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The Investiture of Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval

Friday, September 9, 2022
Save Mart Center
at Fresno State
1 p.m. Ceremony

Community reception following

What is an Investiture?

An investiture is defined as the "formal ceremony of conferring the authority and symbols of high office." It is held during the new president’s first year in office, or at the conclusion of the first year. It is an academic ceremony that has symbolized the pursuit of knowledge since the Middle Ages. Today, universities view investitures as opportunities to welcome a new era and celebrate as a community.

The installation of a new president is a ceremony of dignity with many academic traditions and protocols. It includes an academic procession of delegates from other colleges and universities alongside the institution’s own faculty. Marchers wear the colorful academic regalia of their own institution.

Interspersed with musical selections, the event includes contributions from members of the university community.

Frequently Asked Questions

University Traditions


The standard cap is the mortarboard, which is usually black with a black tassel. Gold tassels may be worn by persons holding doctoral degrees.

Color trimmings on gowns and hoods indicate the following: white for Arts, Letters, and Humanities; maize for Agriculture Studies; crimson for Communication Studies; midnight blue for Criminal Justice; copper for Economics; brown for Fine Arts; pink for Music; dark blue for Philosophy; peacock blue for Public Administration; citron for Social Work; drab for Business Administration; golden yellow for Science; apricot for Nursing; light blue for Education; and sage green for Kinesiology.

The gown is traditionally black for academic degrees, except in cases where universities have authorized the use of colored gowns. The sleeve pattern varies with the degree held: pointed for the bachelor’s degree; oblong for the master’s degree; and full for the doctorate. The doctoral gown is trimmed with three bars of black or colored velvet on the sleeves and velvet facing down the front. Presidents’ gowns typically feature four bars on the sleeves.

The shape and length of the hood reflects the highest degree held. The color of the velvet trim indicates the field of study, and the color and design of the lining designate the college or university granting the degree.

The ceremonial academic mace appeared in European universities during the 14th century and represented the amalgamation of the regal scepter and the medieval battle mace. It was carried before royalty, mayors of cities and chief officers of the medieval universities. In modern times, the mace is used on ceremonial occasions in the life of the university.

The Presidential Medallion was designed especially for the investiture and ceremonial use of presidents. It symbolizes the authority of the office of the President of the University. It is conferred upon the President by the Chancellor of the California State University system and symbolizes the responsibilities of the office. The medallion is worn on official occasions with academic regalia and is kept in a special display case in the Office of the President.

Tams are typically used for doctoral degrees. Tams are made from black velvet and usually have a ribbon over the fabric. Color variations occur among colleges. Tams can be four-, six- or eight-sided. Four-sided tams are usually only used for master’s degrees, while six- and eight-sided tams are used for doctoral degrees, depending on University preference. Tams are “poofed” at the top instead of flat, come with a gold tassel, have one or two buttons and sometimes have a gold bullion color.

The history of academic dress dates back to the medieval European universities of the 14th century. European universities continue to follow varied patterns in cut and color of gown, as well as in type of headdress. In the United States, universities have standardized academic dress so that its features are generally uniform.

The Fresno State Alma mater was written by Charles Dana Gibson and James H. Morrison in 1925, arranged by Anna Hamre and is performed by the Bulldog Marching Band. Our alma mater is sung at graduation, the Fresno State Top Dog Awards Gala and after the Star Spangled Banner at football games.



Office of the President