Traditions and Symbolism
Higher education is rich in traditions and symbolism, sometimes involving history that is hundreds of years old. Schools establish their own designs and meanings for aspects of this symbolism, creating imagery unique to each institution.
The College Seal
The seal represents the core mission, values and vision of the GGC, as well as uniquely identifies the college among all other educational institutions. It reflects the college’s official colors – green and gray – and contains symbolism of GGC’s core identity through the following design elements:
- The outer rim of the seal contains a dotted line representing the many talents and individuals that surround and embrace the college, creating a unified and secure cord to shape its continued growth and prosperity.
- The first line of type within the outer ring shows the name of the college in its traditional green color using the classic, time-honored typeface Jenson.
- The type placed at the bottom of the first inner ring is the year the college was voted into existence by the Georgia General Assembly.
- The ring of 44 stars symbolizes Gwinnett, the 44th county created in the state of Georgia.
- The four pillars of the college are represented by the words Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Creativity.
- The center of the seal contains the stylized symbol used in the college’s official logo referred to as the “cresting double G.”
- Moving outward from the center ring with the cresting double G that represents students, the next ring represents faculty, the following ring represents staff, and the outer ring represents the community. These are the four groups of individuals who comprise the essential relationships in which learning takes place.
A ceremonial mace is a highly ornamented staff used during processions for formal academic ceremonies or parliamentary occasions. Derived from ancient weapons, maces were adapted for ceremonial use during the Middle Ages. GGC’s mace contains a unique combination of materials representing the components of the college community.
- The torch represents the light of education and its promise of a brighter future for students, families, communities, nations and the world. Cast in urethane from a 3D-printed mold, it symbolizes GGC’s modern and innovative approach to higher education. Its green flame represents one of the college’s official colors, as well as life, growth and prosperity.
- The cube represents the college as a whole and symbolizes permanence. It is adorned with the college seal and logo in its official colors.
- Gold represents GGC’s leaders and symbolizes their knowledge and authority in guiding the institution.
- Stainless steel represents GGC’s staff members and symbolizes the stability and structure they provide the college.
- Bronze represents GGC’s faculty members and symbolizes the education, inspiration and mentorship they provide their students.
- Aluminum represents the educational process and symbolizes the transformation it offers not only for students, but everyone involved with the college.
- Maple wood represents the students and symbolizes their growth and pioneering spirit as they embark on their educational journey, forever changing their lives. GGC’s four pillars of scholarship, leadership, service and creativity are inlaid in the maple, as these qualities are instilled in the college’s students. The letters are inlaid mahogany wood.
- Copper represents the connection between GGC and its communities, symbolizing positive relationships.
- Iron represents the broader college community members and symbolizes the strength, courage and life-force its support means to the foundation and ongoing success of Georgia Gwinnett College.
Traditions of Academic Dress
At many formal college events, faculty can be seen wearing traditional robes, hoods, caps and sometimes cords known as academic dress or regalia. This tradition dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries, when universities emerged from religious orders. Similar to the robes of the clergy, academic dress was the customary, daily dress of both students and faculty. It was functional in providing warmth and designating someone as a member of the academy.
Steeped in tradition, academic dress code follows detailed guidelines for fabrics, patterns, colors, trimming and length of the gown and its accompanying garments, based on the degree of its wearer. More advanced degrees dictate more elaborate regalia, made of finer fabrics with longer and broader hoods and gold tassels.
The standard color for bachelor and master degree gowns is black, while doctorate degree robes may be black or another color designated by the college that granted the degree. Officials and dignitaries at institutions may also wear gowns of varying colors and designs. Fabrics vary from light weight to heavier velvets, reserved for doctorate degree robes.
Hoods worn with the gown are black, using the same fabric as the gown, and lined in velvet or velveteen with the colors of the institution granting the degree, then trimmed with the colors of the specific discipline. Below is a list of colors associated with various disciplines:
|Arts, Letters, Humanities||White|
|Commerce, Accountancy, Business||Drab|
|Fine Arts, including Architecture||Brown|
|Oratory (Speech)||Silver gray|
|Physical Education||Sage green|
|Public Administration, including Foreign Service||Peacock blue|
|Public Health||Salmon pink|
Hoods were originally worn as a covering for the head until the function was handed to the cap. The cap is most often a mortarboard matched to the gown and includes a tassel in either black or a discipline/school color. Tassels worn with doctorate degree gowns may be gold. There is no hard rule for the position of the tassel, however, many colleges and universities have incorporated the tassel as a symbolic rite of passage into the academic community by having students move the tassel from right to left upon graduation.
For more information on academic dress and traditions, visit the American Council on Education.
Some graduating seniors wear regalia recognizing their memberships in honor societies and/or the GGC Honors Program. In addition to specified GPAs, students must meet other requirements to be considered members of these groups. These students are to be commended for earning the prestigious distinctions represented by their regalia, which may include a cord or stole (sash), with or without a medallion.
|Organization and related major(s)||Regalia colors|
|GGC Honors Program – Interdisciplinary||Green and silver|
|Alpha Lambda Delta – First Year Students||Maroon and yellow|
|Alpha Phi Sigma – Criminal Justice||Gold and blue|
|Beta Beta Beta – Biology||Forest green and red|
|Beta Gamma Sigma – Business||Blue and gold|
|Gamma Sigma Epsilon – Chemistry||Blue and white|
|Golden Key – Interdisciplinary||Blue and gold|
|Kappa Delta Pi – Education||Purple and jade green|
|Kappa Mu Epsilon – Mathematics||Rose pink and silver|
|Kappa Omicron Nu – Exercise Science||Burgundy and gold|
|National Society of Leadership Success||Red and black|
|Omicron Delta Epsilon – Economics||Blue and gold|
|Phi Alpha Theta – History||Red and light blue|
|Pi Sigma Alpha – Political Science||Red, white and black|
|Psi Chi – Psychology||Platinum and dark blue|
|Sigma Iota Rho – International Relations||Black, blue and red|
|Sigma Tau Delta – English||Cardinal and black|
|Upsilon Pi Epsilon – Computing and Information||Maroon and white|