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President Grant in courtyard

Investiture of George Grant Jr, Ph.D.

Save the date for the investiture ceremony of George Grant Jr, Ph.D. as the fifth president of Saginaw Valley State University.

President Grant Speaking at Podium


Tuesday, September 26, 2023
10:30 AM

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Saginaw Valley State University
Curtiss Hall
Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts
7400 Bay Road, University Center, MI 48710


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Follow signage to park in Lot J, J1 or J2


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About the Investiture Ceremony

The Investiture

An investiture is defined as the "formal ceremony of conferring the authority and symbols of high office." For colleges and universities, the Board of Control, as trustees of the institution, confer the authority of the office to the new president. An investiture is one of the oldest traditions in academia, a milestone that celebrates a new era for the university while honoring its history.

The Medallion

 George Grant Jr Medallion The President's Medallion is the badge of office for the presidency of Saginaw Valley State University. The medallion is bestowed upon a new president to represent a transfer of the responsibility of office and an obligation to promote and maintain the values represented by the institution. SVSU's medallion features a carving of the university seal and the year of the institution's founding (1963) and is presented at the president's investiture, signaling the beginning of tenure in office. The president wears the medallion at commencement ceremonies and other formal academic functions of the University.

The Mace

The mace carried by the marshal in the academic processional is a symbol of authority traditionally used in Britain and Canada for the opening of parliament. The name derives from the Latin mateola, meaning mallet or staff. In the Middle Ages, such staffs, with a metal ball at one end, were used as weapons. SVSU's mace was designed by Victoria Gillespie, wife of mechanical engineering Professor Thomas Gillespie, who taught at SVSU from 1973 to 1995. The handcrafted mace was constructed with a wooden handle and metal head. A message intended to be opened and read after 20 years was placed inside the metal head. However, a campus fire in 1985 prevented that historic occasion. Although it was feared the mace had been totally destroyed by the fire, eventually the charred head was recovered. Mrs. Gillespie constructed a new handle, cleaned the head, replaced a red stone set in it and had a carpenter construct a box for storing the refurbished mace. The mace is used each year during Commencement ceremonies, as well as on other auspicious occasions, such as the investiture of the President.

Academic Regalia

Official participants in the Investiture ceremony wear distinctive apparel referred to as regalia. The gowns, caps and hoods worn today evolved from costumes worn several centuries ago in European ceremonies. Participants holding master's degrees wear black gowns with long, extended sleeves which historically served as pockets. By contrast, doctoral gowns are more elaborate, with a velvet panel down the front and velvet bars on each sleeve. The colors of the gowns vary, according to the institution granting the doctoral degree. Members of the Board of Control and the President wear red regalia to distinguish them as serving on the university's governing board.

Caps are either mortarboard or a soft beret modeled after the cap of Cambridge University. The tassel on the cap may be black or a color indicating the field of study for the earned degree. A gold tassel signifies the holder of a doctoral degree.

Hoods, which drape over the back of the gown, are worn only by those with a master's degree and higher. The colors in the hood denote the degree earned, academic institution, and field of study. The colors revealed in the center back of the hood signify the school colors of the academic institution granting the degree (SVSU colors are red and blue). The velvet trim showing around the neck, and also on some doctor's gowns, represents the field of study.

SVSU Degree Colors for Hood and Tassel

College of Arts & Behavioral Sciences

  • Arts - White
  • Fine Arts - Brown

Carmona College of Business - Drab 

College of Education - Light Blue

Crystal M. Lange College of Health & Human Services

  • Nursing - Apricot
  • Medical Technology, Occupational Therapy - Gold
  • Social Work - Citron

College of Science, Engineering & Technology

  • Science - Gold
  • Engineering & Technology - Orange

Faculty members may be wearing hood colors indicating a field of study other than those offered at SVSU.

  • Agriculture - Maize
  • Architecture - Blue Violet
  • Dentistry - Lilac
  • Economics - Copper
  • Forestry - Russet
  • Home Economics - Maroon
  • Journalism - Crimson
  • Law - Purple
  • Letters, Humanities - White
  • Library Science - Lemon
  • Medicine - Green
  • Music - Pink
  • Oratory (Speech) - Silver Gray
  • Pharmacy - Olive Green
  • Philosophy - Dark Blue
  • Physical Education - Sage Green
  • Public Administration - Peacock Blue
  • Public Health - Salmon Pink
  • Theology, Divinity - Scarlet
  • Veterinary Science - Gray