1. An annual costume party to celebrate the conferral of credentials from educational institutions
  2. A robe pageant

Usage Example: “I can’t believe that Justin Bieber is our commencement speaker this year!”

Background: Each year, exhausted students, faculty and administrators throw costume parties to celebrate the conferral of degrees at educational institutions throughout the world. In any other setting, such parties would be seen as strange and unorthodox, but in the educational world, everyone is too tired to notice anything unusual about the proceedings.

Most commencement ceremonies follow the same basic format. Graduating students are forced to wear matching robes and funny hats as a final show of submission to their educational overlords. They are then compelled to watch their teachers and administrators march down the aisle and hold a “Most Flamboyant Robe” pageant at the front of the auditorium. This procession and pageant consists of grown men and women wearing bright, colorful robes and floppy hats. Some of the robes are actually rejected props from local productions of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. Other robes were previously used as the uniforms for evil alien races in low-budget 1960’s science-fiction movies.

Commencement ceremonies also feature unusual accessories. Administrators, educators and some students find themselves adorned with items such as colorful ropes, scepters and gold medallions.While no one truly knows what most of these items represent, it is important to note that the gold medallions may only be worn by former winners of the robe pageant.

Commencement ceremonies also usually include a short speech from a local business owner, D-list celebrity or politician. This special guest is also compelled to take part in the robe contest. He or she will wear a robe, sit on stage, and then give some variation of a “follow your dreams and don’t give up” speech.

The entire commencement ceremony is normally concluded with a game of make-believe. Each student is given a blank piece of paper, and everyone pretends that it is an actual degree.