Academic regalia, consisting of cap, gown, and hood, originated in about the twelfth century. The gowns are usually black, although some schools have adopted colors. Hoods are trimmed in velvet that represents the degree earned and lined with the color of the institution that granted the degree.
The president will receive a bible that has been the University's single enduring gift to its presidents. It was owned by James Reid, the university's second president, who served from 1894 to 1904. The Bible has been passed to subsequent MSU presidents for over a century. The name of each president is noted inside.
University Seal and Presidential Medallion:
The university will continue the tradition of conferring the presidential medallion cast in honor of the Inauguration of Michael P. Malone and the university centennial. It will be worn by the university president at all commencements, convocations and other ceremonial events. When not in use, the medallion will be permanently displayed in the President's Office.
The medallion was designed and cast by Richard Helzer, former Montana State University professor and head of the School of Art. The medallion is made entirely from sterling silver, copper and ice blue sapphires – all precious metals and stones found in Montana. It is a chain-of-office piece that will be passed from president to president on into the future. It incorporates elements of Montana State University's land-grant tradition and the date of the university's founding. The name of each president is engraved on the back.