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The Sunflower Ceremony

Caps and Gowns

Decmber Graduate 1983The early law students’ refusal to wear caps and gowns is a core element of the Sunflower Ceremony story.  Law students did not wear caps and gowns to the Law School's commencement ceremony until 1982, when a poll conducted among the graduating class revealed that approximately half of the students wanted to wear academic regalia.  Despite the poll’s results, only 80 of 340 graduates wore caps and gowns to the Sunflower Ceremony in May 1982, and only one of 60 wore a cap and gown to the November 1982 event.  Law students may still choose to wear a cap and gown to the University’s commencement.  The present Sunflower Ceremony dress code, however, dictates that law students should wear the law school’s traditional regalia—business attire. 

Lisa Van Driel. Sunflowers Bow to Caps and Gowns. The Daily Texan, May 5, 1982. (PDF)

Press Release May 30, 1982. (PDF)