Since 1981, Rush University’s Graduate College has honored the achievements of its students in many ways. The Hooding Ceremony is the celebration of the success of its graduates, honoring the accomplishments of our students, who have dedicated themselves to academic pursuits and giving back to society. Ceremonies like this and the commencement ceremony provide the unique opportunity to celebrate our students, our faculty, and in particular, their collaborative accomplishments. Students, we know how hard you have worked to get here, and now that the experiments are complete, the presentations and committee meetings are done, it is time to celebrate the results of your efforts here at the Graduate College. Although we were not able to celebrate in person for this year’s Hooding Ceremony, the Graduate College successfully hosted the Hooding celebration virtually. 

Watch the Live Ceremony

The Virtual Hooding Ceremony took place on April 28, 2020. Graduates, family, friends, faculty and staff watched live and celebrated our graduates in the Graduate College Scienceverse. Watch the video of the ceremony below.  You can also access the video on YouTube at


Our Graduates

Click on the image below to meet our graduates and learn about their accomplishments.

Hooding Ceremony Meet Our Graduates Stage


Virtual Program

Click the image below to view a virtual copy of the Hooding Ceremony Program. Shortly following the live ceremony the Graduate College will provide a memento copy of the program to each graduate by mail. 

Hooding Ceremony 2020 program cover
Origins of the Hooding Ceremony 

Although the origins of the hooding ceremony and academic regalia are unknown, it is believed they originated in the 12th and 13th centuries in Europe. Medieval scholars wore robes for warmth while working/studying in unheated monasteries and libraries, and while practical were considered academic dress that donated rank and stature. There is no definitive information regarding when academic robes became symbolic or which American institution began using regalia to denote degree attainment first, robes and hoods today recognize the scholarly career and field of learning of each graduate. While modern day undergraduates wear robes and caps, those with masters or doctorate degrees are presented with hoods to show their continued pursuit of knowledge.