Revocation: The Honors College Graduation Ceremony
Pictured: Incoming freshmen raise a toast to Carolina at the Honors College Freshman Convocation ceremony. In four years they will return for their Revocation ceremony.
More than 25 years ago, the first group of graduates of the Honors College designed a recognition ceremony. They called it a "revocation" because it represented a calling back together of the students who were greeted four years earlier at their Freshman Convocation. While Honors students also attend the graduation ceremonies of their respective colleges and schools, Revocation is the only university graduation ceremony that recognizes all of the graduates of the Honors College. At Revocation, our tradition is that we do not have a single valedictory speaker; instead, every student is invited to say thanks, offer congratulations, tell an inspiring and/or amusing story—to say, in other words, whatever they would like. A Revocation ceremony is held for December and May graduates of the Honors College.
During the ceremony, graduates are greeted by the dean of the Honors College and given mementos including an Honors College lapel pin and a champagne flute. At the closing of the ceremony, the graduates and audience rise for the singing of Carolina's Alma Mater. The words of the song were penned by Professor George Wauchope of the English Department in 1911 and were adopted in 1912. The tune is that of Flow Gently, Sweet Afton. Each verse of the alma mater ends with a toast, and it’s become a tradition over the years to raise the right hand, with the fingers cupped, when the phrase "Here's a health, Carolina!" occurs, as if offering a toast. Honors students raise their new flutes for the duration of the song.
We hail thee, Carolina, and sing thy high praise;
With loyal devotion, rememb'ring the days,
When proudly we sought thee, thy children to be;
Here's a health, Carolina, forever to thee!