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I am currently at my brother's graduation ceremony at Adelaide University, and in the Professor's/Post-grad seating area, sits a man fully in green. What does this special gown mean?

(Apologies for the awful picture)enter image description here

  • 13
    It is difficult to tell from the picture. At graduation ceremonies I've been to the color of professors robes have referenced the universities they attended, not any special accolades. Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 5:36
  • I got another photo! He's the only one in an unusual colour so I don't think it's to do with that Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 5:40
  • 1
    Wait for the ceremony to get over. Either you will know it by then or probably, you could approach him and ask gently.
    – Coder
    Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 6:50
  • 4
    I love the cap.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 12:40
  • 8
    Wizard who can charm plants? Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 15:59

2 Answers 2


I asked this question on the Facebook 'Academical Dress' group, where Patrick Cook was able to find out who the figure in green is:

It is Polish. The gentleman in question if Prof. Maciej Henneberg. His qualifications are listed as MSc, PhD and DSc (Dr habil), all from A Mickiewicz University, Poznan. So I'm guessing the gown is either the PhD or the DSc. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/.../03/content_5448095.htm

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  • 3
    Great digging work! Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 3:10
  • Credit to Patrick Cook (who is not me)!
    – dbmag9
    Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 8:22

It is conventional in many places for faculty who participate in a graduation ceremony to wear the regalia from the university where they got their degree. Some universities have more... elaborate regalia than others.(See e.g. Etiquette of wearing the wrong academic robes at graduation as a lecturer in the UK, especially this comment. And this.)

Others sitting on stage in your photos appear to be wearing the Adelaide University regalia - maybe that's where they did their doctorate (or they did it at a university that uses the same regalia), or maybe they don't have the regalia from their alma mater and just wear this one.

  • 1
    +1 ... the university where that guy got his doctoral degree had green robes. Here in the US most doctoral robes are black. But not all. I would wear my crimson robes from Harvard, for example.
    – GEdgar
    Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 14:38
  • 31
    I think the first class at Harvard must be on how to work the fact that one has gone to Harvard into every conversation...
    – Brad Werth
    Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 16:03
  • 21
    @BradWerth I also went to Harvard. It cost $5.00 on the red line. I did not study there, but it was worth it to be able to interject into every conversation "I went to Harvard." It was a valuable inflection point that led me to my 8 year residency (outside) the White House. I do not wear a Harvard robe. My Harvard tee-shirt does the job of informing people about my association with Harvard University.
    – emory
    Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 16:42

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