The Saturday past (May 11th) was UNC’s doctoral hooding: a special recognition ceremony for doctoral degree candidates during which a faculty advisor and the Chancellor of the University place the doctoral hood over the head of the graduate, signifying his or her success in completing the graduate program.
After introductions and a speech by Marc Levoy, doctoral candidates were called, by name and one by one, to the stage at The Dean Dome (The Dean E. Smith basketball stadium), where they stood, facing a cheering and adoring (well, okay, they weren’t cheering so much as clapping) crowd and had their hood draped over black (or Carolina blue) graduation gowns. All told, it was about 2 hours long.
Eleanor and Oliver did really well, considering the length (and the fact that, from their perspective, what we did was watch a bunch of people they don’t know (aside from Tim) walk across a stage). It seems they – or Eleanor at least – even managed to have some fun. As we walked back to the car after the ceremony, Eleanor and Tim holding hands, she looked up at him and said, “That was really fun.”
For those who don’t know what a doctoral hood looks like, it has an odd little pocket at the bottom. Rumor has it (though I have yet to confirm) that these pockets are remnants of days past when students would drop coins for professors after a particularly rousing or engaging lecture. I must say that I’m glad Tim has one of these little pockets now too, because after months living off only my salary while he wrote his dissertation we could use all the extra coins we can get.