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Graduation: The Black Band

Home movie with transcript: Women’s College Hospital School of Nursing Class of 1953 marches to Convocation Hall.

Black Band

Just the length of ribbon
Smooth and soft to touch;
Just a strip of velvet
And yet it means so much.

Student nurse, Class of 1960

In Canada, nursing graduates were awarded a diploma, a school pin, and a black felt band to be worn on their nurses’ cap. For 60 years, the design of the graduation pin at Women’s College Hospital School of Nursing remained the same as the one of 1915.

Formal portrait of young lady in full nurses' uniform.

Graduation portrait of Agnes Chan, Class of 1923

Early graduation ceremonies took place in the hospital’s backyard. When the hospital moved to a building closer to the University of Toronto, the ceremonies were held in nearby Convocation Hall.It became a tradition for the graduating class, dressed in their white graduation uniforms, to march across Queen’s Park to Convocation Hall. The graduating class was then followed by the entire school to the ceremony.


I really think that generally speaking Women’s College Hospital has a reputation for caring. And I always liked the motto Non Quo Sed Quo Modo (Not What We do But How) on the nursing school graduation pin.   

Dorothy, Class of 1932

Circular pin, outlined by leaves, topped with a cross. The letters W, C, H, are entwined above the motto.

Women’s College Hospital School of Nursing graduation pin.