Welcome To The Order Of Gownsmen
Start writing a post
Student Life

Welcome To The Order Of Gownsmen

From having the tradition passed down to me, to passing it down to others.

Welcome To The Order Of Gownsmen

January 16, 2015. A simple and fairly insignificant day on a broad spectrum, but for those being inducted into the Order of Gownsmen at Sewanee, the date of the Easter 2015 Opening Convocation will be remembered quite fondly. I can assure this because I am one of those people. For three semesters, I studied hard and spent long hours working to earn my place in not only my university’s academic honor society, but also a place in a long-held school tradition.

Anyone familiar with The University of the South, more commonly referred to as Sewanee, knows that we are extremely attached to our traditions, many of which are over a century old. One of our most unique and prestigious traditions is the Order of Gownsmen, which was created in 1873 and serves two purposes on campus. First, it is the academic honor society for the college, and many privileges are bestowed upon Gownsmen, including early course registration, room selection, and so forth. Gownsmen also earn the distinction of wearing their black academic gowns to class. The OG also serves as one branch of our student government, an “upper house,” of sorts. Through its 142 years of existence, the qualifications for induction into membership have changed somewhat. Despite these changes, it is a huge honor to be a part of history and to have your dedication to your studies rewarded.

My mom is a Sewanee alum, and was also a member of the OG. As exciting as it was to qualify for induction (and one semester faster than she did!), it was even more memorable to have my mom serve as the one to “gown” me with the very gown that she had earned and worn during her time at Sewanee. This made my induction infinitely more meaningful because we now share something deeper than just our love for the university that we both chose to attend. I am reminded of this connection every time I wear “our” gown, with our initials and class years monogrammed in the yoke, in keeping with the peculiar traditions of passing down gowns.

Fast forward exactly nine months and it is October 16, 2015. The Advent 2015 Opening Convocation will also be one that I remember, but for very different reasons. This time, my boyfriend asked me to gown him. For the two years that I have known him, I have watched him work diligently in his courses while also upholding his obligations as a varsity athlete. Knowing how special this day is for someone, I cannot describe how honored I was to be the person with whom he chose to share this precious occasion.

It took experiencing the induction into the Order of Gownsmen from both sides of the gowning ceremony to truly appreciate the fullness of this and other Sewanee traditions. As the current residents of Sewanee’s beautiful campus, these traditions are not only being passed down to us, but also through us. It is our responsibility to honor and uphold these long-standing traditions and to hand them down to those following in our footsteps. Whether you are a student today or thirty years removed from your own graduation, the traditions of Sewanee remain forever in your heart. Thus, it is our duty and privilege to share these beloved traditions with our fellow brethren so that we may continue to dwell together in unity, in accordance with our school motto. EQB!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less

Unleash Inspiration: 15 Relatable Disney Lyrics!

Leave it to Disney to write lyrics that kids of all ages can relate to.

The 15 most inspiring Disney songs

Disney songs are some of the most relatable and inspiring songs not only because of the lovable characters who sing them, but also because of their well-written song lyrics. While some lyrics make more sense with knowledge of the movie's story line that they were written for, other Disney lyrics are very relatable and inspiring for any listener.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments