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Abstract

Academic dress in the United States of America began after the foundation of the colonial colleges. A gradual decline in its use continued from independence until the decades after the Civil War. It was halted by the creation of the Intercollegiate Code of Academic Costume in 1895. Within a generation, though, the Intercollegiate Code was being abandoned in favour of distinctive academic dress. This paper looks more closely at some of the universities that have chosen not to follow the Code for their own academic costume, a practice seen especially in doctoral gowns. A notable example is the doctoral gown of Stanford University in California. The institutions that have departed from the Code highlight the need for its revision to make academic dress more appealing to and practical for American colleges and universities.

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