We arrived nice and early to stand outside The Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford.
Built from 1664 to 1669 after a design by Christopher Wren for the University of Oxford.
It was raining and of course, being from Shetland, we didn’t have umbrellas because we are tough and hard, as well as forgetting!
There were a few different queues around the building.
And we all happily stood in the rain admiring the architecture.
Once inside, we found a place to sit….
And look around to admire the scenery…..
Which was pretty goddamn spectacular. The ceiling was painted by Robert Streater (Charles II’s court painter. It represents “Truth descending on the Arts and Sciences to expel Ignorance from the University”.
Like you do.
The graduands then arrived and sat in their allocated seats (Floss was looking around for us).
The ceremony started with the entrance of the Vice-Chancellor, preceded by the Bedels and followed by the Proctors.
I know this because I have read the programme.
The whole ceremony is in Latin apart from the Vice-Chancellor’s first welcome speech.
I loved the Proctors’ chairs which made them look like small children as they could rest their feet on the cross-pieces.
Everyone waited until their name was called by the Junior Proctor.
Then they clambered in a dignified fashion out of their seats.
The candidates are then presented by their Dean of Degrees for their college. The Junior Proctor recited an Oath in which they replied “Do fidem” (I swear) and they were admitted to the degree by the Vice-Chancellor.
They left the theatre.
The Bedels walk, one at a time, to the front door and admit each group of graduates who are now wearing their full academic dress.
Different colours and types according to their degree.
Floss was wearing white – a BA graduate.
They returned to the room and bowed to the Vice-Chancellor and Proctors.
And then left (to stand outside in the rain, which had just about stopped by now).
So, there we are. One very happy, and relieved, BA (Oxon) Oriential Studies graduate.
I am loving the robes!