Convocation traditions


Hoods are a decorative garment worn over the gown. They are designed in accordance with the shape specified by the North American Intercollegiate Code for Bachelors', Masters', and Doctors' degrees. The hood colour correspond with a specific faculty or discipline.


Academic Regalia

The University of Calgary Honour Song

The Honour Song was gifted to the University of Calgary by Stoney Nakoda Bearspaw First Nation Elder Rod Hunter in 2018 as part of the university’s Indigenous Strategy, ii’ taa’poh’to’p. The UCalgary Honour Song is in the traditional Stoney Nakoda style. Elder Hunter states that most of his songs come to him in his dreams. It is meant to highlight a spiritual connection to all of creation/Creator and bring honour, respect and tribute to a person, ceremony or an event. 


The University of Calgary’s tartan design incorporates the university colours—red, gold and black—and was developed by James Odell, BEd’76, BFA’83. The pattern is reminiscent of the MacLeod tartans, and is officially recognized by the Scottish Tartans Society.


The mace is a symbol of the authority of the Chancellor. It represents the Crown and the authority vested in the Chancellor to grant degrees and is carried in front of the presiding Chancellor at convocation. 

When the Chancellor arrives, the mace-bearer brandishes the mace, signifying that the duly authorized president of the assembly is in place. The mace is then laid in front of the Chancellor for the duration of the legal part of the ceremony. As the recession begins, the mace is again brandished and precedes the Chancellor out of the hall. If the sovereign were ever to be present in person at convocation, the mace would be inverted.

The University of Calgary mace was a gift from Chancellor Emeritus Dr. Muriel Kovitz and Dr. David Kovitz, and was used for the first time at the 1979 November convocation ceremony.