AIU Building on Traditions

Graduation is a time-honored tradition that dates to 12th-century Europe.  Though graduation ceremonies have evolved, many elements from the original remain intact.  AIU spared no constraint in making the inaugural commencement a night to remember.  Each detail from the university regalia to the academic mace was meticulously designed.  The first use of an academic mace dates to the University of Vienna in 1385.  The AIU mace was constructed of walnut which was selected to mimic the look of a Date Palm, a tree near and dear to Kuwaiti culture.  Adorning the top of the mace is a lantern symbolizing the light of knowledge, upon which are engraved the seal of the State of Kuwait and the University.  A stylized pearl, an homage to Kuwait’s past and representing the pearl of wisdom, adorns the top of the lantern. 

In addition to the symbolic academic mace, the graduating students and university officials were adorned in traditional caps, gowns, and university regalia.  The Presidential Robe was tailored in azure blue and lined with scarlet velvet and silver piping, the colors of AIU. The presidential hat is an eight-cornered navy velvet soft tam with a small silver metallic tassel. The academic costume, also dating to 12th century Europe, is ubiquitous across European and American commencement ceremonies.   AIU’s academic costume was designed to represent the university and the office of the president.   

Pomp and Circumstance, composed by Sir Edward Elgar, has been the traditional processional march since 1901.  As the new graduates proudly marched into the full auditorium, the processional evoked a sense of accomplishment, elegance, and sophistication.  After the conferring of the degrees by the university president, Ms. Susan Yuhasz, the graduates moved their tassels from the right to the left, marking the final stage in their university career and indicating the commencement’s finale.    


AIU looks forward to honoring time-honored traditions by offering an authentic American university experience both in and out of the classroom.   

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