June 27, 2018

An anonymous source shared this letter from a local college to its graduating seniors:

Dear Student,

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation from Bosworth University! We look forward to seeing you at the commencement ceremony. This will be an event that families, fellow students, and professors can all enjoy together. 

We hope.

Unfortunately, it’s been brought to our attention that some students may elect to go naked beneath their graduation robes in an activity called “hospital gown-ing.” While we appreciate high-spirited hijinks as much as the next university administration, it is our duty to inform you that graduating while naked runs counter to our school’s Mission Statement. (Please refer to the course catalog. It’s right there on page 17, after the section about the required senior thesis and before the warnings about proper cafeteria etiquette.)

We are reluctant to employ punitive measures at the commencement, so students caught “gown-ing” will not be stripped of their diplomas on the spot. Instead, we will award their ceremonial placeholders onstage along with everyone else’s. 

The subsequent mailing of the actual diplomas, however, will not occur.

You may wonder, “But how would you even know if I were nude beneath my robe?” Good question. Consider two factors: your robe is made of the sheerest polyester fabric, and the commencement stage is located at our outdoor amphitheater . . . aka “the Wind Tunnel.” 

Imagine waiting in excitement to mount the stairs to the stage. Your full given name is called, and as you stride forth, your image appears on the Jumbotron screen for all of the assembled guests to witness. Photos are taken, videos roll, and just then, you’re hit by a sudden gust of wind. Your flimsy robe wraps tightly against your body, like cling wrap stretched across a platter of holiday leftovers. 

A child cries out in alarm, and then another, even as an elderly gentleman in the front row clutches his chest and requires medical attention.

So yes, we will know that you are “au naturel.” EVERYONE will know.

And while we’re on this subject, there are a number of other behaviors that will result in the withholding of your diploma, including the following:

— Zooming the commencement speaker with a drone
— Soliciting contributions to your GoFundMe campaign to pay off student loans
— Having more than three overdue library books

— Throwing your mortarboard Frisbee-style at the professor who gave you a C- in Anthropology 205
— Cosplay
— Carrying signs of an overtly political nature
— Carrying graduate students of an overtly political nature
— Spraying silly string on the Vice Chancellor 
— Promising to stay in touch with classmates, even as your conscience recoils at such a blatant falsehood
— (Business School graduates only) Excessive alumni schmoozing

If this list seems overly prohibitive, please feel free to do whatever you wish with your tassel. (Nobody really understands the rule regarding tassels anyway.)

Thank you very much for your attention on this matter. We look forward to seeing you — but just the decent bits — at the ceremony. And once again, congratulations on your achievement!

Cordially yours,

The Bosworth University Graduation Committee

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