Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Commemoration, The, of Founders and Benefactors of the Oxford University, or Encaenia, takes place annually in the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford on a Wednesday during June (usually determined by the date of Easter). After a Latin oration in praise of past benefactors, the honorary degree of D.C.L. is conferred on various eminent strangers, and parts of the prize exercises in Latin, Greek, and English poetry and prose are recited by the successful competitors. The festival is always the occasion of a good deal of noise and banter, usually witty, on the part of the undergraduates present. In 1871, however, the noise, owing to the presence of a M.A. in a red tie, was so great that the proceedings were abruptly closed, and since then the undergraduates have been admitted only by ticket and distributed among the ladies in the various galleries, instead of sitting in the highest gallery by themselves. The festivities - a procession of boats, "Show Sunday," college concerts, balls, etc. - in connection with it last about five days. The corresponding festival at Cambridge is the "Commencement," but the bulk of the festivities at Cambridge takes place in the "May week" of the college boat-races.