I can't remember any of my personal graduations - high school, college or masters. I don't remember speakers or even whether I threw my cap in the air. The events were anti-climatic for me personally. My niece, Sarah Murray, graduated from Walsh HS (Akron) this weekend. All the traditions were followed, awards ceremony, graduation party, and formal commencement. How ironic that Jenna last year wanted nothing to do with any of those activities.
What a strange set of traditions. As we celebrated afterward the question came up - "who designed those funky square hats" that are so hard to fit and keep on your head? A quick internet search discovered there is no definitive answer.
Back in the 16th century a square hat was called a birretta with a "mortor board" appearance (the mortor board of a master craftsman). My theory (like those that feel it is a shape of a book) was that the graduate carried all his books on top of his head :) Others felt it is the shape of Oxford's campus. Obviously it has no application other than graduation.
Maybe graduation is just the culmination of forcing something square onto a round head.