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Abstract

Six years after its founding as colonial America’s fourth college in 1746, Princeton prescribed a design for ‘robes’ to be worn by the president and ‘as many of [the students] as shall see fit … .’ Perhaps not many students actually saw fit to wear them, for, in 1755, the trustees voted to require that ‘all students except freshmen be obliged to appear in Habits’. They recanted just three years later, and revoked the requirement that the students ‘wear peculiar Habits’,4 thus beginning the University’s own peculiar, nearly 300-year habit of continually revising its approach to academic garb. [Excerpt].

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