is purple velvet with a gold tassel, and her robe is purple with gold accents. 2) Dean Lozier’s initials are stitched inside her gown.

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Raheem Beyah

Dean and Southern Company Chair, College of Engineering

Ph.D., Electrical and Computer Engineering • Georgia Institute of Technology • School Colors: White and gold

raheem beyah in regalia

Details: 1) The lapels, sleeve bars, and part of the hood are navy velvet. (2) He wears a navy velvet tam with a gold tassel. 

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Leslie Sharp

Dean of Libraries

Ph.D., History and Sociology of Technology and Science • Georgia Institute of Technology • School Colors: White and gold

leslie sharp in regalia

Details: 1) She wears a six-sided tam, which is navy velvet with a gold tassel. 2) The lapels, which bear the Institute’s seal, are velvet, as are the sleeve bars.


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Nelson Baker

Dean, Professional Education

Ph.D., Civil Engineering • Carnegie Mellon University • School Colors: Carnegie red, black, steel gray, and iron gray

nelson baker in regalia

Details: 1) He wears a black gown with a traditional mortar board. 2) The Carnegie Mellon University Tartan, first commissioned in 1967 for academic hoods, also serves as an official “color” for the university.

Georgia Tech Student Regalia


bachelor's and master's regalia

Details: 1) Undergraduates wear black mortarboards with white and gold tassels, and 2) black robes that bear the Georgia Tech seal on the lapels. Master’s graduates wear the same mortarboards and a similar robe to that of undergraduates, but the sleeves have an extension at the back of the wrist opening, as is customary for master’s gowns. (Below) Master’s hood colors correspond to the academic degree programs. Learn more about hood colors at Georgia Tech.

master's hood colors


georgia tech phd regalia

Details: Ph.D. graduate robes are Georgia Tech gold with navy blue accents. 1 and 2) The sleeve bars and lapels, which also bear the Institute’s seal, are velvet, as is the navy part of the hood. The hood is gold, navy, and white. 3) Ph.D. graduates wear a six-sided tam, which is navy velvet with a gold tassel.


Writer: Victor Rogers
Photographers: Allison Carter, Rob Felt, Christopher Moore
Design: Kristen Bailey, Mark Ziemer