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Trustees Resolutions on the Red and Blue Ph.D. Gown

Minutes of the Trustees for 10 May 1963:

"In keeping with the trend of recent years the University has been in touch with the manufacturer of academic costumes relative to a gown for Ph.D. recipients, which would be immediately identifiable as a Pennsylvania gown. The new gown calls for a design of cardinal red taffeta with appropriate blue embellishments. The Trustees approved in principle the sample gown shown at the meeting."

Photograph of 1901 Commencement Procession, with the University Library (Frank Furness, architect) in the backgroundThen in the Minutes of the Trustees for 14 February 1964:

"Doctor of Philosophy and Emissary Gown

"It has long been an academic custom to prescribe a distinctive costume to be worn not necessarily while teaching as in Europe but on high days and holiday ceremonials. By and large these costumes have been uniform among United States universities, but among several of the older institutions particularly in the Ivy League, there has been an inventive tendency to produce something sartorially distinctive. It is particularly appropriate for the University of Pennsylvania to prescribe a gown for its Ph.D.s combining the University colors red and blue and marked with the blue Ph.D. bars on each of the sleeves. This gown, representing the highest academic achievement, will also serve most appropriately as the one to be worn by the President of the University and his administrative associates at Convocations here and elsewhere. A sample of the proposed gown was shown and met with approval by the Trustees. Regulations concerning the proper wearing of the gown will be made."