Tradition to rule at chancellor’s inauguration next Friday

Preparations are in full swing for the inauguration of Nicholas Dirks as UC Berkeley’s 10th chancellor on Friday, Nov. 8 – a daylong celebration featuring not only a procession and ceremony of investiture but a spirited student rally, an academic symposium and a tailgate party before the Cal-USC football game.

Chancellor Dirks

Chancellor Nicholas Dirks

An internationally renowned historian and anthropologist who most recently served as Columbia University’s executive vice president, Dirks began his tenure at Berkeley in June.

As he prepares for inauguration day, he won’t need to deliberate over what to wear on the stage of Zellerbach Auditorium. Tradition rules.

Chancellor Dirks will be robed in the traditional U.S. doctoral gown, featuring velvet facing, velvet bars on the sleeves and a hood arranged on his upper back. The color of the hood’s lining represents the institution that conferred the degree, while the color of its velvet trim represents the person’s field of study.

The maroon lining of Dirks’ hood represents the University of Chicago, where he received his Ph.D. in history, represented by white trim, in 1981. During the ceremony of investiture, Dirks will be presented with the UC Berkeley chancellor’s robe, featuring three royal-blue velvet stripes on the sleeves.

As for the ceremonial procession into Zellerbach, participants will enter in three groups. Alumni, beginning with the 50-year-reunion Class of 1963, will lead, followed by other classes in ascending chronological order, up to 2013. Staff representatives will come next, then faculty members and visiting academic delegates from other institutions, wearing academic regalia.

The inaugural procession into Zellerbach Auditorium begins at 3 p.m., kicking off  the formal ceremony. Seating is limited and advanced ticketing is required. A live webcast will be available.

See the inauguration website listed below for details.

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