Having spent a life in academia, Lorenzo Dow Turner acquired the many honors, degrees, and accoutrements that were reflected in the clothing he would wear while attending commencement ceremonies.
Holding degrees from Howard University (AB, 1914), Harvard University (AM, 1917), and the University of Chicago (PhD, 1926), and having held faculty positions at Howard (1917-1928), Fisk University (1929-1946), and Roosevelt University (1946-1970; emeritus 1970-1972), Turner lived the life of a respected scholar and professor.
This graduation regalia represents the doctoral robes and hoods denoting his distinguished achievements as a scholar. The colors, adornments, and stylistic details form a code steeped in long academic traditions to give the viewer clues as to the stature and achievements of the wearer. The color, width, and length of the Dark Blue velvet trim of the hood, as well as the three diagonal Dark Blue velvet stripes adorning each sleeve indicate Turner's holding of a doctorate. The gold tassel atop the mortarboard cap attests to his having received that degree with cum laude status. The maroon satin lining of the hood indicates the University of Chicago as his alma mater, where he achieved his doctoral status.