PERMIAN BASIN, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- With graduations happening across the country, people from around the world will be dressing in their caps and gowns to celebrate their academic achievements, whether it’s at a High School, 2-year College, or 4-year University.

Gowns and hoods are nothing new to the education system, dating back to the 12th and 13th century, when they were part of the first European universities which were founded by the clergy. 

Then, the caps and gowns weren’t just for graduation, as they are now, they were considered part of the uniform of an everyday student. The hoods and gowns were thought to be necessary in order to keep their heads and bodies warm in unheated buildings.

The gowns and hoods, usually brown or black in color, which were worn signified their religious status, marking them as different from the people in the town that they were studying.

Due to the cost, the bachelor’s hood was not commonly worn, something that continues to the present day. A master’s hood was originally 4 feet in length but was later changed to 3 and a half feet. While the Doctor’s hood is four feet in length but was changed by 1902 from a rounded bottom to a flat bottom of the hood.

While the gowns and hoods still remain to this day, the modern-day system was devised by an American Intercollegiate Commission, involving robes that are different lengths based on the degrees with colors that signify various disciplines and studies.

Graduations across the Permian Basin are continuing with Midland ISD, ECISD, PBTISD, Alpine ISD finishing their graduations tonight.

For more information about the history of graduation regalia, you can visit TIME magazine or the Graduation Registry website.