Traditions and Symbols

University Convocation

University Convocation falls into the category of ritual known as "rite of passage" marking the transition of an individual or an institution into a new stage of life. A rite of passage is shared by everyone involved and is often a common experience that is fondly remembered. Convocation marks the induction of each new student in Tennessee Tech University's academic culture and community. It also marks the transformation of our university, because after each class completes the convocation ceremony, the university will be forever changed by our new students.


The regalia worn by Convocation participants is a colorful relic dating back to the Middle Ages when education was a function of religious organizations. Participants with doctoral degrees wear the traditional black gown with full, round sleeves, velvet facings on the front, and velvet bars on the sleeves. Hoods are lined with the color of the university granting the degree. Hoods at Tennessee Tech are lined with purple and gold. The doctoral hood is distinguished by its royal blue trim. Participants with master's degrees also wear the traditional black gown, with full-length square sleeves that have a crescent-shaped piece hanging from each sleeve. The master's hoods are also lined in purple and gold and are trimmed with the color of the degree earned.

Ceremonial Mace

The mace was initially modeled after a 12th Century implement of war. Today, it symbolizes the authority of the university to carry out its mission, especially the granting of degrees. Tennessee Tech's mace is used on ceremonial occasions of the university. It is carried by the faculty or a student marshal during academic processions, and has prominent place on stage. Designed by Alf Ward, the mace approximately 45 inches in length and constructed in sterling silver, gold and purple heart.

Academic Oath of Integrity

Academic Integrity is valued at Tennessee Tech University as an integral part of the learning process. It is a measure of individual development pertinent to the goals and purposes of education. During University Convocation, the incoming class of new students are required to recite the oath.